Coach Brad Bohannon Speaks On Scholarship Situation
Alabama baseball coach Brad Bohannon did not hold back in expressing his thoughts on the scholarship situation at Alabama on Thursday’s broadcast of Hey Coach.
The Crimson Tide’s radio announcer Eli Gold sat down with Coach Bohannon at Tuscaloosa’s famous Baumhower's Victory Grille, and asked him about the impact that the NCAA’s new NIL rules have had on the baseball team and how disruptive it could be in the locker room. Bohannon responded by stating, “the competitive integrity across college baseball is kind of a joke.”
“We’re at an incredible disadvantage with our scholarship situation, and the NIL is making it even more frustrating,” Bohannon added. “You look at Mississippi State winning the national championship last year, I mean basically if you have a heartbeat, you can get in-state tuition there, because there’s basically no reason to go to Starkville unless it’s for sports.”
“You look at Vanderbilt, and they dish out financial aid to baseball players like they’re Skittles… You look at Arkansas, who put together a great team last year, there are nine states that get in-state tuition at the University of Arkansas, so you start doing the math on it, we’re playing against teams that have almost twice the scholarship dollars than we do.”
Bohannon factored in the NIL deals by saying, “...we’re now competing against schools that have twice the scholarships, and more NIL exposure and if we don’t get the right people to help us, we’re going to be in a hole that we’re never going to get out of.”
Coach Bo brings up some good points that fans of the Crimson Tide may not have ever thought about. A student-athlete's best opportunity for NIL deals is exposure; something that Alabama’s football and basketball teams don’t really have to worry about. If Vanderbilt plays half of their games on the SEC Network, they’ll get much more exposure than an Alabama team that only gets a quarter of that air-time. And if NIL deals come from exposure, why would a recruit decide to go somewhere he might not get as good of an opportunity as he would somewhere else. Throw on scholarships and in-state tuition values, and all of a sudden, Alabama baseball is losing the race big time.
Alabama baseball currently has zero players rostered with NIL deals, the only team in the SEC without one.