University of Alabama

Alabama football: Alfy Hill's unexpected issue may cost Crimson Tide fourth recruit

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Add another Alabama football player to the list of those with NCAA issues.

This time it’s true freshman linebacker Alfy Hill whose ability to play this fall is at issue as the NCAA re-examines his high school course load.

And Hill’s case is unlike most academic issues. He was cleared to play originally but later deemed a non-qualifier.

“I think there is a sort of new emphasis on any kind of correspondence courses that young guys take,” coach Nick Saban said. “There is just a new standard for whatever reasons. I don’t know all the details. A few of his courses are not accepted after they were reviewed so that put him as a non-qualifier. We had limited options with him, and we are going to continue to support him and help in any way we can in terms of anything he wants to do.”

Hill’s alternatives include going to a junior college, prep school or attempt to qualify at Alabama this fall. There is also a possibility of appealing the NCAA’s decision. Coming out of West Brunswick High School in Shallotte, N.C., Hill was a four-star prospect, according to Rivals.com.

He was working in the hybrid defensive end/outside linebacker position known as the “Jack” in Alabama’s 3-4 defense.

Hill becomes the fourth member of the 2010 signing class who may miss the season. Deion Belue did not qualify academically and is attending Northeast Mississippi Community College, defensive lineman Wilson Love didn’t pass his physical and Ronald Carswell opted to grayshirt and join the program in January.

With Hill seemingly out of the picture for the season and a roster spot open, true freshman Harrison Jones will not grayshirt as previously announced. The younger brother of starting offensive guard Barrett Jones attended practices Wednesday.

The issue with Hill wasn’t one that was expected like the other academic questions involving Belue and Blake Sims, who ended up qualifying at the last minute.

Saban said the questions were first raised just before the fall semester began. Now, there is little anyone can do but hope the appeal comes through.

For every high school in the nation, the NCAA Clearinghouse website lists classes that it accepts and those that do not count toward eligibility.

“I think we just have to be real consistent with what the rules are and what the standards are,” Saban said.

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