The controversy that wasn’t: Alabama football commitment Darius Page of Pensacola, Florida is transferring to nearby Foley High School, located no more than 30 miles as the crow flies from his original panhandle home.
The controversy? His former coach and former athletic director accused Alabama coach Jeremy Pruitt of steering him to Foley for nefarious purposes like improving his chances of academically qualifying to play.
Them cheatin’ Bammers, PAWWWLLL!!!
Pruitt and Alabama can’t defend themselves against allegations like this because NCAA by-laws expressly forbid them from discussing prospective student-athletes that they may or may not be recruiting.
So, allow me.
Hell Yeah, Pruitt steered Paige to Foley and there’s not a damned thing anyone can do about it, because there’s absolutely nothing wrong with it. There are no NCAA by-laws forbidding him or anyone else from answering an inquiry about steps a kid can take to become eligible to play college football. That includes advice on which schools are better suited to getting him where he needs to be.
So screw all y’all raising the ruckus over Paige’s midnight move across the state line. Whatcha gonna do about it?
Instead, go look into Reuben Foster’s transfer to Auburn High School and subsequent commitment switch from Alabama to Auburn. Want to know why Foster transferred? Because he needs help to qualify academically and he was leaving a program that just lost its coach. Sounds a lot like the Paige deal, doesn’t it?
It’s all on the up-and-up, folks. Don’t ask me. Ask John Infante, author of the only blog dedicated to coverage and discussion of NCAA compliance rules.
“Not only does this transfer appear to be on the up-and-up, but the explanation given is even commendable. If a kid needs to play catch-up with the eligibility requirements, you’d much rather he do it in a regular classroom,” Infante said today on Twitter.
“Regular classroom” means during the normal fall semester setting rather than summer school, which is much less structured. It also means in a “block system” that allows a player to take additional courses (eight rather than six) and improve his academic performance. His old school didn’t offer that. His new one does.
So, Hell Yeah. Pruitt not only (probably) did steer Paige to Foley, he did the kid a great favor in the process and does so with the blessing of the NCAA.
Exit Question: When was the last time a Nick Saban led football program was placed on probation for recruiting violations? I’ll hang up and listen.