Blog Entry

Former Tide commitment: "They did me wrong"

Posted on: February 2, 2012 1:56 pm
Edited on: February 2, 2012 2:04 pm

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

A new Kentucky signee who was asked to take a "grayshirt" by Alabama -- delaying his enrollment until January of 2013 and not joining the Crimson Tide until that spring -- has told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution he feels Nick Saban and his program "did me wrong."

Three-star running back recruit Justin Taylor of North Atlanta High School committed to the Tide in early 2011 but suffered a knee injury at the start of his high school season. In January, Taylor was informed by Saban that he would not be able to sign with the Tide on National Signing Day as planned, though Alabama would honor the scholarship offer if he was willing to delay enrollment. Taylor elected to accept a late offer from Kentucky instead and signed with the Wildcats yesterday.

“I knew I wasn’t going to Alabama when I met with Coach Saban at my high school a couple of weeks ago,” Taylor told the AJC. “When Coach Saban came down, I just had this feeling in my heart. I prayed about it and God told me … and I know this sounds kind of crazy … but God told me that Alabama was not the place for me.”

Saban told Taylor the revocation of his original offer was due to his torn ACL, but North Atlanta head coach Stanley Pritchett (a former South Carolina star running back) believes otherwise.

“If you look back on it, you see that it was a numbers game, that Alabama really wanted [Taylor] to sit out because of the numbers,” Pritchett said, referring to the SEC-imposed limit of 25 signees per class. “It kind of makes you mad, but you also feel good that he didn’t go there. Because if he had gone to Alabama, he would’ve probably just have been another number.”

Alabama's final class included 26 signees, one of which "back-counted" to the 2011 class, putting the Tide at exactly 25 players for 2012.

Taylor was not the only longtime Tide commitment asked by Saban to grayshirt; Prichard (Ala) defensive tackle Darius Philon signed with Arkansas despite donning an Alabama hat at his school's signing ceremony. Two of Philon's teammates told the Mobile Press-Register that Philon had been asked to grayshirt last week. Philon had switched his commitment from Auburn to Alabama last September and had not visited any other schools since committing. He underwent knee surgery following the high school season.

Philon refused to speak to the media following the signing ceremony and has yet to make any public comment. Taylor, however, was less shy about his feelings regarding the Tide.

“The way they talked to me, they respected me … but as far as pulling the scholarship, I think they did me wrong," he said. "I was the No. 7 to commit, that’s all I’ve got to say. I was committed to them for a year. They could’ve handled it better.” 

Given that Saban's method of "handling" injured commitments appears to be simply finding players he likes better and forcing those commitments to deal with the consequences, we're inclined to agree.

For video of Saban discussing his No. 1-ranked class on the CBS Sports Network's Signing Day special, click here. 

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Since: Nov 6, 2008
Posted on: February 4, 2012 5:33 pm

To Kim Sylvest

But let me ask you this :How would you like him if he left to take a job at say Auburn?

I once left a job for the competition, so it would be hypocritical of me to come down on him for doing so (even though he actually left for the NFL).  It was a mutually beneficial relationship while I was there and my former boss gave me a good reference.  He understood it was just business and that my family was my motivation. I also knew I was leaving for some time before I told him - I didn't want to get moved to the bottom of the heap for the remainder of my time there (I work on a fee split and some fees are larger than others).

Saban can be rude to the press, but the press can sometimes ask questions that make me wonder if any of them have ever played sports in their lives.  He gets understandably frustrated by non-football questions or hypotheticals that will never happen.  I prefer Saban's honesty to, say, Mack Brown's diplomacy.  

The main two points I wanted to address is that Saban does - quite obviously - care about his players and that the lies regarding Alabama's graduation rate were seemingly pulled out of someone's backside.   

LSU fans should be thankful that Les Miles was next in line - look where Alabama went after Stallings left.  It could be a lot worse than another national championship and being a perennial contender.  And I think you guys should also be thankful for the championship Saban brought to Baton Rouge.  I know when he leaves Alabama I will be very thankful for his service to my school and wish him the best wherever he goes.    

Since: Feb 4, 2012
Posted on: February 4, 2012 9:40 am

Former Tide commitment: "They did me wrong"

BamaNole I believe you are mostly correct, but you should remember that coach Saban's persona is sometimes difficult to take, I happen to believe he is old school just like the coaches I used to play for. Sadly, these sorts of stories do not help his already shaky reputation. Further i believe we all have a right to our opinions about coach Saban even though they might not be accurate. after all coach Saban is polarizing! but he is a winner. I'm an LSU fan and have been all of my life having grown up in Baton Rouge and often have to check a knee jerk reaction to this kind of news myself. But let me ask you this :How would you like him if he left to take a job at say Auburn?

Since: Nov 6, 2008
Posted on: February 4, 2012 1:22 am


To all the haters on this thread:

By all accounts, Saban cares deeply about his players.  He is extremely tough on them but fair, and it shows in the performance they give him every Saturday.  99% of his players will never play in the NFL but they will be prepared for adulthood better than 99% of you obviously were, and I bet 99% of them would tell you that they are better men because of him.  What can be more important than that? He shows them that they are capable of much more than they ever knew, especially when they play (or live, beyond football) for something bigger than themselves, like their team or their university (or their family and community beyond football).  We at Alabama are extremely proud of the way our student athletes conduct themselves on/off the field and beyond college.  

Another thing, none of you have obviously ever competed in life for anything that you want.  A competitor like Saban gets no gratification whatsoever by winning if he has to cheat.  His teams are consistently among the least penalized, which speaks to the culture of perfection that he brings with him.  "Do things the right way" is his mantra.  The chess game on the fringes of recruiting is just another form of competition. None of you has anything concrete to present, no evidence of anything illegal, so STFU already.  If you don't like the rules, have them changed, but they are there to ensure a level playing field and Saban dominates that field. If you don't like it, here's a tissue.  

Lastly, when Saban leaves Dixie for greener pastures, I will not throw a temper tantrum, call him names, or slander him like many of you have. And I won't get on the internet and pretend I'm some righteous superhuman who cannot be bought. Who among you would turn down an opportunity to better your family's security?  I will wish him the best and be thankful for the way he has impacted my university and the players that represent it.  Saban loves his job and probably has more allegiance to his employer than most of us.  Get off your moral high horses and get real. 

Since: Jul 15, 2011
Posted on: February 3, 2012 10:03 pm

Former Tide commitment: "They did me wrong"

Seriously, is anyone surprised that Nick Saban is not a man of his word? He bailed on LSU years ago for the big dough offered by the Dolphins. Then strong arms Alabama boosters into the largest payday known to college football. Again he walks away from his commitment with the Dolphins. Sure these kids are hurt but in the long run they have recieved a lesson in being gullible brought to them by Nick Saban. Oh it hurts bad when you pour your heart and soul into a relationship that you later find out is only one-sided. Future recruits should remember not to accept Saban at his word as it  is worthless. This is not me talking as Saban's actions have said all this. In the past he has been called Nick Satin is there any question as to why?

Since: Feb 3, 2012
Posted on: February 3, 2012 9:03 pm

Former Tide commitment: "They did me wrong"

He has a lake house named Georgia?

Since: Feb 3, 2012
Posted on: February 3, 2012 8:48 pm

Former Tide commitment: "They did me wrong"

can anyone out there spell G R E E N E Y E D  M O N S T E R?
all this negative %$#@ about BAMA is nothing but jealously!    99.9% of the writers of this %$#@ would give two of their limbs for Saban to be the coach of "their" team....some friendly advice....either get on board or get out of the way because Saban + Bama = more national championship....the number will depend on how long he wants to coach before retiring to his lake house georgia!!!!

Since: Nov 6, 2008
Posted on: February 3, 2012 8:09 pm

Former Tide commitment: "They did me wrong"


Alabama is ranked #5, just behind Stanford in academic achievment among football players.

Since: Nov 6, 2008
Posted on: February 3, 2012 8:04 pm

Former Tide commitment: "They did me wrong"

"Alabama does not graduate its football players, having one of the worst graduating % in the country, according to the NCAA."

That is just a flat-out lie.  I love when people have no argument so they make up facts as needed.  Here is something commonly referred to as a "source" (your arse does not count):

Since: Feb 3, 2012
Posted on: February 3, 2012 7:45 pm

Former Tide commitment: "They did me wrong"

You have the same attitude as saban and it reflects. No morals or character and not caring about the players you PROMISED and offered scholarships to. Bama is the most penalized college football team in the history of the NCAA and will soon be on probation again. Looks like bama will have another 0-12 season again soon like 1993. Saban is a liar and the kids around the country will expose him soon. This is why saban never stays at one place too long and he will leave bama soon too.

Since: Feb 3, 2012
Posted on: February 3, 2012 7:39 pm

Former Tide commitment: "They did me wrong"

Nothing new here. Saban lies to his players and the only thing saban cares about is himself. He oversigns every year, he cuts players every spring and summer. After he "offers" high school players and they get hurt he will not keep his word. We know of 2 players already, Darius Philon and Justin Taylor. Both had injuries. Alabama does not graduate its football players, having one of the worst graduating % in the country, according to the NCAA. Bama fans drink the kool aid and believe anything this liar (saban) says. He gives out softball scholarships to recruits girlfriends, runs a daycare for the players kids and cheats every year. He thinks he will get away with it since the head of the NCAA, Mark Emmert, hired him at LSU. Watch how many playerd saban "cuts" this spring and summer. We need an early signing period and 4 year scholarships to protect the high school players from people like saban.

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