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WSJ on Nick Saban and "medical" scholarships

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by Steak Snabler, Sep 24, 2010.

  1. Steak Snabler

    Steak Snabler Well-Known Member

    This was originally posted on the Feinbaum thread, but I thought it was an interesting enough topic to stand on its own:


    I have mixed feelings on this:

    On the one hand, it IS a shady practice. When I was on the Alabama beat, we used to joke about it every time a marginal player turned his ankle, that he'd be on "medical scholarship" by the time the next recruiting class arrived.

    On the other hand, Saban could always non-renew their scholarships, which is perfectly legal under NCAA rules but can be a PR disaster. This way, they at least get to stay in school and maybe get a degree.

    Kirschman, the "star witness" for this story, is an interesting case. He was only recruited by Alabama in the first place because Mike Shula thought it would help land his close friend and high school teammate, one Tim Tebow (perhaps you've heard of him).

    Bottom line: If Kirschman thought he could still play, he should have refused the medical scholarship and transferred somewhere he could crack the line-up, like a Georgia Southern or Jacksonville U.

    But something tells me he's better off with his master's degree from Alabama and his high-salary job at Mercedes.
  2. Drip

    Drip Active Member

    This "practice" has been going on for years. Sort of like the practice of giving a scholarship to a bench warmer with a 4.0 so that the overall grade of the program is higher than it actually is. It's screwed up. It's college football pimping kids.
  3. Boom_70

    Boom_70 Well-Known Member

    Saban plan is better than the Darryl Royal plan of running kids off the team as documented in Meat on The Hoof.

    Book implied that Royal tried to create medical problems for players he wanted to run off.
  4. Baron Scicluna

    Baron Scicluna Well-Known Member

    I agree. It's not an ideal situation, but at least the players can stay in school and keep their scholarships.

    I for one, would like to see a scholarship guaranteed for four years if a player signs unless they breach the scholarship with criminal behavior or poor academic performance.
  5. Michael_ Gee

    Michael_ Gee Well-Known Member

    I read the article, and it seemed the players who did this were conflicted about it. They thought they could still have played, but all of them said it was their decision to accept the medical scholarship, so the "pressured to do so" part of this story seems pretty murky to me.
  6. Smallpotatoes

    Smallpotatoes Well-Known Member

    I'd like to see that, too, but how much would it force coaches to work with one hand tied behind their backs?
  7. Starman

    Starman Well-Known Member

    Maybe they should offer scholarships to players who are good enough to actually make the team?
  8. Baron Scicluna

    Baron Scicluna Well-Known Member

    Too bad. The kids are supposed to be in school to go to school, not just play football. It's supposed to be an extracurricular activity.
  9. mustangj17

    mustangj17 Active Member

    This is absolutely, 100 percent an exploitation of an NCAA loophole. Saban essentially gets to try out four extra players per year. Sixteen per a roster that has 85 players. That's a huge advantage. It needs to be stopped.
  10. Boom_70

    Boom_70 Well-Known Member

    It seems like a win win to me. Also seems plausible in D 1 program that their could be 4 kids per year that have career ending injuries.

    I would also assume that if Alabama is doing it that their are others also.
  11. slappy4428

    slappy4428 Active Member

    But they aren't, because they have to publicly declare a medical scholarship... it's not something you can hide.
  12. Starman

    Starman Well-Known Member


    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 15, 2014
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