Saban sees no unfair treatment with grayshirts

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From Florida president Bernie Machen‘s perspective, the SEC’s ability to find loopholes in the 28-player LOI ceiling is frustrating. For the second year in a row, two SEC schools have oversigned their class, as Arkansas and South Carolina both exceeded the limit this signing period with 30 and 31 LOIs, respectively.

One of those loopholes for coaches has been grayshirting players, an act Machen finds, at times, “morally reprehensible”. “The universities, with full knowledge of what they are doing, extend more athletic scholarships than they have,” Machen has stated.

Nick Saban, on the other hand, sees it a little differently.

“We have never grayshirted a guy here who when he decided to come here didn’t know the circumstances that we were going to take him at the University of Alabama,” Saban said in an article from the Tuscaloosa News. “The reason is sometimes academic, the reason is sometimes physical development and maturity, but never has a player not known (he might be grayshirted). We have never not done it up front, so the player comes here with the idea that ‘I’m going to start school in January.’”

Grayshirting a player has become a controversial topic with the likes of former LSU lineman Elliot Porter being shown the door (kind of) by Les Miles after having his scholarship revoked. And while Miles’ actions fit more along the lines of Machen’s “morally reprehensible” tirade, Saban insists he offers a holier approach.

“We have never gotten rid of a player because of his physical ability,” Saban said. “Any player that has left this program prematurely has created his own exit route.”

WVU RB Donaldson in concussion protocol, out for Baylor game

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MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) West Virginia running back CJ Donaldson is in concussion protocol and will miss next week’s home game with Baylor after he was injured in a loss to Texas, coach Neal Brown said Tuesday.

Donaldson remained on the ground after he was tackled on a short gain in the third quarter of Saturday’s 38-20 loss to the Longhorns. His helmet and shoulder pads were removed and he was carted off the field on a stretcher. After the game he was cleared to travel home with the team.

“He’s recovering,” Brown said. “There is a strict return-to-play (policy) that we have to follow here and I’m zero involved in it. All I do is ask the question. They don’t even start the return-to-play until they’re symptom free.”

Donaldson, a 240-pound freshman, leads the Mountaineers with 389 rushing yards and six touchdowns, with an average of 6.9 yards per carry.

West Virginia (2-3, 0-2 Big 12 Conference) is idle this week and hosts Baylor (3-2, 1-1) next Thursday, Oct. 13.

Taulia Tagovailoa says he visited brother, Tua, over weekend

Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports
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COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Maryland quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa was able to visit his brother, Tua, last weekend after the Terrapins’ game against Michigan State, he said Tuesday in his first comments to reporters since Tua left the Miami Dolphins’ game against Cincinnati last Thursday with a frightening head injury.

Taulia played in Maryland’s win over Michigan State on Saturday but was not made available to the media afterward. He said Tuesday he was able to go to Florida and spend some time with his brother, who suffered a concussion four days after taking a hit in another game but was cleared to return.

“He’s doing good, everything’s fine,” he said. “My biggest thing was just seeing him and spending as much time as I can with him. I came back Sunday night.”

Tagovailoa said he appreciates the support for his brother.

“My brother’s my heart. He’s someone I look up to, someone I talk to every day,” he said. “It was just a hard scene for me to see that.”

Tagovailoa said he was in constant contact with his mother about his brother’s situation, and he was finally able to talk to Tua on Friday night.

“I really just wanted to go there and just spend time with my family, hug them and stuff like that,” Taulia Tagovailoa said. “But he told me he’s a big fan of us, and he’d rather watch me play on Saturday. … After that phone call, I was happy and getting back to my normal routine.”

Tagovailoa indicated that his brother’s injury didn’t make him too nervous about his own health when he took the field again.

“I guess when that happens to someone like my brother, or when anything happens to one of my family members, I don’t really think of how it will be able to affect me,” he said. “I just think of: `Is he OK? How’s he doing?”‘

Although it was a short visit to Florida, he said he and Tua made the most of their chance to be together.

“I just wanted to make sure he’s healthy and stuff, which he is,” Taulia Tagovailoa said.