Roster maneuvering is one of the difficult tasks a college football coach has to manage. Because of injuries, attrition, or a lack of development by a player, coaches began employing the practice of oversigning — signing more players than are allowed to be on scholarship, accounting for the aforementioned factors. Alabama coach Nick Saban has already been accused of overusing medical hardships as a way to create more roster space while allowing players to keep on scholarship. Now The Wall Street Journal, which seems to be all over Saban’s case, has comments from three players who say Saban lied about why they were let go from the program.
In August last year, Saban said four players were not being invited back to the program for violating some type of team rule. He said “These guys all did something. It doesn’t make them bad people.…These guys didn’t do what they were supposed to do here, whether it was for academic reasons or whatever. They’re not going to be part of the program.”
The Journal caught up with three of the four players involved — Alonzo Lawrence, Jermaine Preyear and Prince Hall — two of whom said they transferred because of playing time concerns, not because they violated team rules. They believe Saban made the comments to protect the program so future recruits wouldn’t be scared away from signing with the school.
In Saban’s defense, two of the players (Hall and Brandon Fanney) had faced disciplinary actions within the program, but Hall says Saban tried to talk him out of transferring. This definitely seems like Saban is trying to spin things in the best interest of the program and making the students look bad which is unacceptable. There is an easy fix to this situation: a crackdown on oversigning.