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Jumbo Package: Alabama recruiting takes a hit with the loss of in-state star LB Shemar James

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Dan Mullen and his circus came to town and poached a key Tide target

Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic - Oklahoma v Florida Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

This is another big weekend for ‘Bama crootin’, as we’re deep in the middle of OV season. Travis Reier and crew at 247 discuss the visit of some intriguing prospects, including some blue chippers out of Texas, a state that has become more and more relevant to Alabama’s recruiting plan.

BamaOnLine.com recruiting analyst Hank South joins Travis Reier to hit on a number of Alabama recruiting-related topics. Topics include:

* Tide on tap for fast-rising 2022 ATH Amari Niblack?

* JT Tuimoloau, Ty Simpson and Texas five stars highlight upcoming OV weekend.

Alabama did lose one yesterday, as 4-star LB Shemar James took a trio of visits to the ‘Barn, Florida, and Alabama, and in the end gave his verbal to Gata.

This was somewhat of a surprise, as practically every pundit had James as a solid to Alabama — BOL/247’s experts even had 100% for UA on their crystal ball.

It hurts to lose a linebacker, for sure. But it especially hurts to lose one from in-state.

In the wake of Alston, the NCAA is scrambling to get some sort of NIL rules in place while Congress begins in its Summer Recess and before the next round of litigation begins (more on that in a second.)

Fully cognizant that no permanent rules will be installed by 7/1/2021 (which, I note, was the NCAA’s own self-imposed deadline 18 months ago), Emmert and Co. are looking to throw something preliminary on paper.

In the memo, obtained and shared by Nicole Auerbach of The Athletic, Emmert wrote that while “permanent NIL rule changes are unlikely” before July 1, the NCAA is working to “develop interim solutions that will fairly allow student-athletes to take advantage of NIL opportunities regardless of the state.” The July 1 date signals when multiple states officially enact legislation that will allow college athletes to benefit financially from their name, image and likeness.

What would this compromise / slapdash scribble look like? It’s a bit scattershot, but in essence, athletes in those states with laws going into effect on July 1 will be granted an NIL waiver. For others, well...wait and see. This was solely meant to be a bridge bill between state actions and the Congressional bill (whose language remains TBD), that is not expected until January. And, with a waiver in place, it does not subject the NCAA to more litigation.

One thing is explicit though, these waivers expressly suspend NCAA enforcement actions intended to curtail cheating if the regs conflict with existing NIL state laws.

Now, back to Alston, and why the hyperventilating is simply that: hyperventilating. You could not carve out a more narrow, factually-specific ruling if you tried. SCOTUS in essence ruled only that the NCAA cannot limit COA dollars. There was some cranky dicta, to be sure. But the NCAA lost no more than it had already conceded years ago: that full cost of attendance must be permitted.

No, it’s not “a major loss” for the NCAA, any more than it is a “major win” for student-athletes. There is one beneficiary here, and that is wealthy Power 5 programs, those that can afford the bells and whistles sufficient to cover Title IX athletes to the extent that they fund Star Quarterback.

The Bowling Greens and Oregon States and Troys of the world aren’t the winner. Student-athletes aren’t the winner. Schools like Ohio State and Texas and Alabama are.

And this is playing out exactly as I said years ago it would — COA and NIL would ensure the rich stay richer. Wait until the followup litigation from Alston hits the dockets too. There is simply no way in hell a 6-3 archconservative Supreme Court — after forty years of dismantling collective bargaining — is going to disturb Gray and deem college athletes to be employees who are then entitled to unionize. Not a chance.

No, the amateurism model isn’t dead, rather it is evolving into the Olympics model. The rich can stay rich, and the stars can profit off their renown. But professionalism won’t be sanctioned except in limited cases. And I suspect when the smoke clears, that’s exactly the landscape we get in college athletics too

Damn, Atlanta, why don’t you let the dirt on Julio’s grave settle a bit before you kick the corpse. What kind of busted-ass, janky franchise unloads a Hall of Famer and calls it “a win?” Especially when you admit it was done solely to address short-term cap issues?

Not for nothing are they called the Failcons.

I miss Steve Sarkisian already. Brent wrote extensively last season about how Sark’s concepts build upon on another like master painter’s strokes. And Sarkisian pretty much admitted that yesterday — he doesn’t call plays just to call plays that will work in the moment. He calls plays based on a complete four-quarter game plan — “attack-based” is the phrase he uses.

Contrast that with Alabama’s present OC (I literally can’t even say his name), who believes very much in situational playcalling out of the Perkins school of thought. Sigh.

Sporting News has begun their preseason prognostications for the season. Up first, are the All-Americans, bowl pairings, and Top 25. And, in Part Two, TSN picks the playoff participants and National Championship matchup (SPOILER: Alabama and Clemson may be involved. Again).

Man, ASU is so, so screwed. That’s unfortunate too. The Sun Devils recruiting has hit another level. They return the most experienced team in the P12. And a big season was on tap for 2021. Emphasis on was; I don’t see how they regroup or rally ‘round for this one, not with almost-certain Level 1 sanctions coming and a complete overhaul of the coaching staff.

The allegations are “damning and credible.”

FINALLY...

In today’s world of bizarre competitive miscellany, I give you the Slap Fight Juggernaut World Championships, featuring the Super Heavyweight division. Fan favorite Highlander (slapping out of Ozarks, Missouri), meets up and comer Solid Slug from the ATL...and the city boy dominates.

Poll

Would you slap fight?

This poll is closed

  • 1%
    Absolutely
    (5 votes)
  • 7%
    Only if very drunk
    (31 votes)
  • 1%
    It’s intriguing, but I don’t know if I could
    (6 votes)
  • 50%
    Absolutely not; not even drunk.
    (210 votes)
  • 39%
    Can you promise my opponent is a Tennessee fan?
    (163 votes)
415 votes total Vote Now