I n the never ending effort to try and besmirch the good name of Alabama head coach Nick Saban, the latest soup du jour among the media and Crimson Tide detractors involves former Alabama commitment and current Arkansas signee Darius Philon.
An Alabama commmitment from September, Philon never took another visit. But as Mike Herndon of the Mobile-Press Register would have us believe, Nick Saban just wasn’t as committed to Philon as Philon was to Nick Saban. In fact, on Super Bowl Sunday, four days removed from the horrendous cardinal sin, Herndon devoted another column to exposing that mean ole Nick Saban.
Earlier in the week Josh Moon of the Montgomery Advertiser made a goob of himself on the subject, a personal forte’ of Moon’s. Of course, how appropriate that someone named “Moon” regularly shows his ass. Moon published a downright lie the morning of February 2nd, claiming that Alabama head coach Nick Saban had “yanked a scholarship offer” from Philon. Moon also implied that they “jerked” an offer from former running back commit Justin Taylor, who ended up signing with Kentucky. How that “news periodical” can justify Moon’s employment over this bogus claim is beyond comprehension, and his continued employment there tells me they aren’t serious about reporting the truth.
Kevin Scarbinsky couldn’t wait to tell on mean ole Nick Saban either, his piece coming on Friday morning, again questioning Nick Saban’s commitment to his program’s commitments. Scarbinsky not jumping on that story would be about as unlikely as a rat not taking the cheese. There was no word on whether Kevin wanted to look into the suit Philon wore the day of his signing, however.
This morning on Birmingham’s JOX radio’s “Opening Drive,” Auburn mouthpiece and apologist Al Del
Taco Greco wanted to keep the subject fresh. But when asked by Jay Barker why Auburn didn’t then jump on the opportunity to sign Philon (being the family oriented, Christian, help-the-young-man-first University their hypocritical fanbase claims to be), the Tiger balked. Instead of being Good Samaritans, Gene Chizik and crew instead impersonated the others in that well-told story, walking past the fallen Philon as he lay in the ditch. And this from a program with PLENTY of room on their roster–the Tigers had SIX spots open after signing day, only signing 19. What better way to build a foundation for your program than to sign a player spurned by the rival you fear the most? And yet, the crickets in Lee County chirp.
The Bottom Line
Philon’s story is unfortunate, but it’s not a sad one. Not by any means. I’m just waiting for someone…anyone…in the media to understand and communicate this. But then again, why would they? It’d be a departure from their ongoing quest to sling mud at that mean ole champion in Tuscaloosa.
Scarbinsky? Herndon? Moon? Del Taco? Let me drop some knowledge on you:
1.) Nick Saban did not create the rules. He didn’t created caps on signing classes. In fact, just the opposite is true. The rules have constantly been altered by Saban’s competitors because the only man to own three BCS crystal footballs constantly outworks them. Under the old arrangement…that the SEC changed for him, mind you…Darius Philon would be on his way to Tuscaloosa.
2.) College football isn’t Upward Sports. Everybody doesn’t get to play. Everybody doesn’t “deserve” a chance because their momma and daddy signed them up and bought their uniform. Simply, college football is a cut-throat multi-million dollar industry supported by fanbases demanding nothing but the best. It’s simple supply and demand in motion. With the supply of top level athletes climbing over one another to get to Tuscaloosa right now, the demand..and luxury…Alabama has is: “Be the best and you’ll get your shot.” The problem was, injury dislodged Philon from being the best…right now.
3.) Injury is a brutal reality to the game of football, but it’s a reality EVERY SOLITARY PLAYER recognizes and signs off on when strapping it up to play. In fact, on a much higher level, at this moment the great Peyton Manning is about to experience this reality himself. Over what? Injury. If you’re not the best, teams that can afford to pick over you will. It’s a hard lesson to learn, but one we ALL have to learn eventually. That’s called life, the thing college is supposed to prepare you for.
4.) But lastly, and everyone is conveniently missing this point…DARIUS PHILON DID NOT HAVE HIS SCHOLARSHIP OFFER “YANKED”. Darius Philon would have been able to attend the University of Alabama free-of-charge, adjusting to college life the first part of his freshman year, enjoying all the benefits of the academic center. He would have been able to rehab his injured knee for an entire year, assuring himself and coaches that he’d be ready to play in 2013. Oh, did I leave that part out? He was guaranteed a spot in January 2013.
But instead, Darius Philon joined Justin Taylor in signing elsewhere. These members of the microwave generation didn’t want to wait. And you know what? That’s their business; they have to do what’s best for them. But to say their scholarships were taken away is simply a falsehood that I can’t explain coming from journalists paid to produce the facts.
Nick Saban has held the keys to the Alabama kingdom for five seasons now, performing at a level few ever thought they’d see the Crimson Tide program at again. It’s HIS business to ensure the best interests for the University of Alabama football program. And in these instances, grayshirting was what needed to happen.
But state media taking the occasion to kick rocks in the direction of the one they hate the most. It’s just pitiful journalism. But then, with very few exceptions, that’s what they do best.