TUSCALOOSA, AL - APRIL 17: Coach Nick Saban of the Alabama Crimson Tide reacts during the Alabama spring game at Bryant Denny Stadium on April 17, 2010 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. (Photo by Dave Martin/Getty Images)
Alabama will guarantee its football players complete educations after all, Nick Saban has said.
The NCAA's move to allow programs to offer four-year scholarships wasn't all that popular in the SEC. Though the Auburn Tigers and Florida Gators said they gave out four-year deals this Signing Day, the Georgia Bulldogs said they essentially have all along, and the SEC itself along with almost all of its schools voted to support the measure.
But the Alabama Crimson Tide voted against it, as did the LSU Tigers, Tennessee Volunteers, and Texas A&M Aggies, with South Carolina Gamecocks coach Steve Spurrier expressing distaste for the whole thing. Since Alabama's the flagship of the conference for the time being OR TIL THEY QUIT WINNIN' TITLES EVERY YEAR, the Tide's stance matters the most in the public eye.
So of course Nick Saban told Tide Sports that Bama and "our whole conference ... all the schools" will offer four-year scholarships. And not just do it, but be "happy to do it." Onlookers are right to be surprised, as Alabama's been the biggest target of oversigning rants due to its extremely creative recruiting practices. Yes, that's about the nicest way to say that.
Which ... huh. This changes things, it would seem.