The (Almost) Final Word about Alabama's Textbook Scandal

Larry BurtonSenior Writer IJune 11, 2009

The NCAA today formally announced it's decision on the textbook scandal at Alabama.  Now the ruling awaits an appeal.

Before I go further, let me say that this is, and was, a scandal. Students there should be ashamed of themselves for doing this. When something sounds too good to be true, it usually is and they should have known better.

Over 200 students used their "books and tuition" scholarships to obtain textbooks they shouldn't have. Some were given to friends, some were obtained to sell to others.  Either way they found a way to get their school in trouble. 

As just about every sport at the university was involved except for, perhaps, women's rowing, this was not a one sport problem, or even a sports problem, as some students did the same thing with their academic scholarships.

This started in 2005 long before Nick Saban arrived and was brought to the NCAA's attention immediately upon discovery.

All athletes have made financial restitution for any money they have gotten. The university will deal with students on a case-by-case basis for their won punishments.

Football players have already been sat down by Nick Saban and missed games.

The penalties are that the university will remain on probation for another three years, pay fines to help offset the cost of the investigation, and that records for all sports would be changed where student athletes who participated in these contests to reflect no wins.

The good news is that except for continued probation, the ruling will have no effect on this year's team whatsoever. 

The bad news is the continued probation.

The university has lawyers drafting an appeal. 

They will appeal the records being changed as no unfair advantage was gained by these actions and ask that continued probation be dropped since this was an infraction that was caught by the university and immediate punishments and actions were taken by the university that initially satisfied the NCAA.

So for all the rabid Alabama haters that said our athletes cheated, yes, 22 were athletes out of the 201 students found to be in violation for getting extra books.  Eight of them played football. All eight were immediately punished by Saban upon discovery.

The NCAA found the punishment satisfactory and allowed them to return to playing time after being sat out of games.

Nick Saban is happy that this will not affect this year's team and that they can go forward with all scholarships, TV, and postseason play in place.

For all of you who predicted doom and gloom, get used to this feeling. Alabama is set to continue to cause you much more disappointment for several more years to come. And for those who thought Saban would flee, he's laughing at you.

The worst is over, and that was the waiting, Alabama fans can now breathe a sigh of relief while the 'Bama haters also sigh also.

Only their sighs are of disappointment. Get used to it.

UPDATE!

You can see Alabama's official response to the NCAA's decision at:

http://www.tidesports.com/article/20090611/NEWS/906119961/1011?Title=Alabama-ordered-to-vacate-21-football-wins

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