DeSherrius Flowers

2015 ‘Bama signee to go JUCO route, likely to return to Tide

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When last we left DeSherrius Flowers, the 2015 Alabama signee was ruled ineligible due to what the university is calling a recently discovered initial eligibility issue and his future with the Tide seemed up in the air.  Now, though, we’ve gotten a peek at just what the future will hold.

Immediately, his high school coach told al.com, the running back is headed to a Mississippi junior college.  After that, it’s likely Flowers will return to the Tide.

“I don’t think this has changed his relationship with Alabama as far as I know,” Ashley Johnson said. “He loves Alabama. That’s where he wanted to be. And as far as they were concerned, he was good to go obviously or they wouldn’t have brought him on board in January and got him in school. As far as they were concerned, his eligibility looked great — from the coaching staff and the college itself.”

As for when Flowers would return to Tuscaloosa, Johnson is unsure if it will be one year or two for Flowers at the JUCO. Johnson, though, is leaning toward it being the latter, which means Flowers wouldn’t return to the Tide until the 2017 season.

Johnson also revealed for the first time just what the eligibility issue involved.

Johnson’s understanding is that Flowers was ruled ineligible because of a large jump in Flowers’ ACT score from the previous time he took the test.

Flowers’ final score was a 19 out of 36, Johnson said.

Johnson wasn’t sure of Flowers’ previous score.

“Not that there’s any evidence of any wrongdoing, but it’s just irregular, so the NCAA can then declare you ineligible as far as college athletics go,” Johnson said. “Again, Alabama didn’t see it. They wouldn’t have put this much time into him if they thought there was anything there at all. They wouldn’t have brought him in in January and let him go through spring training. They thought he had had a great spring and had him in summer classes. None of that would have happened if the university or the coaching staff thought for a second, hey, there’s something wrong here and they’re going to declare him ineligible.

“And I think because he came in that time of year, the NCAA — they don’t check these things when you take the tests as a junior or whatever — they check them when you come into college, and most college football freshmen are coming in in the summer. So apparently they didn’t check any of that stuff when he came in in January.”

A four-star member of UA’s 2015 recruiting class, Flowers was rated as the No. 21 running back in the country; the No. 9 player at any position in the state of Alabama; and the No. 192 player overall by Rivals.com.  He was an early enrollee who participated in spring practice prior to the eligibility issue cropping up.

Alabama self-reports multiple secondary violations

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Secondary violations rarely amount to much in the eyes of the NCAA, so do not expect Alabama to be handed a stiff punishment from the folks in Indianapolis after the university self-reported 13 secondary violations of NCAA rules. The violations occurred between July 1, 2014 and June 30, 2015, according to a report from AL.com.

Names of players connected to various minor offenses have not been revealed, and the violations took place within multiple athletics programs at Alabama. Five of the violations stem from the football program under head coach Nick Saban.

One violation is for a player connected to a commercial endorsement through social media. The unnamed player was ruled ineligible before being reinstated by the NCAA and the football staff underwent rules education as a result. Another violation occurred when a player was accidentally awarded more scholarship money due to a computer entry error. This was discovered at the end of the semester during a routine audit, and the player was required to repay the excess payment.

The third reported violation was a player’s friend selling complimentary tickets to a football game. The friend was added to the player’s pass list and that player was ruled ineligible before being reinstated by the NCAA. No more free passes will be given to the player’s friend.

The fourth violation was for a player receiving aid and practicing with the team after being deemed a non-qualifier for such aid. The player’s scholarship has since been revoked and he must receive and reinstatement. It is unconfirmed but believed running back DeSherrius Flowers is the player connected to this violation. Flowers, a Class of 2015 early enrollee was ruled ineligible by Alabama in mid-June due to a “recently discovered initial eligibility issue.”

Last but not least, an assistant coach was found guilty of responding to a text message from a recruit. The coach was prohibited from contacting recruits for 30 days as a result.

Recently discovered eligibility issue discovered by Alabama for Class of 2015 early enrollee

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Imagine enrolling in college classes and going through a full semester before ultimately learning you were not eligible to enroll in classes. That is what happened to one Alabama Class of 2015 running back.

On Wednesday, DeSherrius Flowers was ruled ineligible due to what the university is calling a recently discovered initial eligibility issue. What that means is anyone’s guess at this point in time, but it is one that will have to be addressed before Flowers may resume his collegiate career with the Crimson Tide.

“I’m sure he’s disappointed about this,” his high school coach, Ashley Johnson, told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “But after the initial reaction wears off, he’s like me in the way that he’ll find the positives out of it. I’m sure Coach [Nick Saban] and the staff are pointing those out to him.”

This is far from the end of something promising for Flowers, and surely he has been reminded of that no matter what the details of this situation may be.

Flowers was a four-star running back recruit in Alabama’s star-filled Class of 2015. The Prichard, Alabama recruit was the ninth top-ranked player in the state of Alabama according to his Rivals profile. Flowers was initially given clearance to enroll early at Alabama, which he did this past January. As an early enrollee, Flowers was able to participate in spring practices with the Crimson Tide to get situated within the program and begin working to find a spot on the depth chart.