Tony Gerdeman touches on the competitive equality issue with Oversigning and gives you a game by game break down of the bowl games and the recruiting numbers, something that the ESPN OTL piece shied away from in their piece on oversigning this weekend instead electing to focus on the human element of the practice and how in the opinion of one attorney, Donald Jackson, the actions of some of the coaches that oversign are close to meeting the elements for common law fraud.
Clearly, the lives altered so that coaches and schools can prosper is the core issue here, however, you can not minimize the impact oversigning has on the playing field - it is an undeniable truth that the SEC has a huge advantage over the rest of college football due to the conference's reluctance to get serious about stopping oversigning. It's not the only reason for the SEC success, but it plays a major role in the depth and strength of the conference, not to mention the advantage being able to sign more than you have room for gives you in the Rivals and other recruiting rankings. For example, right now Alabama has 20 verbal commitments, when in actuality, under Big10 recruiting rules, they would only have room for somewhere around 12 recruits given they only have roughly 8 seniors on scholarship and don't anticipate more than 4 juniors going pro early. Therefore, if Alabama were bound to Big 10 recruiting rules they would have somewhere around 12-14 verbal commitments right now, not 20. Do you think they would have the second best recruiting class in the country with only 12-14 commitments? No, they wouldn't. However, given the fact that they are able to skirt recruiting rules Big 10 schools follow they are able to load up on recruits and lure more blue chip players to be a part of their #2 ranked class.
Not only does this help a school like Alabama, it keeps other schools who have legitimate room from getting those players.
Based on Ohio State's average recruiting class size, 19.8, Arkansas has the advantage of having accepted nearly 2 full recruiting classes of signed letters of intent more than Ohio State. Most notably, the DT, OL, WR, and those recruited under ATH, appear to be where Arkansas has recruited more players.
Here are some interesting numbers regarding Ohio University and Troy University. They played each other in the New Orleans Bowl last night with Troy winning in convincing fashion, 48-21, and it was never really that close.
ESPN OTL is airing a piece on oversigning this morning. In fact, it will be on after the commercial break. Looks like LSU is the focus of the piece; hopefully the other abusers are mentioned as well.
Update (link to the full length video now included):
Just watched the piece on oversigning. Here is a link in case you missed it: http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=5935634&categoryid=2564308
Go watch the video, they really did a great job with it!!!
Here is a link to the OTL facebook page in case you would like to get fan reactions to their story http://www.facebook.com/OTL#!/OTL?v=wall.
ESPN did a great job with the piece focusing mainly on the human element. Thought they also did a great job presenting the hard to understand rules of the signing process and how it is that schools oversign. By in large, LSU got the hammer in this piece, specifically for their handling of Elliot Porter and Chris Garrett. Garrett gets an opportunity to tell his side of the story regarding how he was cut from LSU, Les Miles declined to be interviewed for the piece.
All in all, ESPN did an excellent job - couldn't be happier with how they presented the information. Hopefully, continued attention to this topic will result in serious rule changes that will eliminate the SEC's abuse of the loophole.
Great work ESPN - THANK YOU!!!!
Alabama landed verbal committment #20 picking up former University of Tennessee and All-SEC OL Aaron Douglas on waivers from JUCO today. That makes 20 verbal commitments plus the 2 kids that were greyshirted last year and assured of spots in this year's recruiting class.
Anyone care to explain where all the scholarships are going to come from given that Alabama has a senior class of roughly 8 scholarship players and are looking at a max of 4 juniors jumping to the league early?
Alabama's recruiting class is ranked #2 in the country on Rivals.com, a ranking that no doubt they use in recruiting "hey, come be a part of the #2 class in the country - with you we could make it the #1 class." But one has to question where Alabama's class would be ranked if they were recruiting within their budget and only had 8-12 commitments with very few if no additional openings? Would they be ranked #2 in the country and selling that to prospects? Doubt it. But since they have the NCAA's and the SEC's blessing to accept way more signatures than they project having room for and given that they get an extra 6 months to figure out which scholarships they don't want to renew or who they are going to put on medical hardship, they have the luxury of taking way more than they have room for and taking advantage of the selling point having the #2 recruiting class in the country affords you.
This is a follow up on the BJ Scott transfer story. By allowing teams to oversign, the NCAA and the SEC office are allowing these kind of scenarios to play out.
"Nevertheless, while he never put it together on the field, in many ways Scott served his purpose. His commitment to Alabama in July of 2007 played a major role in our re-taking of the recruiting hotbed of Mobile, and his commitment also helped us sign several other heavily recruited players because he helped our recruiting efforts tremendously down the stretch. Scott never did anything as a player, but he helped push a lot of other kids to Tuscaloosa who have done very well."
If Nick Saban was bound to tighter recruiting parameters and was only allowed to take what he had room for, do you think he would take a chance on a kid like BJ Scott?