Five Star Recruit Landon Collins' Mom Alleges Nick Saban Promised Job to Recruit's Girlfriend
It wouldn't be recruiting season without a brewing controversy down South surrounding one of the nation's top five-star recruits, safety Landon Collins. As you can see from his Rivals offer list, everyone wanted the five-star safety -- LSU, Alabama, Florida State, Auburn, Florida, USC, Texas A&M, and Georgia all offered.
But ultimately the choice came down to the hometown LSU Tigers or their bitter rival the Alabama Crimson Tide.
You'll recall that Collins picked Alabama over LSU at the Under Armour all-star game, a decision that left his mother unhappy and sparked a viral video.
But why was his mother unhappy? You need to read this interview.
Mom wanted her son to attend LSU, the school much closer to home. So how did Alabama pull away Collins from the team his mom preferred? Generally you can't go wrong if you win over momma. Nick Saban didn't win over momma, indeed, momma felt that Saban "stereotyped" her. So Saban went after another woman: Collins' mom claims that Nick Saban promised a job to Collins's girlfriend.
Let's go to the interview:
"Was there anything else that didn't sit right with April? As it turned out there was. It had to do with Landon's girlfriend, Victoria. ESPN The Magazine reported about a confrontation between April and Victoria at the All-America Game after Landon's sister had urged her to stand onstage for his big announcement. April wanted only family in front of the camera. Landon's dad, Thomas, ended up having to intercede. When the cameras began rolling, there was Victoria standing directly behind Landon.
"What the (ESPN) article didn't mention, however, was the reason April was apparently upset, which may have tipped the scales in Alabama's favor. According to April, Victoria had allegedly been offered a job to work in head coach Nick Saban's office."
"In all fairness to Saban and Alabama, I have been unable to independently confirm April's story on this point (Citing NCAA rules, Doug Walker, Associate Athletics Director, Communications, at the University of Alabama, stated in an email to MomsTeam that the school "would not comment on anything relating to the recruitment of a prospective student-athlete." Asked if Landon's girlfriend had been offered a job, he stated, "I have no information regarding that."). All I know is what April told me.
But suffice it to say, April appears to have reasons for feeling the way she does about her son's decision, and they have less to do with her being an LSU fan and a mom who doesn't want to let go, and more to do with her understanding what was happening behind the scenes, outside camera range, that may have played a role in that decision that didn't square with the way she raised her children."
Now does this video make more sense?
Mom was upset because she believed Alabama wasn't recruiting fairly. Sitting directly behind Collins on the stage that day was Nick Saban's secret weapon, girlfriend Victoria Lowery.
Surely, hiring a recruit's girlfriend would be an NCAA violation, right?
Not according to AL.com which determined that NCAA prohibitions on hiring "an individual associated with the prospective student-athlete" only applies to basketball.
"The NCAA passed a new bylaw in 2010 pertaining specifically to men's basketball that prohibits a university from employing an individual associated with a prospective student-athlete. This bylaw, however, does not apply to college football recruits. According to NCAA bylaw 126.96.36.199:
"In men's basketball, during a two-year period before a prospective student-athlete's anticipated enrollment and a two-year period after the student-athlete's actual enrollment, an institution shall not employ an individual associated with the prospective student-athlete in any athletics department non-coaching staff position."
Impermissible under NCAA rules?
Welcome to Alabama, where coaches play the NCAA rule book like a fiddle. So now the NCAA has another loophole to close. (Why, one wonders, was this rule ever made specific to only basketball? Wasn't it just a matter of time before coaches exploited it to their advantage in football? If you ask this question you're too smart to work at the NCAA.)
Between Cam Newton and now Landon Collins, the official state emblem of Alabama should be the loophole.
In the meantime, here is Nick Saban's secret weapon.