I'm sure you've heard this because it's been out there for a couple of years, but Nick Saban has had more medical hardships since he's been at Alabama than any other program in the SEC. In fact, it's almost double.
Basically a medical hardship (or redshirt) is when a player is physically unable to play football anymore they are no longer apart of the team but still retain the scholarship money they had while on the football team so they can finish school. More than one Alabama player has said they were forced off the team, encouraged to take the medical hardship.
Saban has found a loophole to cut players in a nice way and make way for "better" players. Alabama needs all the help they can get though, right? Yeah, they aren't that good, they need to take advantage of everything they can because they can hardly get any good players on the field*.
The NCAA needs to come up with some kind of rule to prevent this. I guess you could say other programs just release a scholarship while Saban is offering them a medical hardship, but I think most coaches honor the scholarship until the player graduates as long as they try hard and keep their nose clean. If a player is going to receive a medical hardship, they should have to be examined by a 3rd-party physician to determine the extent of their condition. No more cheating, Mr. Saban.