Courtesy of UA Athletics
The return of forward Braxton Key gives Alabama one of the better lineups in the SEC.

Alabama basketball: Braxton Key returns to school; baseball coach attempts to revoke scholarships

Welcome to The Rammer Jammer, SEC Country’s daily Alabama athletics recap. Today, we look at good news for basketball and controversy for baseball.

One Alabama head coach will be overjoyed at the return of one of his 2016-17 squad members.

Braxton Key announced his intention to withdraw from the NBA draft and return to Alabama on Tuesday. Key was Alabama’s leading scorer and his return gives Alabama a complete roster with the talent to beat any team in the SEC. SEC Country’s Marq Burnett projected the starting lineup. 

Another coach will be less than thrilled to see his players back at Alabama.

Baseball coach Greg Goff is facing mounting criticism after his inaugural campaign at Alabama culminated in an aborted attempt to revoke scholarships for several current players (or not renew them for the next season). This would have been a direct violation of a pair of NCAA Bylaws that prohibit the revocation of scholarships for purely athletic reasons.

While that bylaw appears to be a protective measure for athletes, it’s really as much about protecting the institutions and the whole notion of amateurism. Scholarships are considered tax exempt and non-compensatory because they are not contingent upon the completion of any particular activity, and only revocable for disciplinary reasons. The ability to withhold money because players aren’t up to scratch turns that money into compensation, which opens the door to unionization and other labor issues.

This is to say nothing of the ethical and moral questions involved in telling students they have to find thousands of dollars to come back to the school they signed on to represent as a student-athlete. This latest controversy is just one of many in the still-young Goff era. The climate around the program has led the editor in chief of prominent blog Roll Bama Roll to call for an early end to that era.

ICYMI

Built by Bama

Packers safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix has been back on campus finishing his college degree. When asked why in a Twitter Q&A, he credited his mother and Saban.  

Dre Kirkpatrick is out with a fractured hand, which he attributed to a “freak accident.”

Around the Capstone

Three members of the Alabama women’s golf team were named All-Americans. 

Some players from the women’s tennis team are gearing up for the NCAA individual championships, beginning Wednesday in Athens, Ga.

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