Harvey Perlman, Nebraska's Chancellor, among other things, recently spoke about conference expansion and how he thinks it will affect Nebraksa and College Football as a whole. We won't go into the specifics regarding conference expansion-there is already enough speculation and plenty of other blogs already talking about it night and day-but we want to touch on something Mr. Perlman mentioned regarding the NCAA and recruiting.
“You don't know that for sure," Perlman said. “There could be some advantage to joining the Big Ten depending on what the deal is. There could be some disadvantage, too."
“They have a different set of recruiting rules than we have," Perlman said, “which might impact what we're able to do."
Finally, someone other than Jim Delany, who wrote this lovely memo to the rest of college football, openly admits that there is a difference in recruiting practices amongst the conferences, so much so that it could affect whether or not a school such as Nebraska decides to join the Big 10 Conference.
Greetings from the Big Ten Conference,
I love speed and the SEC has great speed, especially on the defensive line, but there are appropriate balances when mixing academics and athletics. Each school, as well as each conference, simply must do what fits their mission regardless of what a recruiting service recommends. I wish we had six teams among the top 10 recruiting classes every year, but winning our way requires some discipline and restraint with the recruitment process. Not every athlete fits athletically, academically or socially at every university. Fortunately, we have been able to balance our athletic and academic mission so that we can compete successfully and keep faith with our academic standards.
This is what we have been talking about the entire time on this blog. First we have the raw numbers that lay bare the truth behind oversigning, now we have someone outside of the Big 10 who has publicly acknowledged that there truly is a difference in recruiting rules for the Big 10 schools, so much so that it would influence Nebraska's decision to join the Big 10 conference if invited to do so.
Our point all along has been that the NCAA's recruiting rules were not intended to be the standard by which everyone in the country operates; the NCAA rules for recruiting are BASELINE rules that were intended to provide some sort of structure for 119 universities across the entire country. It has been our position all along that it is up to Conference Commissioners and University Presidents to further expand those rules to fit their athletic and academic missions. Based on the numbers we have shown and the research we have done, it is very clear that the SEC has done very little to expand upon those rules in ways other conferences have already. It wasn't until last year when, for perception reasons mainly, the SEC went to a 28 max rule, something the Big 10 has been doing for 10-15 years. Ironically, as our data shows, this hasn't reduced the number of signed commitments across the SEC, at least not yet.
Perlman talks about the NCAA's reach when it comes to conference expansion, but he also sheds light on how the NCAA regulates across the board:
This is a common misconception among fans and some media members, Perlman said. The NCAA isn't all-powerful.
“The NCAA certainly has an interest in conference realignment," he said, “but it's not a player.
“Conferences are independent units. The Big Ten doesn't have to come to the NCAA to get permission to do what it wants to do. The NCAA regulates around the margins."
Bottom line: The entire purpose for this blog is increase awareness as to the topic of oversigning and how all conferences operate a little differently when it comes to recruiting. Our data and research shows that the SEC signs more players than anyone else in the country, by a landslide. We also believe that kids are being done a disservice through the practice of oversigning and we believe that it has created a competitive advantage which makes competing for a national championship more about the battle of who wins recruiting than who develops talent or who does a better job coaching.
It appears the Robby Green issue has been resolved. Green will miss the 2010 season serving a 1 year suspension for violation of undisclosed NCAA rules violations; he will remain on scholarship and is permitted to participate in all team activities with the exception of playing in games.
This means the magic number is still at 7. We currently have Star Jackson on the watch list and would not be surprised to hear that he is transferring to somewhere like Jacksonville State.
A new name has emerged on the watch list, Milton Talbert.
"The worst injury news to date has been with Milton Talbert, the rising fifth year senior. No one really knows what is wrong with the Mississippi native, but he has spent much of the spring on an exercise bike and has not participated in any of the contact drills to date. Given that he doesn't look to have any great chances for meaningful playing time -- Talbert, unfortunately, could probably qualify as the poster child for the tweener 3-4 end / linebacker -- I expect that it is only a matter of time at this point before we have an announcement that he will be going on a medical scholarship. I certainly hope that is not the case, mind you, but I'm afraid to say that at this point it certainly seems like an inevitability."
It seems as though Alabama fans no longer wonder how the numbers are going to work out, having experienced Saban's practice of oversigning over the last 4 years they have now become accustom to the attrition and the roster cuts.
"As I understand the situation, we now have 75 kids on campus on scholarship after adding the midterm entries and subtracting the couple who have announced they won't be a part of the 2010 team. We still have 18 fall entries but a couple may not qualify. So, 75 plus 18 is 93 and we over by 8 which must be accomodated with greyshirts, more attrition or failure to qualify. That should not be a problem. There are a number who are obvious candidates for attrition and at least one grayshirt candidate and at least two who may not qualify.
At this time of the year, I used to wonder how in the heck Saban was going to balance the checkbook. After you see him do it a couple of times, you can see the outline of how this will work out."
This story is somewhat dated, but as we keep digging around the Internet we find more and more pieces to the puzzle that is oversigning. NCSA wrote an article outlining the details of the South Florida situation last year as a way to caution their readers (potential recruits and parents of potential recruits) about the practice of oversigning.
"Wesley Chapel center Kamran Joyer, who signed with USF in February, has asked for and been granted a release from his scholarship with the Bulls after uncertainty as to whether he’d be accepted academically, his father Jack said Monday afternoon.
USF’s coaches had anticipated some attrition from signing day, when 29 players signed with the Bulls, four over the NCAA limit for one class. Joyer is the sixth signee not expected to be in school this fall … Even without those six signees, USF is believed to be at the NCAA’s overall limit of 85 scholarships, unless other returning players do not stay with the program as expected."
Brian Cook picked up the story as well and added the following:
"The NCAA needs to step in here and make the letter of intent an actual commitment on the part of the school. Anyone you sign who does not end up on campus still counts as an occupied scholarship slot that year, and you can't sign a letter of intent until you are academically eligible. Otherwise you're going to get more instances like this when unscrupulous coaches meet marginally innocent babes."
We couldn't agree more. The letter of intent needs to carry more weight. Coaches should be given a recruiting budget number every year that dictates the total number of letters they can accept and every scholarship needs to be accounted for prior to signing the letter. That will eliminate all of the loopholes and games coaches are playing with the numbers, it will eliminate the possibility of a kid getting screwed out of a scholarship, and it will put everyone on a level playing field.
It's official, Robby Green has been suspended by the NCAA for an undisclosed reason, which many believe to be failing a drug test.
ROBBY GREEN TO MISS 2010 SEASON
University of Alabama junior defensive back Robby Green has been declared ineligible to participate for the 2010 season by the NCAA. Green will be eligible for practice and will remain on scholarship during the suspension.
“Even though we are very disappointed we will continue to support Robby in every way possible,” said Alabama Crimson Tide head football coach Nick Saban. “He’ll practice and do all the other things with our team in terms of classes and workouts, but just won’t be eligible to play in any games this fall. His attitude has been outstanding through this and his effort in practice has been very good as well. Even if he isn’t playing, he can still have a significant impact on our team by helping out the younger players in the secondary and competing against the offense to make them better. We look forward to having Robby back on the field next fall for his senior season.”
This definitely makes the March to 85 very interesting. First of all, the burning question we have is why is Saban keeping him on scholarship? Did the NCAA mandate that Green has to remain on scholarship when they handed down the suspension or is Saban and Alabama afraid of blacklash or APR penalties if they just cut him loose?
Obviously Green is an asset and was expected to step into the starting safety position in Saban's defense, but given the numbers crunch Saban and Alabama are in, they could not afford to lose a player and at the same time not free up a scholarship. Fortunately for Alabama, they have tons and tons of raw talent in the secondary, and just to make sure they have enough debth, which they do, they have been trying out WR Julio Jones at safety and corner. The bigger problem for them is the number 85.
The magic number is still 7. We are taking Robby Green off the watch list, leaving only Star Jackson. It's going to be interesting to see how the oversigned roster of 95 works it way out in the end.