Oversigning.com
30Jun/1016

Marquette Screws D. J. Newbill via Oversigning

Purely pathetic.   Buzz Williams obviously didn't graduate from the Nick Saban "school of sweeping oversigning under the rug," instead this guy is pretty matter of fact about the situation.  Saban at least has the decency of putting a guy on a bogus completely legit medical hardship or something - this right here is just cold.

If the NCAA is going to allow university athletic departments to treat college athletes like professional free agent athletes, then they should allow players to demand to be paid for their services at whatever the free market will bear and allow them to retain an agent to help negotiate and navigate these snake infested waters.   Simply put, an 18 year old kid, even with two level-headed parents, is no match for these snake oil salesmen. 

We would rather see the NCAA step in and for once actually do something logical with regards to the current recruiting by-laws and the oversigning loophole, but if that isn't going to happen then the least they can do is let these kids play on a level playing field against these universities and coaches.  

Attention all future Buzz William recruits, you might want to read this article closely before you give your commitment, as it could be you on the short end of the stick instead of DJ.  Be sure to read the part about DJ not being able to go to another Big East school as well.

Only three months after combo guard D.J. Newbill called Marquette his dream school when he signed, the Philadelphia native learned the Golden Eagles have decided not to honor their scholarship offer.

Marquette needed to free up a scholarship this week to accommodate talented Oregon transfer Jamil Wilson, so coach Buzz Williams revealed Wednesday that the school will release Newbill from his letter of intent. AAU coach Larry Waiters said Marquette officials used some "minor paperwork" that Newbill's high school hadn't sent yet as justification for cutting him loose.

"I understand it's a business and you're trying to do the best for your business, but when you make a commitment to someone, you should stand by your commitment," said Waiters, who has coached Newbill since ninth grade and was among the first to speak to him after Marquette made its decision. "Marquette was his ideal school. He's a little upset, but I think he'll be fine."

Marquette's brazenness in severing ties with Newbill is a tad unusual, but the Golden Eagles certainly aren't the only program willing to make such a move to better position themselves to win. Just like recruits often renege on a commitment or seek a release from a letter of intent if a better option comes along, many schools are doing the same thing.

A Marquette spokesman confirmed Wednesday that Newbill had qualified academically and the coaching staff simply decided the program needed Wilson more than him. The 6-foot-7 Wilson, a Wisconsin native and former top-100 prospect, started 14 of the 26 games he appeared in last season for the Ducks, averaging 4.7 points and 3.2 rebounds.

"D.J.'s a great kid," Williams told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. "He comes from a great family who we have established relationships with, and we're going to do everything we can to help him in his future, in whatever capacity that would be."

The good news for Newbill is that it appears there won't be any shortage of options for him despite how late it is in the recruiting calendar. He won't be able to go anywhere else in the Big East because he'd already signed with Marquette, but Waiters said a handful of other Division I programs have already expressed interest.

Newbill had previously considered West Virginia, Drexel, Nebraska, St. Joe's and Temple before selecting Marquette.

"The disappointment is that he won't get to go to a Big East school," Waiters said. "He could petition, but you're never going to win those things. But he's got some pretty good offers on the table. He's going to have to get together with his mom and his family and make a decision."

http://rivals.yahoo.com/ncaa/basketball/blog/the_dagger/post/Did-Marquette-put-winning-before-ethics-by-cutti?urn=ncaab,252690

Filed under: Big East 16 Comments
25Jun/1014

Verification 2.0

We have been accused of pulling numbers out of thin air, not being able to count to 85, and not knowing the difference between recruiting by-laws and the dollar menu at McDonald's, so every now and then we have to post something from a 3rd party source to verify that we are not making this up as we go.

Verification 1.0

The same source that published verification 1.0 has put out an update on Alabama's scholarship numbers.  They have the magic number at 2, we have it 3, however, there seems to be some confusion regarding the status of 1 player's scholarship and whether or not his parents are paying his way.  Given all the variables to the Alabama scholarship equation, which is nearly as complex as quantum field theory, we feel fairly satisfied with being within one scholarship, if not dead on the magic number. 

Verification 2.0

Nick Saban's roster management equation:

Notre Dame's:
(60 + 23) - 1 = 82

One has to wonder why it is so complicated and why there are so many back stories to Alabama's roster.  Notre Dame doesn't have this problem - there is no need on June 27th for a 5,000 word explanation as to how Notre Dame is going to get to 85 by August.  The explanation for Notre Dame's roster can be summed up in one sentence: Notre Dame had 60 players on scholarship on signing day, they signed 23 players, and they now have 83 players on scholarship. End of story.  Oh wait, there is a need for another sentence, sadly, one of Notre Dame's recruits tragically fell from a balcony and died, so Notre Dame is at 82 scholarship players.  Instead, with Alabama and other schools that oversign you have to sit down and go through something like this to get to the bottom of where their numbers are and how they are going to get down to 85.

This is the exact area that needs attention:

Before getting into the actual roster as it stands now, you also need to know exactly what has transpire since the Tide headed home from Pasadena.

On January 11, eleven new Tide players began their academic career at the Capstone:

Cade Foster, Jalston Fowler, John Fulton, Brandon Lewis, Chad Lindsay, Darius McKeller, DeMarcus Milliner, Anthony Orr, Austin Shepherd, Phillip Sims, Petey Smith

That saw Bama's number of scholarship athletes climb to 78.

Within one week of that, both Rolando McClain and Kareem Jackson declared for the NFL Draft (and went on to be 1st round draft picks), dropping Bama's number to 76.

On February 3, 18 more student-athletes signed their national letter of intent to play for Alabama in the fall. Those guys don't count towards the scholarship limits until fall practice begins, so we won't add them into the mix quite yet.

Obviously, those 18, plus the 11 that enrolled early gives Bama a total of 29 new players. Since an incoming group can not exceed 25, something has to give.

The NCAA has got to recognize this as a problem (actually they are currently investigating and gathering research data on oversigning).  With Alabama's scholarship numbers sitting at 76 on national signing day, Alabama accepted signed LOI from 18 more student-athletes.  76 + 18 = 94.  That is just plum ridiculous, legal, yes for the time being, but ethical?  Not hardly.  The days are numbered on this practice - we just wonder why it has taken 40+ years for everyone to recognize it for what Bobby Dodd saw it as, a scam.

The solution is simple and it is one that we are sure the NCAA is going to adopt soon; before a LOI can be offered to a player to sign, the school has to prove that there is an opening for the scholarship at the time the LOI is signed - no opening, no LOI - period.  If Nick Saban and others want to replace players that fall to the wayside because of "natural attrition" they can do it when the attrition happens.  If a guy transfers in the spring and opens up a scholarship then Saban can go out and recruit a replacement or give the scholarship to a walk-on.  We have got to put an end to coaches recruiting and signing these extra players 4-5 months before the scholarship becomes available.

Filed under: SEC 14 Comments
25Jun/1010

Alabama well on their way to being Oversigned for 2011

Posting has been slow lately, but that doesn't mean there isn't news floating around about signing classes and oversigning.  A few days ago we posted a piece on LSU getting a head start on oversigning the 2011 recruiting class.   As it turns out, Alabama is in the exact same boat as their senior class currently sits at 9 players.  Obviously, there will be a number of talented juniors leave early for the NFL, but 9 + 4 is only 13, and 13 is a long ways away from Saban's average class of 27+ players per year, even if you throw in Saban's mandatory attrition which sits at roughly 9 players per year Alabama will be hard pressed to bring in a full class of 28 (25 for the current and 3 for the previous year or next year) players next year, which appears to the holy grail to SEC recruiting.

Just like LSU's situation where they have 9 seniors and already have 11 verbal commitments, Alabama also has 9 seniors but they already have 14 verbal commitments and there is no sign of Saban shutting down recruiting for the year.  

Maybe a word of caution is in order for those considering LSU and Alabama (and other schools that have made a habit of signing more players than they have room for when they sign them) - if you are one of the players that signs a LOI to a scholarship that doesn't exist yet, you will be, in essence, forcing someone out of their scholarship and that might be something to think about down the road when you are in their shoes and the next class of 5 star studs show up and there isn't enough room for all of them.  We know none of you think you will ever get cut and that all of you think you are going to the NFL to make millions, but the harsh reality is that only a select few of you will, and the rest of you will be "going pro in something else."  Just food for thought.

Here's a little something to chew on; LSU's and Alabama's senior classes of 9 started at 26 and 23 respectively.  That's a total of 31 players over 4 years, and that is just from ONE FREAKING RECRUITING CLASS.

Filed under: SEC 10 Comments
23Jun/101

LSU’s March to 85 – Clay Spencer

We recently added LSU to the March to 85 list and had their magic number at 2 in order to get down to 85.  It is now down to 1 with the departure of Clay Spencer to the coveted medical hardship scholarship, which makes 3 for LSU this year. 

http://www.andthevalleyshook.com/2010/6/23/1532740/ol-clay-spencer-will-not-return-to

The March to 85 - LSU

Player Position Reason for Leaving
Akiem Hicks Defensive Tackle Removed from the team - was involved in NCAA investigation
Kyle Prater Linebacker Transfer
Jhyryn Taylor Wide Receiver Transfer
Thomas Parsons Fullback Medical Hardship Scholarship
John Williams Wide Receiver Medical Hardship Scholarship
Clay Spencer Offensive Lineman Medical Hardship Scholarship
Chris Garrett QB Cut - Scholarship Not Renewed
Houston Bates Defensive End Released from LOI in April; refused Greyshirt
Elliott Porter Offensive Lineman Asked to Greyshirt in AUGUST; refused Greyshirt; released

Filed under: SEC 1 Comment
18Jun/1021

Indiana, Crean On the Clock

We just received the message below from a reader by the name of John, located in Chicago, Illinois.  And while we can recite NCAA By-Laws for football recruiting in our sleep, we are not that well versed, yet, in the recruiting By-Laws for other sports, such as basketball.  We do know that basketball is now subject to the one-and-done rules which enables players to jump to the NBA after only one year in college, but in being completely honest we are not totally up to speed on basketball recruiting rules. 

Regardless, what really matters here is that someone was compelled (outraged if you will) enough to write us about Tom Crean pushing players off the Indiana roster in order to make room for new recruits. 

Click link to continue reading >>>>

17Jun/1017

LSU Gets Jump Start on Oversigning 2011 Class

I guess this blog came around at just the right time because there are some really great examples of the problems with oversigning popping up all over the Internet here lately.  As you know, we have started to focus on LSU a little more here lately now that our readers have started funneling information to us  (which is greatly appreciated).  Thanks in large part to their efforts, we have documented that LSU oversigned by 7 players this year, have cut 5, and are looking to depend on two recruits to not qualify academically to come out at 85 scholarships this August.

What we haven't documented is that LSU appears to be getting a jump start on oversigning for next year.

See the problem with oversigning is that you can only do it for so long and then eventually the numbers catch up with you.  Perhaps that is why we see coaches that oversign jumping from job to job and coaches that don't oversign tend to hang around a little longer in one place.

Case and point, LSU.   

LSU Recruiting Numbers 2002 - 2010

Teams Conf. 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 Total Average
LSU SEC 26 28 26 13 26 26 26 24 27 222 24.66


As you can see, they have signed an average of roughly 24 players a year.  However, according to this article, LSU is only graduating 9 players next year, and yet they already have 11 verbal commitments.   And what's worse is that this appears to be a huge year for recruits in the state of Louisiana. 

So, as you gathered from the list, there's only nine players currently on scholarship who will definitely not be returning next season (Richard Murphy, Terrence Toliver, Joseph Barksdale, Pep Livingston, Drake Nevis, Kelvin Sheppard, Jai Eugene, Josh Jasper and Derek Helton).

With that in mind, we turn our attention onto the 2011 signing class. Currently, LSU sits at 11 commitments and counting. Obviously they will add more names, but even if the class stopped where it is, they'd be over the scholarship limit by two. In a banner recruiting year, this isn't good news.

Where will the scholarships come from?

http://www.andthevalleyshook.com/2010/6/17/1523018/the-2011-signing-class-and  

Given the competitive nature of the SEC and the fact that LSU is slipping further and further behind Alabama every year it is going to be gut wrenching for Les Miles and his staff to exercise constraint and only sign who they have room for on signing day and let all of the elite talent in Louisiana that they don't legitimately have room for go to rival teams in the SEC.

This is exactly the reason why the NCAA needs to step in and eliminate oversigning.  With the changes we have been advocating LSU would have to prove where the scholarships are going to come from before they sign a player - with only 9 players graduating and maybe 2 jumping to the NFL early, LSU stands to only be able to sign 11-12 players next year.  Does anyone honestly believe after signing an average of 24 players a year that they are just going to take 12 and let the rest go elsewhere?  Maybe they do, after all they did only sign 13 players one year, and if that happens we will be the first website to praise them for it and give credit where credit is due, but if signing day rolls around and there are 24 LOI on the fax machine you can bet we will be here to document the attrition, player by player.  Let's hope they do the right thing by the young men that have committed themselves to the university, after all Les Miles is a Michigan Man, he should know better, right?

Filed under: SEC 17 Comments
17Jun/1015

LSU Joins the March to 85

A while back we were given a list of teams from a reader who claimed that there were other schools out there that were abusing oversigning just as badly as Alabama.  LSU was a school on that list and we asked our readers if they could help resolve LSU's numbers and determine if they have truly oversigned, and if so, by how much.  The response was excellent as one reader "Homework" broke down LSU's roster going into last signing day and provided us with some solid numbers.  Based on his numbers LSU went over their limit by 7 players this recruiting class (65 guys returning on scholarship + 27 guys signed = 92 players). 

This morning "Homework" sent us an update on LSU numbers on the heels of the announcement that 4 players will not be returning next year for LSU.  This prompted us to create a table for LSU and add them to the March to 85.

The March to 85 - LSU

Player Position Reason for Leaving
Akiem Hicks Defensive Tackle Removed from the team - was involved in NCAA investigation
Kyle Prater Linebacker Transfer
Jhyryn Taylor Wide Receiver Transfer
Thomas Parsons Fullback Medical Hardship Scholarship
John Williams Wide Receiver Medical Hardship Scholarship
Clay Spencer Offensive Lineman Medical Hardship Scholarship
Chris Garrett QB Cut - Scholarship Not Renewed
Houston Bates Defensive End Released from LOI in April; refused Greyshirt
Elliott Porter Offensive Lineman Asked to Greyshirt in AUGUST; refused Greyshirt; released


http://www.nola.com/lsu/index.ssf/2010/06/lsu_football_two_tigers_planni.html

There's that medical hardship scholarship again.  It's becoming the perfect solution to solving number issues with the roster; the player gets to continue his education on scholarship which helps the school avoid APR issues and it frees up a football scholarship to give to a new player that is not injured or injury prone.  There is no limit to the number of players you can place on medical hardship scholarships and all the NCAA requires is a signature by the player agreeing to take the medical waiver and a signature from a doctor.   

While LSU's oversigning is not quite as bad as Alabama's, it's bad enough to warrant adding them to the March to 85.  Based on the numbers from "Homework," LSU still has to players to cut loose in order to get down to 85 by the August deadline.  We're leaving two slots open in their table and will update accordingly when the news comes out.  We're also adding LSU to the magic number list.

You have to ask yourself, when looking at the schools that oversign, would this many kids be transferring or taking medical hardship scholarships if the roster was not oversigned?  In LSU and Alabama's case, had they signed the number of players they had room for on signing day and still had the same number of players leave the team, LSU would go into the season with 78 players on scholarship and Alabama with 75 players on scholarship.

The March continues: LSU 2, Alabama 3.  Here is a new big board for the teams in The March to 85:

The March to 85 - By Teams

Team Players Returning Players Signed Amount Over Players Cut Magic Number
Alabama 66 29 10 7 3
LSU 65 27 7 7 0

Filed under: SEC 15 Comments
15Jun/108

Abuse Breeds Control

Andy Staples, writer for Sports Illustrated, wrote an excellent article on oversigning last year in the wake of Huston Nutt's 37 player class and subsequent thumbing of his nose at those who criticized the number of players he signed, given that he had 64 scholarship players set to return to Ole Miss and there was no way he would have room for all 37 players. 

Let's take a closer look at Andy's article.

First, regarding Nutt's position on his class of 37:

"I checked with [compliance director] David [Wells], and there's no rule that says that we can't sign 80," Nutt said at that Signing Day press conference. "All I know is we have to have 25 ready to go in August ready and eligible."

Is this the kind of coach with which you should entrust your child's signature on a letter of intent?  Seriously.  Fortunately, the SEC addressed the situation and placed a limit of 28 signed letters per class, but 28 * 4 != 85, so there is still room for improvement and further regulation. 

More from the article:

As long as programs keep their total at 85 scholarships and don't bring in more than 25 a year, the NCAA has no quarrel -- for now. The NCAA's Football Issues Committee discussed oversigning and grayshirting at its January meeting. The committee, which comprises coaches, athletic directors and conference administrators, agreed to monitor oversigning, but Sun Belt Conference commissioner Wright Waters, the committee's chair, said until the committee can get some hard data, it can't determine if oversigning is an issue that requires legislation.

"We don't know yet, because we don't know the numbers," Waters said. "If you look at it purely in principle, you're uncomfortable with it. But you've also got to ask if kids are being benefited by it. If they are, then you've got to find a way to not hurt those kids and at the same time make sure you maintain a level playing field."

As Waters noted, oversigning and grayshirting raise some ethical dilemmas. For instance, what happens when too many players have qualified academically and there is no scholarship available for a grayshirting player?

Clink link to continue reading >>>>

Filed under: Rants, SEC Continue reading
13Jun/1051

The March to 85 – Pharr & Talbert

News came out today that two more players will be leaving their football scholarships from Alabama, OL Taylor Pharr and LB Milton Talbert are both going to take a medical hardship scholarship and finish their degrees at Alabama, just not on a football scholarship.  This makes 3 medical hardship scholarships this year. 

The medical hardship scholarship term basically means that the player is being removed from his football scholarship because he has been deemed unable to compete because of medical injury but will continue to receive grants-in-aid from the university to continue his education for the full 4-5 years.  Like many other provisions provided by the NCAA, the medical hardship (or waiver to use their terms) is a good thing and a safety net for student-athletes injured while playing.  However, much like the by-laws for signing players, there is a lot of confusion surrounding medical waivers and there is no centralized control or oversight.  Basically, each school is responsible for managing this on their own and all the NCAA needs is the required paperwork, which is nothing more than a signed release from the player and a doctor on the school's medical staff.

Bryan W. Smith, M.D., Ph.D., FAAP, believes that there is cause for reform in the area of medical waivers as there is a lot of confusion regarding the required paperwork as well as maintaining proper documentation.

http://www.collegeathletictrainer.org/newsletter/getfile.php?fetch=1_2_1

Judging by this document released by the Big 12 Director of Compliance, Keri Boyce, it appears that all that is required is contemporaneous medical documentation, a player's signature, and a doctor's signature.  No exit interview, no second opinion.  The only option the player has is to not agree to sign the waiver. 

https://admin.xosn.com/pdf6/104652.pdf?DB_OEM_ID=600

Shouldn't the NCAA, with all of it's billions of dollars, provide some sort of centralized clearing house for medical waivers?  We hate to sound cynical here, but this sure looks like yet another loophole to move players off of their football scholarship and free up room for new recruits.  What's the old saying, "abuse breeds control." 

Furthermore, regarding Alabama's situation, just look at the list below and imagine how depleted their roster would be if they were required to sign only the number of players they have room for on signing day.  Had Alabama signed 19 instead of 29 and then suffered the same amount of attrition, they would be going into the season with 78 players, which is roughly the number with which Auburn went into last season.

The March Continues - the magic number is now 3.

2010 The March to 85 - Alabama

Player Position Reason for leaving after NSD
Terry Grant Running Back Scholarship not renewed
Travis Sikes Wide Receiver Scholarship not renewed
Rod Woodson Safety Scholarship not renewed
Star Jackson Quarterback Transfer, Georgia State Div 1AA.
Deion Belue Defensive Back Academically Ineligible; headed to JUCO
Alfy Hill Linebacker Academically Ineligible; future unknown
Taylor Pharr Offensive Lineman Medical Hardship
Milton Talbert Linebacker Medical Hardship
Darius McKeller Offensive Lineman Medical Hardship
Ronnie Carswell Wide Receiver Greyshirt
Wilson Love Defensive End Greyshirt


We're still digging up the rest of the names from the 2009 list of attrition - if you have anyone to add to the list please post it for us here.

Attrition

2007 (25 Players Signed) 2008 (32 Players Signed) 2009 (27 Players Signed) 2010 (26 Players Signed) 2011 (22 Players Signed +2 GS)
Crump - quit football Johns - arrested, cocaine Dial - grades, juco Grant - not renewed Glenn Harbin - baseball
Elder - armed robbery Bolton - grades* Moore - grades Sikes - not renewed Demetrius Goode - transfer
Fanuzzi - transfer Hood - MLB P. Hall - transfer Div II McKeller - medical hardship Petey Smith - transfer
Hester - transfer Jackson - transfer Burnthall - quit team Jackson - transfer Brandon Moore - transfer
Lett - medical hardship Lawrence - transfer Fanney - transfer Sims - din't qualify Corey Grant - transfer
McGaskin - grades Lewis - grades Cardwell - not renewed Pharr - medical hardship Arron Douglas - died
Murphy - grades* Matchett - medical hardship Higgenbotham - transfer So. Ala Talbert - medical hardship Robby Green - released
Ricks - grades Neighbors - bryant scholarship Kirschman - not renewed Woodson - not renewed Kerry Murphy - medical hardship
Tayler - transfer Preyear - kicked off team Hester - medical hardship   Kendall Kelly - medical hardship
Farmer - transfer Ray - MLB     Wes Neighbors - medical hardship
  Smith - transfer      

Filed under: SEC 51 Comments
13Jun/105

It’s Legal, but is it Ethical?

At the end of the day, that is the fundamental question when discussing oversigning. By virtue of the way the NCAA by-laws are written and the structure of the 85/25 scholarship rules, there is no question that coaches, by NCAA rules, are allowed to sign as many players as they want (in fact the NCAA places no limits on the number of players that can be signed), as long as only 25 new scholarship players are added each year and no more than 85 scholarship players are on the roster at one time. Those that have been following this site already know all of this, as we have talked about it and debated it many times here.

For those just reading this site for the first time, we have taken a look at the restrictions some conferences have added to the signing process to prevent the practice of oversigning and we have looked at some conferences that until just recently have had no such restrictions and that blatantly oversign. There is no question that there are two schools of thought on this topic and that fans are just as passionate about this topic as they are about recruiting rankings and the games played on the field.

We ran across a wonderfully written article on oversigning and whether or not it is ethical at www.athlonsports.com.  If you follow this site and this topic then this is a must read article, as it touches on all of the main talking points when it comes to oversigning, including comments from high school coaches upset that their players were victims of oversigning, something that detractors of this site claim doesn't exist.  We're not sure when the article was written, but based on the comments from the coaches in the article our best guess is that this was written somewhere around 2003.

Let's take a closer look at the article (warning, this is a long, but very informative read - you might want to get a cup of coffee or something before you dive into this):

Click the link to continue reading >>>  

13Jun/100

The Oversigning Cup – 2011

We finally got around to creating a dedicated page for next year's Oversigning Cup.  We mentioned this a while back, but haven't been able to get around to setting it up for next year until now.   All the details you need are here.   Be sure to review the table definitions.  Basically, our goal here is to establish a recruiting budget for each team based on the standard procedures for determining how many slots each team will have open for the next year, and then we want to see which schools go over that budget on national signing day. 

It will be very interesting to see which teams go over, especially now that oversigning has been brought to light. 

The Oversigning Cup - 2011

School SPES Departures Budget # Signed Cup Points
School A 85 19 19 29 10
School B 84 24 25 23 -2

11Jun/1012

You Must Be Kidding

In the wake of USC's NCAA violations and the penalties handed down to USC from the NCAA, it has become public knowledge that USC's Juniors and Seniors are eligible to transfer without having to sit out a year and that schools are "allowed" to contact them.  However, according to USC's true freshman RB, Dillion Baxter, several schools have contacted him to gauge his interest in transferring.  Here's the problem, Baxter is a true freshman and schools are not allowed to contact him.

Meanwhile, USC true freshman running back Dillon Baxter told the school's director of compliance that five schools illegally contacted him in the wake of USC's NCAA penalties, according to a document reviewed by ESPN's Joe Schad.

In a letter written by USC director of compliance Matt Billings to Pac-10 Associate Commissioner for Governance and Enforcement Ron Barker, Florida, Washington, Oregon, Fresno State and Alabama allegedly contacted Baxter.

The letter states in part: "I just met with [Baxter] and he told me that he received phone calls from five institutions [June 10th]. All of the institutions asked if he was interested in transferring from USC due to the NCAA decision. Would you please speak with these schools to remind them they cannot speak to this student athlete?"

http://sports.espn.go.com/los-angeles/ncf/news/story?id=5275644

Let's take whether or not schools are allowed to talk to Baxter off the table for just a second.  Here is a list of those schools the number of players they signed last year: Florida (27), Washington (31), Oregon (23), Fresno State (21), and Alabama (29). 

Do any of those schools, especially Florida, Washington or Alabama, strike you as a school that has scholarship room?  We know Alabama doesn't, they still need to shed players.  So if the report is true and they did contact Baxter, where the heck were they going to put him, or better yet, who are the going to cut from the team to get him in if he wants to come?  Same for Florida and Washington.  If these reports are true and there are schools contacting these players, which by the way are elite prospects for the most part, and they can't prove that there is an opening on the roster at the time they are talking to the players, then they should be publicly reprimanded and denied access to the players.  The NCAA has got to come up with a way of managing these situations.

Filed under: Off Topic 12 Comments
10Jun/103

On the Clock Update – LSU

In our piece, On the Clock, we listed 6 programs that one of our readers accused of oversigning:

On The Clock - Numbers for 2006 - 2010

Teams Conf. 2006 2007 2008 2009 (07-09) 2010 (07-10)
LSU SEC 26 26 26 24 76 29 105
Miami ACC 22 19 33 19 71 28 99
Texas A&M B12 23 18 24 28 70 23 93
Washington PAC10 22 27 26 19 72 31 103
Nebraska B12 22 27 28 20 75 21 96
Texas B12 25 24 20 20 64 22 86


As we mentioned in the previous post, we have not investigated every single school to determine if they have oversigned or not (we've investigated a handful, but not all of them).  Investigating oversigning is a time consuming process, which is why we are trying to engage readers and encourage them to help with the process of investigating oversigning.  If you still don't understand how to determine if a team oversigned or not, or if you are a new reader and want to learn more about oversigning, we suggest that you check out our About, Definitions, and Recruiting Budget pages which will provide all the background information you need to understand and investigate oversigning.

Back to the Clock.  We had a reader help us get to the bottom of Texas A & M's numbers, and then this morning we had a reader post a link to an article about LSU linebacker Kyle Prater transferring to Rice.

Update on LSU’s oversigning.

They just had a LB transfer…

http://www.myfoxhouston.com/dpp/sports/ncaa_football/100609-lsu-lb-prater-is-transfererring-to-rice

They are now down to 90 players on ’ship, still 5 over the limit.

We need to be clear about something, we don't know yet if LSU is truly that far over the limit or over the limit at all.  We need to review last year's roster at the end of the season, determine how many slots they had open on National Signing Day, and then compare that to the number of players they signed.  We do know they signed 105 players in the last 4 years, including 29 last year, but as we have mentioned, those are very, very high numbers but that doesn't always mean they are guilty of oversigning. 

Hopefully we'll have a few LSU fans help us out with the numbers and see if we can get to the bottom of this for LSU.  Remember, we need to know how many scholarship players were on the roster at the end of last year, how many graduated or exhausted their eligibility, and how many left early for the NFL by the January 15th deadline.

Filed under: SEC 3 Comments
8Jun/1018

Slightly Off-Topic, But Still Relevant

The primary focus around here is oversigning, but from time to time you can't help but talk about academic standards and players qualifying when you talk about oversigning.  Those supporting oversigning often point to issues with finding enough guys to qualify academically to fill their roster.   We have mentioned here several times that we equate oversigning to hedging against attrition and how some schools have the luxury of doing it and some schools do not or will not.

Here is a prime example of how not being able to hedge can really bite you in recruiting.  Rich Rodriguez's prize recruit and the highest rated recruit for the entire Big 10 conference will most likely not play at Michigan this year, or next, or ever.  Demar Dorsey will likely not make it into school at Michigan this year, despite meeting the NCAA Clearinghouse requirements and being an NCAA qualifier.

Dorsey, the Big Ten's highest-rated recruit according to ESPN Recruiting, hasn't been allowed to enroll at Michigan, his high school coach Mark James told Corey Long.

"Demar is an NCAA qualifier with a 2.5 or 2.6 GPA and an 18 score on the ACT," said James. "But he hasn't yet been granted at Michigan."

Controversy surrounded Dorsey's commitment to Michigan when it was disclosed that he was arrested twice as a juvenile. He was acquitted on a charge of robbery with a deadly weapon in 2008 and had a previous charge of burglary dismissed.

James suggested that some of Dorsey's issues with his admission may stem from his previous transgressions with the law.

Both James and another source close to Dorsey told ESPN.com that Michigan's coaching staff is still working very hard to get him admitted.

http://espn.go.com/blog/ncfnation/post/_/id/22938/dorsey-situation-tests-michigan-rodriguez-bond

This brings a lot of areas of discussion to the table:

1. How is Dorsey affected by this?  He signed a LOI to a JUCO as a backup plan, but you have to think the kid was excited about clearing the NCAA clearinghouse and going to Michigan.  Will he end up at another D1 school on scholarship?  Rodriguez's comments about JUCO players are pretty interesting; pretty much he is saying that if Dorsey goes to JUCO it is unlikely that he will be able to come back to Michigan because of the issues with credits from JUCO transferring to Michigan.  This sure sheds some light on the JUCO farm leagues in Mississippi.  

In November, he spoke about wanting to sign a junior college player or two but not getting his hopes up.

“There’s not a lot of transferrable credits for junior-college guys to come in here,” Rodriguez said. “Sometimes people look at that as a quicker fix. That’s not going to really be an option for us just because of the academic differences.”

From the link above to the ESPN article.

Regardless, you have to feel for Dorsey who thought he was going to Michigan and is now looking elsewhere.  A lot of this can be solved by changing the signing process - one of our readers Mario, former linebacker at Alabama, has had some great insight and good ideas in this regard.

2. Are academic requirements really different across conferences and is it true that just because a guy clears the NCAA doesn't mean he will get into school?

3. How is Michigan going to be affected by this loss?  Had they been able to hedge their attrition by oversigning, would they have taken another player just in case?

4. What kind of competitive advantage is it to be able to oversign?

5. Does Rivals and Scout include the potential to qualify as part of their rating system??? Here we have the highest rated recruit for Michigan, and the Big 10, but at the end of the day, if he doesn't qualify how high should he really be rated?  If Rivals and Scout and all the other recruiting ranking services leave out academics or the ability to qualify it should be considered just as bad as if they left out a player's ability to read defenses or run a fast 40 time.  We see now why Randy Edsall was so livid about recruiting services.

6. Are part of Rich Rodriguez's problems at Michigan related in some way to the change in culture he is experiencing?  A guy like Dorsey would be lock to get into West Virginia, wouldn't he?

This could be a crushing blow to Michigan's secondary as Dorsey was expected to come in right away and help shore up a position of need.

7Jun/104

Reader Commentary

A new reader to the site posted this earlier today and we thought it was worth its own post and discussion. Very interesting angle on the coaching bonuses being tied to recruiting rankings, if true it definitely adds more motive as to why oversigning is taking place.

What do you guys think? See you in the comment section.

By definition, the 25/85 Scholarship Rule institutionalizes and encourages over signing. 25 x 4 classes= 100 scholarships + a class full of Red Shirts = 125. So why 85?

I have heard (or read) it argued that the 85 limit rather than 100 or 125 presumes normal attrition due to injuries, academics, etc… but how did they come up with 85? Four classes full of 25 recruits divided by 4 classes equals 6.25 players per class or 1/4 of each class which becomes 8 players per class or 32%. So how does a team lose 1/4 of a player due to attrition? Why 6.25 which in reality is 8 players per class?

Emphasis on Recruiting Rankings only serves to encourage more over signing. You don’t have to visit many Team Fan Sites to come to the conclusion that how one’s team fares in the World of Recruiting Rankings has been elevated to nearly as important as how many games one’s team wins and loses. Recruiting Rankings are of such elevated importance that they even serve as a palatable “yea, but” substitute for wins among many a fan base.

This emphasis on Recruiting Rankings that encourages over signing has become so systematic that at many schools such as my Alma Mater, Oklahoma State, annual bonuses are based on Team Recruiting Rankings with the major services. The problem lie’s in how these services calculate their rankings. Quantity counts. If a coaching staff wishes to enhance its Recruiting Rankings to reap personal financial reward, over signing is the simplest and most logical method… and even worse than that it encourages the signing of highly rated recruits the coaches know won’t qualify… but what if they do? Yet more over signing.

The scholarship limit rules have done a great job at creating parity in FBS Football and preventing the monster programs such as the Nebraska’s and Oklahoma’s of the 60’s and 70’s from stock-piling hundred’s of players many times just to keep them from playing for their competition.

The problem with the rules is that they bureaucratically violate the KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) Principle rendering predictable results. The victims are the high school kids that are lied to and deceived, the credibility of the rules themselves, and the credibility of the system.

IMO, in keeping with the KISS Principle and to gain credibility, the NCAA needs to re-write the rules making no presumptions about attrition and eliminate all exceptions to the 25 per year rule. In other words, drop the 85 rule altogether and let the 25 per year rule and natural attrition dictate how many scholarship players any given team has in any given season.

There would need to be limits placed on the total number of Scholarship Transfers a team has and perhaps a limit on the number of Walk On scholarships a team might reward to retain the positive effects of the 25/85 Rule on College Football but the rules as they are now are way too inconsistent, lend little credibility, emphasize the wrong thing (Recruiting Rankings), and victimize the weakest and most vulnerable of all the ingredients… the High School kids that systematically and institutionally get the shaft at their first venture out of the nest.

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4Jun/1023

Texas A&M – Off the Clock but Still Over the Limit

Thanks to Travis, someone who actually understands the real purpose of this website, we now have some numbers on Texas A&M.  The original claim from the Alabama fan was that Texas A&M was 5 over the limit with 90 scholarships at the present moment.  Travis did the legwork and has provided the following for everyone:

Click the link to continue reading >>> 

Filed under: Big 12 Continue reading
2Jun/10112

The March to 85 – Blake Sims

Just a quick post, but word just came out that Blake Smith will delay his enrollment until next year pending some academic work that he needs to do over the summer.  This puts the number at 5.  Here are the casualties thus far:

2010 The March to 85 - Alabama

Player Position Reason for leaving after NSD
Terry Grant Running Back Scholarship not renewed
Travis Sikes Wide Receiver Scholarship not renewed
Rod Woodson Safety Scholarship not renewed
Star Jackson Quarterback Transfer, Georgia State Div 1AA.
Deion Belue Defensive Back Academically Ineligible; headed to JUCO
Alfy Hill Linebacker Academically Ineligible; future unknown
Taylor Pharr Offensive Lineman Medical Hardship
Milton Talbert Linebacker Medical Hardship
Darius McKeller Offensive Lineman Medical Hardship
Ronnie Carswell Wide Receiver Greyshirt
Wilson Love Defensive End Greyshirt

Update 6/2/2010: Just to put this year into context with the previous years, here is what we have been sent on 07, 08, and 09.  We just added 2010.  Supposedly there are more guys that need to be added to the 2009 list but we haven't received those yet.

Attrition

2007 (25 Players Signed) 2008 (32 Players Signed) 2009 (27 Players Signed) 2010 (26 Players Signed) 2011 (22 Players Signed +2 GS)
Crump - quit football Johns - arrested, cocaine Dial - grades, juco Grant - not renewed Glenn Harbin - baseball
Elder - armed robbery Bolton - grades* Moore - grades Sikes - not renewed Demetrius Goode - transfer
Fanuzzi - transfer Hood - MLB P. Hall - transfer Div II McKeller - medical hardship Petey Smith - transfer
Hester - transfer Jackson - transfer Burnthall - quit team Jackson - transfer Brandon Moore - transfer
Lett - medical hardship Lawrence - transfer Fanney - transfer Sims - din't qualify Corey Grant - transfer
McGaskin - grades Lewis - grades Cardwell - not renewed Pharr - medical hardship Arron Douglas - died
Murphy - grades* Matchett - medical hardship Higgenbotham - transfer So. Ala Talbert - medical hardship Robby Green - released
Ricks - grades Neighbors - bryant scholarship Kirschman - not renewed Woodson - not renewed Kerry Murphy - medical hardship
Tayler - transfer Preyear - kicked off team Hester - medical hardship   Kendall Kelly - medical hardship
Farmer - transfer Ray - MLB     Wes Neighbors - medical hardship
  Smith - transfer      

We'll have more on this later when we have more time.

Important Side Note:  Brian Davidson, from NCSA (National Collegiate Scouting Association) has contacted us regarding future opportunities to cross link sites and help educate each other on this topic of oversigning.  We're going to pursue that with them and hope to have something more on that soon.  In the meantime, we encourage our readers to visit their site.  http://www.ncsasports.org/

Filed under: SEC 112 Comments