After reviewing the incident from Saturday’s Alabama basketball game, the Alabama compliance office denies that an NCAA violation was committed regarding the recruitment of Heritage Hall running back Barry J. Sanders.
The Oklahoman reported Monday that a violation did occur. Sanders, a junior, was visiting the Alabama campus for the second time and was on hand for the school’s junior day.The Alabama-Arkansas basketball game was shown on a Fox Sports television broadcast, and the Crimson Tide’s video board showed Sanders and Alabama football coach Nick Saban together. The two were allowed to sit next to each other, but Sanders is not allowed to be introduced at functions attended by the media or the public. “Our compliance office is aware of this claim and has looked into it. Based on that inquiry, it was determined that no violation was committed,” Alabama spokesperson Doug Walker told The Tuscaloosa News. According to Alabama, the still images that circulated on the Internet of Sanders and Saban together were taken from the Fox Sports broadcast, and Alabama is not at fault. The school’s findings were that the video board displayed only a prominent shot of Saban. It was reported by SportsByBrooks.com that upon seeing Sanders and Saban together, a ‘We Want Barry!’ chant began in the Alabama student section. Violation of the rule would be considered a secondary violation by the NCAA and would not affect the eligibility of Sanders. Sanders is on the Rivals 250 list for the 2012 class and is considered a four-star prospect according to Scout.com. He has 15 offers and includes Alabama, Florida State, Oklahoma State and UCLA as his four early favorites. Sanders is recovering from foot surgery and has attended the junior day events at Florida State and Alabama in the last month.