He's a big three-star offensive lineman, a kid who has been ruled academically ineligible to play for Washington High School in Pensacola. Now, one of Darius Paige's assistant coaches is pointing the finger at Nick Saban and his assistant Jeremy Pruitt, insisting that Pruitt assured Paige that if he transfers to Foley High School in Alabama, Paige would be "taken care of academically."
Assistant high school football coach George Schellang insists that Bama's Pruitt told Paige he'd be catered to- says Schellang, "I was shocked that a D-One coach would tell a kid he needed to transfer and they had people there to help him". Schellang has reported his story to the Alabama High School Athletic Asssociation and the NCAA.
A Nick Saban spokesperson says he will have no comment, citing NCAA recruiting rules, while Ron Ingram of the AHSAA would not confirm or deny to the Pensacola Journal that Paige had filled out transfer forms.
Here's the rub from my seat: Let's take this story with a grain of salt. The reputation of assistant coach George Schellang has been questioned through the years, Foley coach Todd Watson insists that no one at his school is in the wrong, and think of this: If indeed Tide assistant Jeremy Pruitt used the words "We will take care of you academically", he could have simply meant that he knows from the Foley HS folks that Paige would be enrolled in an academic plan that could benefit the lineman.
Stay tuned on this one. Regardless of how it turns out, the story has certainly added spice to the world of sports less than a month from the season openers!