Tony Gerdeman Got It, Few Others Did (Including Us!)

We attempted to correct some of the wrongs the "real" media has been putting out lately with its coverage of oversigning and reaction to Elliott Porter's story, but Tony Gerdeman has shown us that we too missed the mark.

Our general theme with regards to the Elliott Porter story and the media's coverage of it has been that most people are missing the point with regards to the numbers - most media outlets are focused on the fact that Les Miles signed 27 and it was 2 over the single year 25 limit, completely missing the bigger issue which was that LSU was over the 85 limit based on what they lost from graduation/early entry into the NFL and what they signed (27).  They should have signed 18 recruits, not 27.  18 was all they had room for under the 85 limit and had LSU resided in the Big 10 Conference and not the SEC they would have been required to sign 18 and would not have been allowed to sign 27.

However, in our haste to point out that everyone missed the boat with regards to the numbers, we glossed over how the mainstream media missed the target and the real root of the problem all together, OVERSIGNING.

Eagle-eyed Tony Gerdeman didn't miss it though.  Gerdeman has been on the right side of this topic from the very beginning.  He knows the deal and he understands what is really going on with these coaches in the SEC that exploit the oversigning loophole.  In his weekly installment of The Week that Was, Gerdeman comments on the article we mentioned above and adds a really great point that we totally missed.

The gist of the article is detailing the way Miles told incoming freshman offensive lineman Elliott Porter that he needed him to grayshirt—and this was after he was already moved into his dorms, which then forced Porter to ask for his release and try to find somewhere else to go to college.

But that's not what really bothered me about the article. We all know Les Miles has character issues—he went to Michigan for crying out loud, so I don't really feel the need to stoke that tire fire anymore than it's already burning.

My issue is with the way the practice of oversigning was just glossed over in the article, and how perhaps the most ethical way of dealing with oversigning was actually vilified.

Yeah, offering a grayshirt is a jerk move that late in the deal, but it very much beats getting cut. At least the student athlete was given a choice in the matter. Normally in the SEC, they aren't.

Maybe I'm mistaken, but I don't recall the Big Ten ever outlawing grayshirting as the article indicated. You just never hear about it because it isn't used to fitting 27 players into 24 slots.

And it certainly isn't discussed half a year after national signing day.

We wrote a piece on greyshirting being okay, but we really missed the point that greyshirting was vilified more than the oversigning - the focus should be on the oversigning because without it there is no greyshirting of players.  This is like a drunk driver hitting another car and the victim dying on the way to the hospital because of a bumpy ambulance ride and everyone vilifies the medical staff and the ambulance driver while the drunk driver slides under the radar. 

Sounds crazy doesn't it? 

But that's kind of what happened.  Everyone was too busy looking at what Les Miles did with the greyshirt process and vilifying it, while the real culprit (oversigning) slid out the backdoor barely even noticed.   Heck, even oversigning.com, the only blog on the entire Internet dedicated solely to oversigning missed it because we were too busy correcting everyone for missing the real point behind the numbers (that it wasn't the 25 per year rule that was the problem it was the 85 total that was the problem).

Great work Tony!

In the end, the Elliott Porter story and how Les Miles handled everything should have taught everyone the following:

1. Oversigning is the real problem - if the SEC had a ban on oversigning this would never happen.

2. The greyshirt process is not the issue and is not the villian here.  When handled correctly and in the right situations, there is absolutely nothing wrong with a greyshirt opportunity.  We would like to see the NCAA add a few rules to further regulate the practice and create transparency, but in the end greyshirting is not to blame - oversigning is.

3. The main issue with LSU and Les Miles (outside of the piss poor way he pulled Porter's scholarship away from him at the last minute) was not that he went 2 over the 25 limit in a single class, but rather that he went 9 over the 85 limit on National Signing day when he accepted signed letters of intent that bound 27 new recruits to LSU in a ONE-WAY agreement that they can't get out of and at the time he only had 18 openings.  That is the core of the issue and that is oversigning.  LSU had room for 18 recruits, not 27, and had they signed 21 instead of 27 they would have still had a problem, despite not being over the 25 per year rule.

4. Oversigning causes kids to get screwed and it has got to stop.  This is the very reason why the Big 10 banned oversigning all together decades ago.

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  1. “We all know Les Miles has character issues—he went to Michigan for crying out loud”

    Michigan is a far better university than Ohio State, but graduating from Michigan means you have character issues?

    One agenda driven, partisan, lying, rant filled website quotes another, as if it gives either of them credibility.

    • I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, since repetition would seem to be de rigeur here. Josh has plenty of good ideas, but he allows his hatred of the SEC to overwhelm him, which dilutes the message considerably. Taking a shot at Miles’ alma mater, while understandable from an Ohio State fan, cheapens his message.

      • Point taken. Taking personal shots might cheapen the message, but it’s not based on hatred like you think it is. I think Miles is a slimeball and it wouldn’t matter if he was in the SEC or not.

    • Among other things, you lack the ability to identify clear tongue-in-cheek commentary. Most bloggers and writers usually take for granted that their readers are smart enough to spot when they are using tongue-in-cheek and when they are not. And even if he was really being serious, since when does graduating with a degree from anywhere = having character?

      • The site is called the Ozone. It is based in Columbus, OH. It asks for contributions so it can provide more Ohio State commentary. But when it regularly targets Michigan, the SEC, USC, anybody and everybody except never Ohio State it’s an objective source to cite.

        Just like you thought it was inconceivable that a quarterback would ever choose to transfer out of a top BCS program to a Subdivision program in search of playing time when it was Star Jackson of Alabama. But when it is Rob Schoenhoft of Ohio State, no problem. Or when Jim Tressel says kids sometimes transfer to smaller schools because they want to play, you say “Then I stand corrected.” As in you’re too dumb to draw the obvious conclusion from something that happens regularly at all major programs until St. Tressel tells you it’s OK because it happens with him too.

        “And even if he was really being serious, since when does graduating with a degree from anywhere = having character?”

        Duh, it doesn’t equal having character or not having character, which was my point. But you think the guy you link to who hates the University of Michigan with every fiber of his being is a credible source. Of course you think he has credibility, you’re just like him.

      • Your site and the site you approvingly link to have about as much objectivity as this one, “Michigan Against the World”. Here’s a link to “Tressel’s Dirty 30″ from their site.


      • I got it Josh. I guess it’s a Buckeye Wolverine thang

  2. The point is not a player transferring to a smaller school…..Im not sticking up for the Ohio State comments but they dont oversign year after year and then have players transfer to a smaller school. LSU and Alabama oversign year after year and then have players “transfer” to a smaller school because their scholarship “is not being renewed” and they dont want to sit out a year.

    • Guys that transfer from Ohio State have every opportunity to stay because AT NO TIME are they in a situation where their coach does not have room for everyone. Furthermore, when these guys transfer real late, Ohio State is left with a scholarship shortfall which results in Tressel giving the scholarship to a walk-on for 1 year until he can replace the player next year under normal terms. Obviously, Tressel is not afraid of being a little short-handed and is not willing to prevent being short-handed at the risk of having to do what Les Miles did at LSU (technically he is not allowed to do it).

  3. Yeah, Gerdeman writes great, objective stuff. Not.

    Other OSU fans may like reading his pablum, but he is about as objective as Glenn Beck. He spends 5,000 words a week during the football season telling people why Ohio State can’t lose their upcoming game. Great stuff, except he has been wrong a WHOLE bunch in recent seasons, certainly every time the Buckeyes have ever played anyone in the top five.

    This is the same Tony Gerdeman who called Alabama’s game in the Georgia Dome against Clemson two years ago a “home game”. I guess we know Tony didn’t exactly major in geography at OSU. But anyone that would think Bama was the “home team” in that matchup doesn’t possess the capacity to be objective on any topic that concerns the SEC, because he can’t stop his dislike of the conference from getting in the way of any objectivity he might otherwise be able to muster.

    He is the LAST person that you should be trotting out as a standard bearer for this topic.

  4. It would also seem that on the O-Zone, at least one OSU fans sees this website for what it is:


  5. “• Elliot Porter will get to play in the SEC in 2010 after all. The former LSU OG signee, a 6-foot-4, 290-pounder ranked as the country’s No. 32 DT, is expected to play defensive tackle at Kentucky. He originally signed with LSU over Florida State in February, but the Tigers had too many signees qualify, including Porter, and released him from his scholarship. He visited UK, Oregon and Texas A&M before joining the Wildcats. ”


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