Alabama Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban has asked a top recruit to either delay his enrollment or grayshirt – and the usual suspects are up in arms.
Bradley Bozeman, a four-star offensive tackle from Roanoke, Al., was given the news during his official visit to Alabama this past weekend, according to Rivals.com recruiting analyst Andrew Bone.
“Coach Saban switched my scholarship to a grayshirt,” Bozman said. “I have known about it for about two months. We have been keeping it on the down low. We didn’t know for sure if that was going to be the option. It was due to the ACL injury. It will give me more time to get stronger.”
Already the Atlanta Journal-Constitution – long a critic of Saban and a vocal advocate for the Georgia Bulldogs when it comes to recruiting – has taken Saban to task.
“Gray-shirting” is a creative way and controversial way to circumvent the SEC’s new over-signing rules on a 25-man annual limit on class size. Some have accused Alabama of using it in an unfair manner to provide upgrades over injured recruits when scholarships are limited.
The AJC created a bit of a dustup last week when they took reports that Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart was being considered for the same position with the Philadelphia Eagles, and turned it into a near certainty:
Reports suggest Alabama’s Kirby Smart has taking defensive coordinator job with the Philadelphia Eagles.
— ajc sports editor (@ajcsportseditor) January 18, 2013
Those reports were later put to rest, but it’s par for the course at the AJC. Of course, the fact that the Bulldogs’ own Todd Grantham is also being considered for the same Eagles position, so throwing the dogs off that particular trail and onto Alabama might help recruiting, no?
There’s no doubt Alabama’s coaches act in the best interests of the overall team; everyone knows that going in. But Nick Saban has proved beyond doubt that he wants all of his players to succeed and puts them in the best possible decision to do so. Bradley Bozeman knows this, and is honoring his commitment:
Honestly, I think it’s the best decision for me. I trust in the coaches. They are going to make the right decision. They won three out of the four national championships. I am going to honor my commitment. I am staying with them.
The Atlanta sportswriters know this too; but reporting it doesn’t help out the hometown team, does it?