â†µAlabama will have an unspecified number of wins (possibly 10, according to sources) from the 2005-2007 seasons vacated because seven football players participated in some shenanigans involving textbooks. They will also go on three years probation as an institution with misbehavior the NCAA described in their report as leaving investigators "troubled, nonetheless, by the scope of the violations in this instance and by the institution's recent history of infractions cases." (The misbehavior spread to other Crimson Tide squads, most notably the women's track and field team, but the four biggest malefactors all came from the football team.) â†µ
â†µWhatever. A few harmless turnovers and missed field goals in an other wise satisfying ball-control victory against the NCAA is what probation and vacating wins is to Alabama, which going into the case faced the possibility of real live torment at the hands of the NCAA. â†µ(Many Alabama fans remain justifiably mad over the Antonio Langham case and the resulting carnage wreaked by the NCAA in the â†µ1990s.) The Tide lost no scholarships in the matter, and will be able to play on New Year's Day and beyond, and otherwise function as a full- capacity shark in swimming in the fiercely contested waters of the SEC. â†µâ†µ
â†µIt may as well be national title No. 37, or whatever title you care to claim as yours, Tide fan. (It's 12, I know. But count as many as you like, Alabama fan, since you're going to do that anyway.) Nick Saban gets his own bronze figurine to stand amid the circle of bronze titans looming outside Bryant-Denny Stadium, slightly shorter than the others, but taller in one respect: unlike other Crimson Tide coaches, he led the Tide to a decisive win in the bizarro court of the NCAA Rules Enforcement Committee. Saban may have been on the USC campus this past week to shoot a commercial, but Pete Carroll should have picked his brains in this department while he was there. â†µâ†µ
â†µ(While you're in the NCAA Pwning Consulting biz, Coach, please pick up some extra bucks by stopping in Gainesville and telling Florida a thing or two about PR and and proper handling of the NCAA's long arm. At this rate, we won't be selling textbooks illegally, we'll just be taking them at gunpoint along with the cash register. By the way, the howler in that response? Urban Meyer's fifth class with zero arrests he's so proud of just graduated high school. I didn't pick up my first misdemeanor until I was 19: where's my friggin' medal, Urban?) â†µâ†µ
This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.