National title-winning Alabama coach Gene Stallings decries state of college football

Gene Stallings last coached Alabama football 26 years ago. On Thursday, he’s said he’s glad he’s not coaching in today’s game.

Stallings, 87, met with reporters while in Tuscaloosa for the RISE golf tournament of champions at NorthRiver Yacht Club and the Chip in for RISE event. It’s one of the largest fundraisers for the center, which helps provide early intervention services to “an inclusive population while serving children with special needs at no cost to families,” according to its website.

Stallings didn’t mince words about the current state of college football.

“First of all, you have to handle them with kid gloves because if you’re really tough and rough on them sometimes, they’ll leave,” Stallings said. “And they can leave without a penalty. They can go and be eligible immediately. I think the NCAA made a mistake when they allowed a player to transfer and play immediately. I think they made a mistake when they allowed them to transfer for no reason. That’s just a personal opinion.”

Stallings, who during the 1992 season coached Alabama to its first national championship since Paul W. “Bear” Bryant’s tenure, said he does not like the new rules that allow players to profit off their name, image and likeness.

“I’m opposed to paying the player,” Stallings said. “It’s not professional football. It’s college football. I’m not opposed to the player getting some help, but if you checked it, a normal college player, he gets a whole lot more help than you think he does.”

Gene Stallings is lifted up by his players after the Alabama Crimson Tide defeated the Miami Hurricanes in the 1993 Sugar Bowl to secure the national title.

Stallings said he sees too much focus on the individual and not the team in today’s college football. Stallings said a key to the success of his team winning the national championship was…


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