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Did Saban Break Rules By Visiting Recruit?

Yesterday we told you that Oklahoma City recruit Barry Sanders Jr. had told the press that Alabama’s Nick Saban had told him that Mark Ingram was turning pro early.

Sanders is a junior in high school.  Saban met with him on Wednesday at his high school.

Whoops.  Now folks from Oklahoma to Auburn — especially Auburn — are asking questions.  Here’s why…

An extended conversation between Saban and Sanders is a potential violation of NCAA Bylaw which states: “Off-campus recruiting contacts shall not be made with an individual (or his or her relatives or legal guardians) before July 1 following the completion of his or her junior year in high school.”

Further, NCAA Bylaw defines contact as “any face-to-face encounter between a prospective student-athlete… during which any dialogue occurs in excess of an exchange of a greeting.  Any such face-to-face encounter that is prearranged or that takes place on the ground of the prospective student-athlete’s institution… shall be considered a contact.”

That photo at left seems to show a pretty clear face-to-face encounter between Saban and Sanders.  (Sidenote — It’s reported that that is Barry Sanders Jr. in the photo, but we at MrSEC have no idea if that’s him or not. believes it’s him.)

According to — the Rivals site covering Alabama — Sanders said, “Coach Saban came to my school this week to talk to some of my coaches and I saw him for a quick moment passing by in the halls.”

Saban is well known for the accidental bump-into.  In fact, he’s had so many “bump-intos” with recruits that the NCAA chose to implement what’s been called “The Saban Rule,” banning such “accidental” run-ins and keeping head coaches from making recruiting visits during the spring evaluation period.

In case you’re wondering, a violation of would be secondary in nature. 

However, Alabama is currently serving an NCAA probation.  Also, the NCAA has begun suspending coaches — like Saban pal Tom Izzo of Michigan State — for violating certain secondary rules.

In other words, if the NCAA takes note of this one and determines that a rule was violated — given Saban’s history with this type of violation — the spanking could be a bit more severe than it might have been just a year or two ago.



26 Responses to “Did Saban Break Rules By Visiting Recruit?”

  1. [...] 1/7/11 DID SABAN BREAK RULES BY VISITING RECRUIT? Bump rule or secondary violation,big deal. Alabama | Reply With Quote + Reply to Thread « Previous Thread | Next [...]

  2. YamslingeR says:

    What a coincidence. Again.

  3. Wordman says:

    I'm glad there are no really important things going on in the world of college football. I love reading this kind of drivel.

  4. Jim says:

    lol bunch of sore LOSERS, crying because Alabama is getting all the studs yet again. Get over it. And it *would be in the nature of Auburn fans to go crying over a secondary violation 'bump-in' , after paying 200 grand to get their heisman winning QB.

    • sanman says:

      Bama will forever have a bullseye on their backs, ……..just like the prom queen; everyone is jealous and everyone still wants a piece! Bama produces Road Scholars, first round draft picks, Heisman Trophy winners,…….we break records, we make history, we set the bar for other teams to strive for………..What we don't do is produce, protect, and pay for aggregious and felonious players, we will leave that up to Auburn.

  5. Jim says:

    And the bottom line, is while fat-a$$ coaches around the country are sitting at home this time of year, Saban is on the recruiting trail. Probably why Alabama was #1 in recruiting 2 of the past 3 years, and quite possibly this year AND next year.

  6. GUEST says:


  7. mlc15121 says:

    Meanwhile it’s still ok for your dad to whore out your services and change grades to be eligible for bowl games.

  8. JPod says:

    I am pretty sure it is Sanders, unless Saban is talking to another black kid at a very prestigous private school in OKC that just had surgery on the right foot and is wheeling around on one of those contraptions designed to take the weight off the foot. I mean, there could be, what, a dozen or so of those kids in the school, right? PLUS, I hate to break it to you but Sterling Shephard is the best RB in that school.

  9. blake thomas says:


  10. Bill Codner says:

    The inferiority complexes shared by so many of the Farmers really rears it's ugly head whenever Saban so much as breathes. It's really a pitiful state of affairs. Class has never been an Awbarn attribute.

  11. H-Town Dawg says:

    Aww, come on! Saban accidentally wandered onto campus and had no idea the kid would be there on a school day. Saban didn't know…just like Cam didn't know what Daddy was doing, either. And, of course, Fairley isn't dirty. And Ohio State didn't get preferential treatment from the NCAA…

  12. Cooter Love says:

    The Comments on this story are GREAT. The Bammers bring out the best in everybody!

  13. McLagman says:

    Is this how Saban "outworks" everyone? I thought you didn't have to cheat to win at Bama.

  14. McLagman says:

    How many high schools has Saban visited that didn't have a potential Bama recruit? Can one of you blog journalists get a list of his visits?

  15. nmc says:

    Wow—and I'm sure that the facilities at heritage hall in Oklahoma were so nice that Saban needed to fly there to view them?

    If it was an Ok State coach - he'd be banned for years.

  16. Truth says:

    Once a cheater always a cheater.Bear Bryant was a cross dressing f4g.

  17. YamslingeR says:

    What's the matter Tard?

  18. thomas says:

    Sorry Greg. Bama's been cheating for years. Bear Bryant shaved points too.

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