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Citing ‘a personal matter’, QB Sims to transfer from Tide

Phillip Sims AP

With A.J. McCarron firmly entrenched under center for this season and next (probably), it’s comes as little surprise that the man behind Alabama’s starting quarterback has decided to ply his football wares elsewhere.

Confirming speculation that’s been running hot and cold for a few months or so, the Tide announced Friday afternoon that Phillip Sims has decided to transfer from the football program.  The release stated that Sims will move on following the completion of the spring academic semester.

“Phillip has been a great representative of our program and did a great job for us in his two years here,” said head coach Nick Saban in a statement. “We are sorry to see him leave, but we certainly understand the situation, and everyone here wishes him the best of luck.

“We’ve talked on numerous occasions about this decision and we just want Phillip to know that we will be here to support him in the future if there is anything we can do to help him and his family.”

With Sims’ impending departure, it appears McCarron caddie duties will fall squarely on the shoulders of redshirt freshman Phillip Ely.

Sims came to Tuscaloosa as a much-hyped four-star member of the Tide’s 2010 recruiting class, rated as the No. 2 pro-style quarterback by  After redshirting as a true freshman, Sims and McCarron waged a battle for the starting job that commenced in spring practice last year and technically continued into the very early portion of the 2011 regular season.

After McCarron officially took the reins of the offense, and then played a significant role in the Tide’s second BcS title in three years, however, the writing was very clearly and plainly written on the locker room wall for Sims or anyone else to see.  Despite the obvious on-field reasons, Sims said in his statement that personal off-field issues and the need to be closer to home was the overriding factor in his decision to leave.

“This was a very difficult decision because I’ve had a great experience at the University of Alabama and I’m thankful for the opportunity this program provided me,” said Sims in his statement. “I want to thank Coach Saban and the coaching staff for being with me and my family at this time. I wouldn’t change anything about my decision to come to Alabama and this has been one of the greatest experiences of my life.

“The reason for me leaving is nothing more than a personal matter. I just need to be closer to home to support my family at this time and that needs to be my priority right now. I would still like to continue my football career, and hopefully I can do that and also be there for my family.”

In eight games last season, Sims completed 64.3 percent of his passes for 163 yards.

There is no word yet on where the Chesapeake, Va., native may land, although a pair of in-state ACC schools might be as good a place as any.  In particular, the University of Virginia is thought to be a prime early contender to land Sims’ services.

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39 Responses to “Citing ‘a personal matter’, QB Sims to transfer from Tide”
  1. lionsdetroitcom says: Apr 27, 2012 4:35 PM

    Something seems fishy…

  2. drexelvol says: Apr 27, 2012 4:50 PM

    “A personal matter.” Translation:

    I personally don’t want to be a backup anymore.

  3. seanb20124 says: Apr 27, 2012 4:50 PM

    VT really can’t use you, instant eligibility at ODU and Hampton.

  4. rolltide510 says: Apr 27, 2012 5:10 PM

    “lionsdetroitcom says:
    Apr 27, 2012 4:35 PM
    Something seems fishy…”

    Yeah, a highly recruited quarterback loses a QB competition and decides to transfer the following spring. Something just isn’t right here. I think we should dig deeper into this matter.

  5. trainsaw says: Apr 27, 2012 5:56 PM

    Come to Charlottesville Sims!

  6. Deb says: Apr 27, 2012 6:00 PM

    We’ve been blessed to have two talented quarterbacks since McElroy graduated, but A.J. definitely has separated himself at this point. I’m sure being part of that competition helped Sims hone his skills–and it’s not bad getting to walk away with a ring. Wish him all the best as he moves on. He’ll be an asset to whatever program he joins. Good luck, Phillip!!

  7. urfinished says: Apr 27, 2012 6:04 PM

    Charlottesville? He wants his NFL prospects to increase, not his odds of dying on the field.
    From the early stories out there, Mike London will “exaggerate” to no end to get him there though.

  8. teedraper says: Apr 27, 2012 6:07 PM

    Black qb’s take note. You have a better chance of winning the lottery than to start at qb for Bama. James Winston knew better which is why he didn’t go there.

  9. vols84 says: Apr 27, 2012 7:04 PM

    VT would be a great fit.

  10. jdhall320 says: Apr 27, 2012 7:20 PM

    @teedraper I guess these guys one the lottery !

    Walter Lewis 1980-1983 First Black QB at Alabama, USFL – Memphis, Spent time w /NE Patriots, Also played in CFL 1985-86

    David Palmer 1991-1993 Primary Position was WR, started at QB for injured Jay Barker, Finished 3rd in 1993 Heisman Balloting as a Jr.

    Vince Sutton 1984-1988

    Danny Woodson 1990-1991

    Andrew Zow 1998-2002
    All Time Leading Passer at Alabama

  11. dcroz says: Apr 27, 2012 7:57 PM


    Women take note: teedraper is missing a few chromosomes. Think about that before contemplating going back to his place from the bar at 2 AM…especially considering the last five letters of his name.

    (So I’ve matched your asinine statement with one of my own…though somehow I doubt you will catch the humor in it.)

  12. dcroz says: Apr 27, 2012 9:59 PM

    As far as Sims goes: I’m not surprised that he decided to transfer (aside from it taking him longer than I thought it would). Barring injury or totally falling apart, McCarron will be the starter for the next two years, as I seriously doubt Saban’s system will allow him to accumulate the sort of numbers he’d need to be a major player in next year’s NFL draft if he wanted to leave early. That would mean that the earliest Sims could earn the starting job would be as a senior, meaning a) only a monster season would give him a chance to be a top NFL draft choice (and see about Saban’s system above) and b) there is a better-than-even chance that ‘Bama would rather go with trying to develop a younger QB who could give them 2-3 years rather than a one-year guy like Sims would be.

    I hate to see him go, but this is likely the best decision for him. I wish him all the best in his future endeavors and hope he makes some lucky team out there an outstanding QB.

  13. Deb says: Apr 27, 2012 10:21 PM

    @dcroz …

    teedraper is an ignorant bigot. Either he hates the SEC or Alabama or the South, but he uses his hate to stereotype a school, a conference, a region based on nothing but his own sick imaginings.

  14. TxGrown says: Apr 27, 2012 11:10 PM

    Hey “teedraper” thanks for keeping it real…..”REAL STUPID”! Moron.

  15. dcroz says: Apr 27, 2012 11:31 PM


    Yes, I know. It still burns me when some idiot essentially accuses the South of thinking that it is still 1964, when in fact it is the non-Southerners who remain stuck in the past about race relations, both in terms of what it is like in the South here in 2012 AND in terms of what it is really like outside of it.

    A number of years ago when I was a student at ‘Bama working in the Student Health Center, I had the pleasure and honor of getting to know a lady who was our new Health Information Director. She had been a member of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham in 1964 when it was bombed by Klansmen and four girls were killed; all of them were her friends. She told me a story of how recently she and a few other black healthcare professionals had attended a conference in New Jersey and were pulled over by a NJ State patrolman for no other apparent reason than they were well-dressed black persons riding in a nice (rental) car. The officer searched the car, found nothing of interest, then let them go. She told me that as they were getting back into the car, she told the patrolman, “I don’t ever want to hear anyone up here talking about the South again.”

    It always makes me want to laugh when I hear Northerners talking about stupidity or lack of education in the South as if it were an all-white neighborhood, forgetting that a sizeable number of Southerners are minorities. For example, last figures I saw, 36% of Mississippi is black. I also remember when I was in college that Alabama’s student body was something like 12% black, and that this was one of the highest proportions of a major non-HBC in the country at the time (this being about 25 years ago). And it also seems to me that the Watts riots, the Detroit riots, the Rodney King-LA riots, the Boston busing crisis, the Amadou Diallo controversy, and the issue of racial profiling in general were all racial issues that happened OUTSIDE of the South. Perhaps Yankees should clean up their own racial porch before trying to point fingers at the South…especially since several blacks I’ve talked to who have spent time up there have said they had more racial issues with Yankees than they’ve ever had south of Mason’s and Dixon’s Pennsylvania-Maryland boundary.

  16. Deb says: Apr 27, 2012 11:58 PM

    @dcroz …

    Couldn’t have said it better. Racism is still pervasive in our society and it’s certainly not a regional issue. From police shootings in New York to the suspension of the death penalty in Illinois due to racial bias in prosecutions, this has long been a national problem. As Southerners well know, we integrated long before many parts of the North.

    Like you, I find these ignorant, condescending comments irritating, not only because they’re not true, but because people like teedraper don’t really care about racism or making the world a better place. They’re just infantile idiots ticked off because the SEC and/or Alabama are better than their conference/team. What fools.

  17. suprmous says: Apr 28, 2012 2:07 AM

    teedraper, how bout comin to the Great State of Louisiana and spittin out your trash and lets see how long you’ll stay among the livin. I’ve got a gutsy feelin you wouldn’t survive for very long. Along with these folks from Bama I’ll be next in line to tell you what an ignorant fool you are for spoutin off such nonsense. It’s folks like you that clearly have no upbringin let alone raising. If you had one smidgen of sense you’d choke on your own words. C’est le vie.

  18. thegamecocker says: Apr 28, 2012 9:16 AM


    I’m from the North, still live up here (NJ), went to school in the South, and agree with your assessment 100%. Ignorance about the South is pervasive up here even though most of the idiots have never spent time in the region. And I don’t consider traveling on I-95 or I-85 “spending time in the region.” Here is the irony though: when it is time to retire, many of the Northern bigots settle somewhere down SOUTH! And they all rave about how NICE THE PEOPLE are, how GREAT the weather is, and how much less expensive it is to live! I don’t see many people wanting to RETIRE up North!!! Obviously this includes me. I continue to support all that is good about Southern living. Hopefully, mis-perception will change over time.

  19. teedraper says: Apr 28, 2012 11:08 AM

    Walter Lewis 1980-1983 First Black QB at Alabama, USFL – Memphis, Spent time w /NE Patriots, Also played in CFL 1985-86

    David Palmer 1991-1993 Primary Position was WR, started at QB for injured Jay Barker, Finished 3rd in 1993 Heisman Balloting as a Jr.

    Vince Sutton 1984-1988

    Danny Woodson 1990-1991

    Andrew Zow 1998-2002

    That’s it?? FOOL all you’re doing is making my point you inbred piece of trash!

    Star Jackson & now Philip Sims have transferred! WAKE UP FOOL!

  20. teedraper says: Apr 28, 2012 11:12 AM

    Deb, Dcroz, & TxGrown,

    STFU with your idiotic drivel. I seemed to struck a nerve. We all know it’s true. A black qb has a better chance of winning the lottery than playing qb for Bama & it’s been proven time & time again. Sims is more proof while Jackson was the last example. The #1 qb in the country wanted NOTHING to do with Bama & you think it’s a coincidence that he went to FSU of which has a history of black qb’s being treated fair? LOL! Wake up you morons!

    Continue humping your sisters & tongue kissing your mothers bc the crap you fools are talking about doesn’t exist.

  21. teedraper says: Apr 28, 2012 11:17 AM


    Really? I have no upbringing yet you’re on the Internet making threats??? LOLOLOLOLOLOL yes you do live in Louisiana bc you just exposed that 5th grade education you have fool!

    Frankly, shut your mouth. I’m from the Miami of which is one of the toughest places in the world to live so stop talking reckless about places that can’t compare. Where I’m from, people kill you for breathing the same air as them & you think I’m worried about some dumb ass rednecks. This city boy will eat your face! Wake up & shut up!

  22. rolltide510 says: Apr 28, 2012 11:21 AM

    Uh oh, we got ourselves a badass in this thread!

  23. kozbee says: Apr 28, 2012 11:55 AM

    AJ picked up early and won the starting job leaving Sims to wonder what its like being a starter.Can`t blame the kid,look last couple of seasons at how many players from Bama jumped ship due to playing time.The kids all want to be on a winning team but they got to figure that someone has to play in the depth.Sims can wait another couple seasons and just maybe get that chance,well thats what goes on at Bama and why they are as good as they are due to the depth chart they have.These kids got to understand if they dont want to play in the depth of the team then learn to be recruited better so they can be that starter they want to be.I see where Deb says he won a ring but wasnt it AJ that won it for him.Goodluck Sims and hope you can make a smarter move next time..

  24. kozbee says: Apr 28, 2012 12:17 PM

    @ Teedraper

    Your right about how racial the school of Alabama really was back then and seems they are still with always having white QBs.
    Check the link…

  25. Deb says: Apr 28, 2012 12:20 PM

    Good grief, it’s not even worth responding to such a sad, vulgar rant on a football blog. teedraper sounds like some guy in a bar who’s thrown back too many whiskeys for his pea brain to cope. Yeah, you’ve figured us all out, dude. How dare we talk back in the face of your all-knowing brilliance and big-city toughness? :roll:

  26. kozbee says: Apr 28, 2012 12:45 PM

    In 1970 was the first black player to suit up for the Tide,now that seems racial to me.In 1970 fielded John Mitchell, who became the first black player to start a game for the Tide.When i read something as this i say yea sure roll tide Mitchell.

    Roll Tide my A$$

  27. Deb says: Apr 28, 2012 12:58 PM

    @kozbee …

    Wallace at the schoolhouse door 40 years ago. Seriously? That’s what you’re using to talk about the University of Alabama football program in 2012.

    What school do you support? I’d like to know so we can examine the number of black quarterbacks your school has had in the last decade. We all loved Sims, but A.J. simply proved to be the better quarterback. Should we have benched him because he’s white just to prove a point to sick minds like yours? Would that have been more racially acceptable?

    Here’s teedraper making unfounded accusations about other Southern states when Miami’s had some of the deadliest race riots in the last thirty years. Based on his trashmouth, I doubt the guy has the IQ to even know his own local history. Since 2000, the University has had a black QB in a starting position for a year longer than Alabama has.

    Hypocritcal asses.

  28. Deb says: Apr 28, 2012 1:01 PM

    Yes, thank you, Kozbee … 1970. It’s now 2012.

    This is a football blog, not a site for you to spew racist history. Shall we talk about how your ancestors ran slave ships or did the Indians out of their birthright? Again, I notice you’re not sharing your team allegiance. Apparently you’re a coward as well as a racist pig. Congratulations.

  29. dcroz says: Apr 28, 2012 1:04 PM


    The only nerve you struck was that your misbegotten existence is proof that miserable piles of filth masquerading as human beings continue to blight the landscape. So you are given a list of black QBs who have started for ‘Bama and the only response your addled brain can drool out is “That’s all?” Please, do yourself a favor and try not to think so hard; we know you can’t do that and walk at the same time, and we wouldn’t want you to accidentally meander into traffic and mess up someone’s nice, clean car. Now, go lie down before you hurt yourself.


    Thank you for proving my point about people like you being stuck in the past when it comes to race relations. All you can do to “prove” that ‘Bama doesn’t want a black QB TODAY is talk about George Wallace’s “Stand in the Schoolhouse Door” from 50 years ago and that the Tide didn’t have a black player until just over 40 years ago. But thanks for playing, and please try again once your reading comprehension level gets past elementary school.

  30. Deb says: Apr 28, 2012 1:12 PM

    Kozbee, you may have missed that John Mitchell was also immediately named a team co-captain because he was loved by his white teammates and he was the first-ever black (and the youngest-ever) assistant coach at Bama because he was loved by Bear Bryant. None of those people were worried about his skin color. Today he’s the linebackers coach for my Pittsburgh Steelers. I’ve been a diehard fan 35 years. John hasn’t been around quite that long, but he’s been there a good while.

    BTW, he plans to retire in Alabama, so he must think more of the place than you do. Now I have a draft to watch.

  31. Spencer says: Apr 28, 2012 8:20 PM

    He finally wised up and moved on. Good for him.

  32. freemantowilliams says: Apr 28, 2012 9:53 PM

    Alright, I have to thrrow my two pennies in on this one. For everyone on here saying race isn’t an issue in the south anymore are crazy. Has it gotten better? Hell yeah! I’m a 24 year old black male from Tampa, FL. My mother divorced my biological father when i was 5 and married a white man when i was 6. That right there shows you things have gotten better in the south. The race stuff still happens down here though. But this guy talking about no black starting qbs at UA is a nut job. I don’t know Saban personally but i know if Sims was the better player he’d be the starter. Saban cares about one thing and one thing only and thats winning football games. Whether hes straight from Africa or just hopped off a spaceship from Pluto, Nick “Always Serious” Saban is gonna play the best player at any position. You trying to tell me Saban wouldn’t start Killa Cam or Josh Freeman. Come on teedraper, He took Culpepper over Brees.

  33. dcroz says: Apr 28, 2012 11:42 PM


    No one on here is saying race isn’t an issue in the South anymore. That nasty business just down the road from where you live and James Byrd’s dragging death in Texas several years ago show that race is still a painful issue here. What we’ve been arguing against are those who time and again–whether on this blog thread or in the far larger world–continue to think white Southerners all dress up in their best bedsheets on Saturday nights before going to the local cross burning.

    As it is, ‘Bama fans are conscious of the race issue whether it regards the starting QB or the head coach. When Mike Price was unceremoniously fired after his Pensacola philadering in the spring of 2003, the two top candidates were former Tide standouts Mike Shula and Sylvester Croom. Many Tide fans wanted Croom BECAUSE he was black, as the lack of black head coaches in college football was a major issue at the time, and they saw it as a chance for Alabama to be out in front of a racial issue for a change instead of lagging behind on it. There were also many who were pulling for Philip Sims to win the starting job at QB for the same reason. Alabamians are well aware of our terrible past in regards to civil rights, and continue to struggle with that issue and image as they work on changing it.

    So while we’re not claiming things are perfect down here, we do know that things are far better than they once were, as you said. What boils our blood is when idiots who have severe inferiority complexes or a bad case of ignorance keep wanting to claim that it’s always 1964 in the South as a way to cover up their own deficiencies. Maybe if they’d stop trying to see what they want to see down here and look around at what’s going on in their own backyards, they’d realize there is plenty of work to be done in their part of the world, too.

  34. suprmous says: Apr 29, 2012 8:06 PM

    teedraper, been to Miami several times with the 3 brothers who played with Bama for various reasons (both for football and personal) and needless to say there’s parts of it that’s to be desired just as there is in New Orleans but Bucko what you fail to see is your TOTAL lack of consideration for others along with knowledge of the facts you speak of. As for shuttin up, c’mon my way and tell me face to face. Makes better sense than sittin there bein stupid. As for the raisin or better yet rearin, I still doubt that you were either one.

  35. thacloser86 says: Apr 30, 2012 1:58 AM

    Alabama QB never do anything anyways as far as draft

  36. Deb says: Apr 30, 2012 2:11 PM

    @thacloser86 …

    Tell that to Joe Namath and Kenny Stabler. Brody Croyle went in the third round in 2006 and is currently with the Cardinals. John Parker Wilson signed with the Falcons as an undrafted free agent in 2009. And Greg McElroy was drafted by the Jets last year. So our recent QBs may not be superstars, but at least they have jobs in the NFL … which is more than I can say for most NCAA quarterbacks.

  37. Deb says: Apr 30, 2012 2:14 PM

    @freemantowilliams …

    Sad but true. My point was that racism is a national issue rather than a regional issue. And that’s probably the best analysis of Saban anyone’s ever posted here 😀

  38. jdhall320 says: Apr 30, 2012 2:20 PM


    The point is Alabama has had successful African American QB’s. I hope Phillip Sims, does well where ever he goes, and myself thought he was the better QB. last spring and thought he would win the starting job. After they split time in the kent state game, if was obvious A.J. because of being in the system longer was more comfortable. Phillip will be a great QB because he has the athletic ability and is a great young man. As far as Star Jackson, where is he now ? Some prospects just don’t pan out. Coach Bryant was instrumental in breaking the race barrier at Bama. He didn’t see black or white, Just Football players.

  39. greenewillie says: Apr 30, 2012 5:42 PM

    Sir Spam-a-lot says…

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