A textbook scandal may cost the Alabama football program at least 10 victory and potentially as many as 21 victories from the 2005, 2006 and 2007 seasons, according to a report by the Birmingham News newspaper.
Seems players, who get free textbooks as part of their football scholarships, didn’t limit their textbook purchases to themselves. A school investigation was launched when a bookseller employee noted that one Alabama football player had $1,600 in book charges (not to be picky, but having looked around a college bookstore lately, that doesn’t seem at all out of the realm of possibility).
Regardless, the NCAA rules those additional charges as extra benefits, meaning those players who took part in the scheme were ineligible to participate. The News says Alabama will likely have to forfeit those victories in which the players participated.
Alabama will not receive a postseason ban or scholarship reductions, but will reportedly have to pay an NCAA fine, in addition to giving up the victories. The program also will go on probation.
Because it was still within a five-year window from its last probation, Alabama faced tougher penalties as a repeat offender. Now, a new five-year window will open.
The NCAA, it seems, is beginning to stiffen its stance on ineligible players participating. Alabama will be the highest-profile football program to vacate a significant number of football wins in the last 20 years.
More to come on this later. A teleconference is scheduled for 3 p.m.