The University of Alabama just received 24 hours notice from the NCAA about the status of their student-athletes involvement in a text book scandal. Apparently, certain student-athletes might have been receiving extra benefits by either selling or by helping fellow students by letting them use their vouchers to get books. That's a no,no in the NCAA's eyes.
On the surface this would be an open and shut case and Alabama wouldn’t have anything to worry about. Problem is this will be the third time in 15 years that Alabama may be facing probation.
Although they did follow procedure, investigated and turn themselves in, there is no guarantee that anything the athletic department did will save them from being hammered again by the NCAA.
As the NCAA has shown in the past, cooperating with them does not mean you’ll get a lighter sentence. It just means they like what did and give you a nice slap on the back for making their jobs easier.
Back in 2002, many remember the Albert Means case with a booster. Alabama cooperated fully with the NCAA and they still got slapped; now many Alabama fans don’t know what to expect to hear tomorrow.
Some experts speculate that it might be a loss of a few scholarships and may be some wins taken away if these student-athletes were involved in this during the time of their eligibility.
The good news is at least it seems the football program may not be too affected by the ruling; bad news is as it was reported in the Birmingham News yesterday that over 200 athletes were involved. Rumor has it the program that may be effective the most by all of this could be track and field. But track and field doesn’t have 200 athletes, so there was more then just them and the football program involved.
The question is how long will Mal Moore be athletic director if the school is hurt again? This is the second time under his watch that the NCAA is knocking on the door and you wonder how long the university and President Robert Witt is going to let Moore skate.
At a certain point, does Witt decide he has had enough and wants Moore to step down? For all the good Mal Moore has done for Alabama -- like raise funds for the athletic department, stadium expansion, hiring Anthony Grant and Nick Saban -- he also has the stain of NCAA probation on his resume as well.
If Bama does get nailed again by the sanctions committee tomorrow, Moore maybe asked to step down to save face. If that were to happen, it will be a sad day for the University of Alabama. Moore is the last link to the Bryant Legacy. But knowing what kind of man Moore is said to be, it wouldn’t surprise many if he does just that to save his beloved University.
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