Nick Sabin-college recruitment wars

Nick Saban

For those that follow college football recruiting, you most likely understand the games that are played by colleges and high school recruits. Among the inappropriate or unethical tactics utilized by college coaches is known as over signing or committing more players than you are allowed under NCAA rules. For example, if Alabama has 20 scholarships available in a given year but offers commitments to 25 players, five players will be released. In other words, Alabama will pick what it believes to be the twenty best players and the other five will be out of luck or must attend another college. Michael Carvell of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution wrote an excellent article on this subject regarding a high school player by the name of Justin Taylor.

In February of 2011, Justin Taylor committed to Alabama. He had an injury and could not play during his senior season. A few weeks ago, he was informed by Saban that he could not play for Alabama next year. Saban informed him that they could only sign twenty-five players during the current year and since he was the 26th, they would not have room for him. Saban”s approach is emblematic of his actions and demeanor as coach of the Miami Dolphins, ( see chronology below). He quite simply lied to Taylor. First, according to rivals.com, Alabama currently has 27 commitments which means they are two over the allotment permitted and thus Mr. Taylor would be the 28th. This simply means that Alabama will cherry pick the best 25 players and leave the others to fend for themselves. Les Miles of LSU and Urban Meyer, currently with Ohio State are others that typically over sign and then cherry pick who they want to keep. You can read more on Urban Meyer here.

Even though Justin Taylor feels like he can play this coming fall, Saban told him he needed a full year and that he would sign him in 2013.

Luckily, Saban, and his two cohorts are exceptions to the rule. The problem with over signing has far reaching ramifications other than a school releasing players they cannot sign due to limitations by the NCAA. No one can deny that by over signing these coaches are making commitments they know in the end they cannot keep. In simpler terms, they are lying to these players. They are falsely misleading these players and preventing them the opportunity to adequately seek other alternatives. Furthermore, they are hurting other colleges by keeping these players off the market. My question is; would you want your son playing for one these coaches? WE hope the answer is no.

Final note: When coach of the Miami Dolphins, a rumor circulated that Saban was seeking to leave and return to college coaching with University of Alabama. On several occasions Saban emphatically denied the rumors and stated that he would continue to be the coach of the Miami Dolphins. Over several weeks, he proclaimed he was going to remain the coach of the Dolphins while at the same time he was seeking the position as Alabama head coach. In the end, he took the coaching position at Alabama. The players for the Miami Dolphins despised him for his antics and the lack of respect he displayed toward them.

The bleacher report has written an excellent example of Saban’s treatment toward other human beings. This is a must read.

A chronology of comments about Nick Saban taking the head coaching job at Alabama: Source- ESPN- 1-4-2007

Nov. 27:
Saban: “When I was in college it was always about coming to the pros. This is the challenge I wanted. I had a good college job. Why would I have left that if I was going to be interested in other college jobs?

“I took this as a challenge. We certainly haven’t seen this through and gotten where we want to go and finished the job here, so why would I be interested in something else?”

Dec. 5:
Dolphins owner Wayne Huizenga (after giving Saban a vote of confidence): “I am completely sold on Nick Saban. I would admit we made a mistake if we did make a mistake, but I firmly believe in Nick Saban.”

Dec. 7:
Saban: “I’m flattered that they may have been interested in me, but it never really progressed, because we just never let it progress.”

Dec. 21:
Saban: “I guess I have to say it. I’m not going to be the Alabama coach. … I don’t control what people say. I don’t control what people put on dot-com or anything else. So I’m just telling you there’s no significance, in my opinion, about this, about me, about any interest that I have in anything other than being the coach here.”

Dec. 27:
Saban: “I’m just making a rule to never comment on something like that again because every time you comment on it, it just makes for another story. So I’m not going to comment on it five years from now, and I’m not going to comment on it next week.”

Jan. 4:
Saban: “What I realized in the last two years is that we love college coaching because of the ability that it gives you to affect people, young people. … If I knew that my heart was someplace else in what I wanted to do, I don’t think it would be fair to the [Dolphins] organization if I stayed.”


Other Saban character links: parents, don’t trust this man with your kids.

thephinsider 12-9-2011

nbcsports – 6-18-2010

espn- 12-21-2006