Nick Saban

Saban: Tide to offer four-year scholarships


Along with about 62 percent of all Division 1 institutions, Alabama voted in February to rescind a proposal that would allow for a significant change in how scholarships for student-athletes are handled, moving from the current one-year renewable model to four-year grants.

That majority wasn’t enough to override the proposal, however, and the multiyear scholarship option remains in place.  And, in fact, it’s an option the Tide intends to utilize.

Speaking to Cecil Hurt of, head coach Nick Saban confirmed that the football program will offer four-year scholarships beginning in 2013.  Saban said, in essence, that the uncertainty swirling around the issue forced the school’s hand into not speaking on the subject publicly.

“Last year, it was something that was tabled,” Saban said. “Then there was the vote to rescind. We just wanted to know exactly what the rule would be before we made a comment. What if we had started offering four-year scholarships and then the rule had been changed back?”

One thing Saban stressed, and probably hasn’t been stressed enough, is the fact that, while the sport is moving away from one-year scholarships to multiyear ones, a player can still have his scholarship stripped if he fails to meet his obligations off the field and in the classroom.

“Most of the conditions are still the same,” he says. “The player will still have to be academically eligible. He will still have to obey team rules and regulations. And the player is still going to have the same rights and the same appeals process that he has now.”

Saban added that he thinks all of the members of the SEC will offer four-year scholarships beginning next year.  Along with the Tide, LSU, Tennessee and Texas A&M voted earlier this month to rescind the proposal.

The reality is, though, Saban and the other coaches had no choice but to go along with the multiyear scholarships after the override failed.  Being a holdout, especially in the hyper-competitive SEC, would have put a school at a disadvantage on the recruiting front as it would’ve certainly been used against them.

In Baker Mayfield, Texas set to face yet another QB who wanted to be a Longhorn

Baker Mayfield
Associated Press

Jameis WinstonJohnny ManzielAndrew LuckRobert Griffin IIIJ.T. Barrett. Oh, don’t mind me. Just recounting the number of quarterbacks with ties to the Texas football program that never received a sniff from Bevo’s famous snout.

Add another to the list, perhaps the most inexplicable of all: Baker Mayfield.

Mayfield played at Lake Travis High School in Austin, a powerhouse program in a state that specializes in them. Lightly recruited out of high school (he reportedly held only an offer from Florida Atlantic), Mayfield and his family reached out to the nearby program to see if they’d take him as a walk-on.

They said no.

“They told us he had five scholarship quarterbacks, so there wasn’t any need of ‘Bake’ coming out there,” James Mayfield, Baker’s father, told George Schroeder of USA Today. “I popped off that they had five scholarship quarterbacks that couldn’t even play for Lake Travis. That’s where our relationship stalled out.”

On one hand, it utterly boggles the mind why Texas would decline a successful high school quarterback willing to pay his own way on to the team, especially considering the state of the position at the time. On the other, one would see why Mack Brown‘s staff would pass on a kid with only an offer from FAU who says UT’s quarterbacks couldn’t start for his high school team.

Instead, Texas signed Tyrone Swoopes and Mayfield enrolled at Texas Tech. He won the starting job as a true freshman, transferred to Oklahoma, walked on and then won the starting job there.

And now he’s set to face the hometown team he at one time wished he could play for.

Mayfield has completed 88-of-135 throws for 1,382 yards with 13 touchdowns and three interceptions – good for a 178.52 passer rating, which ranks fifth nationally – while adding 138 yards and four scores on the ground. His counterpart, redshirt freshman Jerrod Heard, has connected on 42-of-76 passes for 661 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions (131.74 passer rating) to go with a team-leading 67 carries for 318 yards and three touchdowns.

“As perverse as all this has been, he’s where he wanted to be,” James Mayfield said. “He’s living his dream. If he had to do it all over again, he’d do it, with the same outcome.”

Appalachian State announces five-year extension for head coach Scott Satterfield

Scott Satterfield
Associated Press

One day after it was revealed its head coach was the second-lowest paid in college football, Appalachian State announced a five-year contract extension for head coach Scott Satterfield.

“We have the right coach leading our football program in Scott Satterfield,” Appalachian State AD Doug Gillin said in a statement. “In nearly three years as head coach, he has stayed true to his convictions, built the program the right way and set Appalachian State football up for sustainable success both in the Sun Belt Conference and at the national level.”

Satterfield had earned $375,000 annually, ahead of only Louisiana-Monroe’s Todd Berry at $360,000 a year.

Satterfield, 42, is 14-14 in his third season at the Boone, N.C., school. He led the Mountaineers to a 7-5 mark in their debut Sun Belt season, and has the club at 3-1 to start the 2015 campaign.

“It’s exciting for my family and me to know that we’re going to be at Appalachian for the foreseeable future,” Satterfield added. “I’m living a dream by being the head coach at my alma mater and can’t wait to continue to work hard to help this program reach heights that it has never reached before.”