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Recruit’s family tells Kevin Steele Alabama ‘wasn’t in the ballpark’ with NIL offers

Kevin Steele directs the defense during 2023 A-Day
Mandatory Credit: Gary Cosby-USA TODAY Sports

Former Alabama defensive coordinator Kevin Steele pulled back the curtain a bit on the modern-day recruiting landscape in college football.

During an appearance on the Paul Finebaum Show on Thursday, Steele shared a brief story from a family the Crimson Tide were recruiting where Alabama had checked every single box they were looking for in terms of a program except one.

NIL offerings.

“I’m not opposed to players getting paid. I’m not sure where the lines are,” Steele said. “So you go in the home and the mom tells you, ‘Coach we love you, we’ve been up there 15 times, you know everyone in the family’s name, we trust you, we know we’re gonna get developed there, we know we’re gonna have a chance to be a first-round draft pick, we know we’re gonna have a chance to win a national championship, but you guys aren’t in the ballpark in terms of the money.’ Well, we as coaches can’t be involved per NCAA rules.”

The NCAA prohibits coaches from using NIL as a main point in enticing a recruit to sign with the program, but that has proven difficult to police in the Wild West of the current NIL era.

Steele, who retired in January, is also one of an ever-growing list of coaches who are not sure of the NCAA’s role in policing potential recruiting violations.

“I couldn’t say this two months ago but I can say it now but I don’t know the role the NCAA has as a coach,” Steele said. “Now I’m not an administrator, I’m not somebody smart enough to figure it all out. But as a boots-on-the-ground soldier, it doesn’t seem to have any effect anymore. But again, the NCAA is college administrators they run the NCAA that’s who runs the NCAA so we need to figure that out pretty quick.”

With Nick Saban retiring from coaching as well, it will be up to new head coach Kalen DeBoer to manage the ship in the frantically competitive recruiting world that is the SEC.

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Patrick Dowd is a Reporter for Touchdown Alabama Magazine. You can follow him on Twitter, via Pat_Dowd77

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