Alabama coach Nick Saban is one of college football's poster boys for gaming the system when it comes to the dark arts of "roster management." In keeping with that reputation, Alabama voted earlier this month in favor of an unsuccessful proposal to rescind NCAA legislation enabling schools to offer recruits multi-year scholarships.
Yet, in an interview with TideSports.com published today, the Nicktator was singing a different tune:
"We're going to offer four-year scholarships... And we're happy to do it."
See, we've had Saban's stance on the issue all wrong. He just wanted to make sure that the parameters of multi-year scholarships had been properly defined. According to Saban, people are worried about getting sued or something.
Keep in mind that if a school is willing to offer prospects multi-year scholarships, it gains a competitive advantage on the recruiting trail against teams offering renewable, one-year deals. In reality, 'Bama has no choice but to offer four-year scholarships, lest the Tide start losing recruits to programs that are – Auburn, Florida, etc.
And don't forget that, as our buddy Michael Felder has explained, Saban and his coaching brethren still have plenty of tools at his disposal to unburden himself of non-contributors. For example, expect to see plenty of 'Bammers exiting the program as the result of selective enforcement of "unspecified team rules."
In fact, if I didn't know better, I'd think the schools are pushing a bait-and-switch dressed up as progress.