Elisha Shaw had a slew of scholarship offers as a junior at Tucker High in Atlanta. Alabama, Auburn, Florida State and a number of other top Division I programs were interested. That is until a serious neck injury on the second day of summer practice last year.
The former 296-pound defensive tackle then found himself on the outside looking in, as his college future seemed to be drying up before it ever began.
Last week, the man so many like to depict as an over zealous ego maniac did it again, showing his humanity far outweighs his thirst for championships.
Saban offered Shaw a scholarship, of the medical hardship nature. On signing day, Shaw sat among 15 of his classmates as they signed their national letters of intent. Shaw, however, did not do the same. He “signed” with Alabama without actually putting pen to paper.
It’s part of a commitment Saban made ensuring that Shaw would receive a scholarship at Alabama under a medical exemption. Shaw will participate with the football staff while at Alabama gaining a world-class education in coaching while he earns his degree.
Nick Saban has taken some well-earned criticism over the years, but the man does not get the credit he deserves as a humanitarian. What he does for people through the resources he’s been afforded and the position he holds should be as legendary as his wins or losses.
Elisha Shaw’s future looks very different because of Nick Saban and the University of Alabama. In a landscape of arrests and things that are bad in the college football world, it’s good to be able to report a man and program working to make it good.