Alabama accused of encouraging recruit to transfer to high school that would “take care of him”

One of Alabama’s top football recruits was allegedly encouraged by an Alabama assistant coach to transfer high schools to help with his academics, according to the Pensacola News Journal.

Defensive tackle Darius Paige transferred from Washington High School in Pensacola, Fla., to Alabama’s Foley High School this week. Washington assistant George Schellang charged that Paige was encouraged to transfer by Alabama assistant Jeremy Pruitt.

“Darius came in the office one day during the summer after (former head) coach (Mike) Smith left and sat down and told me coach Pruitt, who is the Alabama coach who was recruiting him, wanted him to go to Foley High School,” Schellang said. “Basically, he said (Foley High) could take care of him academically.

“My reaction was shock and dismay that a Division I coach would tell a high school athlete that he needed to transfer, that they had people there to help.”

In a Thursday story, Washington’s coaches stood by the allegations to the Pensacola News-Journal.

“When I talked to (Pruitt), he told me that he knew the coach at Foley (Todd Watson) really well and that he could take care of (Paige) academically,” Schellang said.

THE LATEST

MORE RECRUITING

– By Michael Carvell, AJC Recruiting Blog

Note: Inappropriate BLOG comments and personal attacks will NOT be tolerated. We love the lively discussions but hate-filled, harassing and irresponsible comments are unacceptable.

Please Follow me on Twitter @RecruitingAJC + Please be my Facebook friend here

322 comments Add your comment

CL

August 9th, 2012
9:29 pm

This is not good.

BamaMan

August 9th, 2012
9:30 pm

Where is the story by al.com on Trooper Taylor “encouraging” Reuben Foster to transfer to Auburn High School????????????

DennyChimes

August 9th, 2012
9:35 pm

Thing is this is not the only kid transferring from Washington high school this semester, only one who is committed to ‘Bama though.

The Bear

August 9th, 2012
9:35 pm

Online fodder. Bring the facts.

Contractor

August 9th, 2012
9:38 pm

Why is this just now a big deal? You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to realize there have been players on the football field that are no smarter than the grass and dirt they are running on. Thank goodness the NCAA is increasing requirements, as I feel it will be tougher to cheat your way to eligibility. Anyone can make a C, but making a couple of B’s in there will harder to fake.

Ryan

August 9th, 2012
9:38 pm

BamaGeorge. You sir, are an idiot. If we gauge appropriate behavior solely on the basis of what is “legal,” we may find ourselves experiencing many social eligibilities, and yet living life as legitimate terds.

The Tide is Rolling and Nothing can stop it

August 9th, 2012
9:42 pm

Can’t beat ‘em, call them cheaters.

Alphare

August 9th, 2012
9:45 pm

“take care of him academically”.

what does that mean? isn’t that a good thing if you can improve academically while playing football.

chaz

August 9th, 2012
9:49 pm

Alabama is the puppymill of college football. Except the puppies probably get treated better.

Mike

August 9th, 2012
9:49 pm

Now tell the rest of the story. He needs more credits than he can obtain at Washington. He can get more credits at the Alabama school due to the block scheduling they utilize. Imagine that, a UGA mouthpiece relaying the butthurt comments of a LSU fan that didn’t have his way with a recruit.

Smitty

August 9th, 2012
9:53 pm

Oops…Alabama would never do that….Ha!

Vance Duly

August 9th, 2012
9:54 pm

Well, it’s only a matter of time before someone says that this is Coach Richt’s fault………

Beast from the East

August 9th, 2012
9:56 pm

Where there’s smoke…

Beast from the East

August 9th, 2012
9:57 pm

This is all Richt’s fault

Zoli

August 9th, 2012
9:59 pm

Saban cutting corners at all costs? Shocker..

atltiger15

August 9th, 2012
10:00 pm

BAMA MAN- what about Smart and Rumph encouraging RF to attend Oxford…Everyone that has AU ties knew RF was a silent AU commit before he even committed to Bama last yr.Hell, he was on the campus a dozen or so times last year having a ball with Quan Bray…He played Bama like a fiddle ( same as Yeldon played AU)..pretty simple

Dewnsav

August 9th, 2012
10:02 pm

No Beast, it’s George Bushs’ fault…go dogs

BamaGeorge

August 9th, 2012
10:03 pm

@Ryan… I may be an idiot.. However, I do not see where trying to help a kid improve his academic status bad. This newspaper continues to bash Bama whenever they can . Coach is running a clean program and everyone is envious. Have a great night sir.

DennyChimes

August 9th, 2012
10:05 pm

Look were just trying to get some future Falcon players trained properly, God knows they don’t pull any from Athens, well maybe on the practice squad…:)

BamaGeorge

August 9th, 2012
10:06 pm

Point taken ! They even deleted my first post. It must sting to the core?

Tampa Gator

August 9th, 2012
10:07 pm

Jeezzzzzz….

When will the football season start…..I am sick of this kind of crap. He said…..they said….you said…he said. Kick the damn footall off and let’s forget about recruiting until late January.

DennyChimes

August 9th, 2012
10:09 pm

I heard the Falcons announcer tonight refer to the Birds as the “Atl/Bama Falcons!” Quite catchy we thought.

kingdaddy

August 9th, 2012
10:10 pm

I was sure Bobo had something to do with it…

TGT

August 9th, 2012
10:14 pm

Let the Bama fans piss and moan. Alabama is certainly a real “clean” program. This kind of garbage happens everywhere, so please spare me all the “Everyone is just envious of Alabama” rhetoric. The coach needs to come clean, take his medicine, and move on.

Contractor

August 9th, 2012
10:17 pm

I’m with Tampa Gator. This tit for tat journalism is pathetic. I’m ready for the dang ball to kick off.

Smitty

August 9th, 2012
10:17 pm

Tampa Gator…is it not pass your bedtime…..Ha!

Sayban rulz

August 9th, 2012
10:19 pm

Uh oh, looks like the first crack in the dam has appeared…….

Tampa Gator

August 9th, 2012
10:23 pm

I like cheese!

See Rock City

August 9th, 2012
10:30 pm

LSU supporter coach at Washington high who has won 5 games in 3 years complaining about Alabama stealing his players away…

That’s why he is losing games and will be looking for ‘jerb next year, that one darn player lost his jerb!

Special K

August 9th, 2012
10:31 pm

Move along folks, nothing to see here.

Home of Champions

August 9th, 2012
10:31 pm

Schellang told the Pensacola newspaper that Washington officials reported the transfer to the NCAA, but it appears there is no NCAA rule prohibiting a college coach from recommending that a prospect switch high schools.

Drago

August 9th, 2012
10:36 pm

The Tide just can’t stop themselves from cheating.

Home of Champions

August 9th, 2012
10:40 pm

A person SMART enough to know......

August 9th, 2012
10:46 pm

this CAN’T BE TRUE….The Bear is dead and that stuff don’t happen at Bama no more.

OkieDawg

August 9th, 2012
10:47 pm

SABINISUM!!!

3d

August 9th, 2012
10:50 pm

Best team money can buy.

OkieDawg

August 9th, 2012
10:55 pm

Hey Nick, There’s the door,,,Coming soon to school near you.,,Tuscaloosers!!

Bitter cheat-in bamma turd

August 9th, 2012
11:08 pm

Tusk–ur–looservilLe——-TRAILER TRAMPS—-tHE LITTLE USED CAR SALESMAN

SENDING HIS HINCHMEN TO DO HIS DIRTY WORK——-N.C. OF CHEATERS

—–SORRY EXCUSS FOR A FOOTBALL PROGRAM

bjohnDawg

August 9th, 2012
11:21 pm

Before you know it , they will claim he slipped a bag of cash to his family. Oh no , wait that is Auburn.
Heck lets just play some dang football!

Paul in NH

August 9th, 2012
11:26 pm

It should be interesting seeing if the NCAA gets involved in this issue. They do seem to think they should get involved in high school academics. Of course, having a major university in the ACC having a rogue professor teaching bogus classes to mostly scholarship athletes is purely the institution’s problem and not a matter for the NCAA.

ALABAMA FOOTBALL

August 9th, 2012
11:26 pm

umyboyBlue17

August 9th, 2012
11:39 pm

waterboard the helpers at FOLEY HIGH then compare their lies with the bammer lies

A person SMART enough to know......

August 9th, 2012
11:41 pm

if you ain’t cheat’n you ain’t try’n

collegeballfan

August 10th, 2012
12:00 am

Not to get excited. The NCAA will investigate and settle the matter. But first Alabama will investigate and, if anywhere close to true, they will turn themselves into the SEC and the NCAA.

Topp Dogg

August 10th, 2012
12:04 am

Son come to Alabama and major in towels.

Special K

August 10th, 2012
12:21 am

You keep complaining and we’ll keep winning. Hope the view looks good from behind.

Dawg48

August 10th, 2012
1:01 am

The NCAA must be busy, cause I hear they are also in Memphis investigating Auburn for paying another player.

Dawg48

August 10th, 2012
1:05 am

BamaGeorge, are you crying?

Blackoutanyone?

August 10th, 2012
2:19 am

In the past when this blog was used to take shots at Nick Saban or the Crimson Tide, at least it hid behind the fact it involved a recruit from the state of Georgia. Lol this is what happens when your on top. People and the media will do everything including posting articles of unsubstantiated rumors to push their agenda. I doubt any attempt was made to assess the other side of this non story. So let me get this straight… because a kid can transfer and will receive assistance with his academic standing Bama is therefore cheating? LOL. Can a coach not “take care” of a kid academically without cheating?

MC…your better than this. Bama fans routinely support your work and fill your blogs with pages of comments.. this is a cheap shot that has nothing to do with recruiting in the state of Georgia. Unless you intend to report and therefore give credence to every rumor that gets floated.

Columbus

August 10th, 2012
3:16 am

@Blackout…this is VERY newsworthy and likely an NCAA violation and also puts a coach/recruiter on the spot where he will be at minimum set straight and watched in the future. Giving benefits or getting special treatment to a recruit is illegal. Setting up a recruit in a school so he will get preferential treatment and possibly given grades he did not deserve so he will be able to play football at ALABAMA is illegal. If Auburn did this, you would be up in arms about it. If this is not illegal then all colleges will use this as a way to get kids at their school instead of them playing at a division II or division III or junior college and taking the spot of players that are qualified academically. If you do not see a problem with this you are simply ignorant or biased towards Alabama…..

First of all, colleges have no business interferring with people;s lives, telling him to transfer, etc. They gonna take care of his family too? A move costs money and parents need new jobs job etc. or is he going to stay at the coaches buddies house or something? Secondly “take care of him” means give him grades he doesnt deserve so he can play D! football iinstead of JUCO. Thirdly, it is a way to basically “give that kid a benefit” or a gift or service, etc. that a regular student would not be offered and that in a way is illegal and involving the high schools in the dirty world of big time college football, using tax money, giving a player special treatment for coming to their school and no telling what benefits the family will get or special treatment when they need jobs, housing, transportation, moving expenses, etc.

Bottomline this is unethical and a viloation of NCAA guidelines. No way around it. This is a substantiated story and reported by more than 1 media outlet so your shot at MC was a low one. This is very newsworthy and very wrong. And NO a coach CANNOT take care of a kid academically when the kid is told to transfer by a college coach. There is at minimum the appearance of wrongdoing and a conflict of interest and special treatment….the people at the school the kid was at can take care of him if he is smart enough and willing to work hard on his grades but if he goes to Foley, he is “told he will be taken care of” which means to all of us normal people, you will get the grades you need whether you can achieve them or not.

On top of all that, there might be a lot more kids that come out the woodwork that the same thing happened to and in violation of NCAA rules and got special treatment and grades they didnt deserve….them assistant coaches will take a program down….just like boosters and negligent administration….

Bama and Auburn just take turns cheating. Especially Auburn…..

Thank you MC for reporting on the back room recruiting tactics at Alabama. Stuff like this dont come to the surface to often and it needs to be brought into the light….whether Bama fans like it or not.

If there is NOTHING there, Bama fans have NOTHING to fear. But I am sure ANY self-respecting Bama fan, like say Blackout, will want to know the truth to be known and Bama cleared of any wrong doing and/or NCAA violations…..right Blackout? But dont be hating on MC or ANY other news outlet for reporting something that needs to be investigated at minimum and reportign on something that WILL be investigated….you would want Auburn investigated for this right? Like when Foster transferred to Auburn High maybe?? How would you feel if his recruiter from Auburn told him to go there so he could be taken care of? And the you lost your top recruit? If that came out in the news Blackout, would you be saying the same thing? So stop with all your BS. It would not be right if a recruiter talked a kid into going to a different hs so he could be given some type, any type of special treatment and he gets that special treatment and goes to the college of that recruiter right? Thats absolutely a violation of NCAA rules and is wrong. And you know it….whether this was more about getting SPECIAL tutoring than being given free grades is only half the issue. The offer of special treatment of ANY form is the issue to gain a recruiting advantage. Heck all the colleges will have some HS for potential recruits to go to where they will be catered too…..

Bama should be ashamed and should fire this coach immediately….he is a bad apple and crossing the NCAA line….