Tony Gerdeman on the Competitive Equality aspect of Oversigning

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.

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  1. Best example:

    In some cases, oversigning seems to have given Mr. Saban a significant competitive advantage. Two years ago, after having signed 29 players—four more than the limit for an incoming class—Mr. Saban decided to add three more: wide receiver Julio Jones, running back Mark Ingram and defensive lineman Marcell Dareus. All three not only stayed on the team but became stars. Mr. Ingram went on to win the Heisman Trophy last season, and Mr. Dareus was named most valuable player of the BCS championship game. If Mr. Saban hadn’t felt comfortable signing so many players, these players would have had to go somewhere else.

    –Wall Street Journal, 11-25-2010

  2. If it were just an OSU thing then Georgia Tech would still be in the SEC.

    If it were just an OSU thing then Georgia and Vanderbilt wouldn’t be opposed to oversigning.

    If it were just an OSU thing then the Wall Street Journal wouldn’t be investigating the issue.

    If it were just an OSU thing then Outside the Lines wouldn’t be investigating the issue.

    If it were just an OSU thing then the SEC office wouldn’t have taken initials steps the curb what even it saw as ridiculous excesses.

    Sadly for any who support the side you’re arguing, this list will only grow..

    • I’ll answer if you answer? Deal?

      Regardless, what difference does it make which school’s fans are most vocal? It’s a specious argument for this reason: its the very same energies – tugging in opposite directions.

      OSU fans have a vested interested in seeking a level playing field.
      OSU fans see the human wreckage oversigining creates and and give a damn, and are proactive in seeking a solution.

      Alabama/SEC oversigning fans have a vested interest keeping a slanted playing field.
      Alabama/SEC oversigning fans see the human wreckage oversigining creates and don’t give a damn, and are reactive in forestalling a solution.

      You wouldn’t be on this board if the things I wrote about Alabama and SEC oversigning fans were untrue…

    • What it the tOSU connection at OTL?

      • Well DSB, that is because the practice is appalling, and disgusting. However, since you in the SEC conference and Alabama being the flag of this disgusting behavior you look at it as business as usual. Oh well, who cares how many lives we destroy, how many lives we ruin, but guess what look at our NCs, because we had that great advanatage, because we sold our soul to the devil. It is really true, that the devil does rule this world, and looks like SEC and Satan at Alabama, is showing their greatness, by ruining everyones lives in the process. The sad part DSB, is you sit their applaud them and build them up like they are some kind of thing to be envy of, but if you look closer DSB, it isn’t envy, but people scoffing and making funny of Alabama and laughing that Saban can’t compete on a level playing field. Sooner or later that loop hole will be closed up and Alabama will go back to being nothing more than a Vanderbilt.

        • Whose life has been ruined? At worst you can show me some guys with hurt feelings, but ruined lives is more than a little stretch.

          Alabama will go back to being nothing more than Vandy? How do you figure this? Alabama’s stature in this sport goes back to the 20′s. They’ll be just fine even without this “great advantage” that has led to an even record with the B10 over the last decade or so.

          • This is the major flaw with this site in my opinion. To much banter about who is better and not enough about the issue. The majority of the site now consist of OSU fans calling out UA fans and the same back or the other defending itself. Maybe one of the reasons when OTL ran their report they did not mention the site. Because anyone that comes here looking for answers will see fans argueing no different than a site like tigerdroppings. Does not bring alot of credibility to the issue.

  3. From the article:
    “Did you know that over the last four seasons, the two conferences [SEC and B10] have met ten times in bowl games and have split those ten games evenly…”
    This is an article complaining about the huge advantage the SEC gets from oversigning, right? Where is the inequity then?

    “Arkansas signed 30 more players than Ohio State did. In four seasons, they signed 109 players to the Buckeyes’ 79.

    In other words, they signed almost two entire recruiting classes more than Ohio State did.

    Remember, the NCAA has a limit of 25 players per recruiting class…”
    Anyone else confused by the numbers here? How is 30 almost twice 25?

    And finally,
    “The SEC teams have signed 86 more players over the last four seasons than the Big Ten has…But it’s to the players’ benefit that the Big Ten doesn’t oversign, and humanity’s as well. There is at least one conference out there that remains convinced (for the most part) that they are comprised of academic institutions, regardless of the money that pours in via their football programs”
    This is not a new argument I’m about to make, but it is one that I haven’t seen responded to yet. How is it to the players’ benefit that the Big Ten doesnn’t oversign? Yes, we all feel sorry for the poor souls who get “booted” to the curb – usually in the form of a fully paid-for education at another school (when “booted” by transfer) or sometimes at the same school (when a medical) – but why not mention the 85 players that could have competed for the B10 school of their choice, but were forced to play for some MAC team instead? That’s 85 more kids (most of them black, where’s your social justice, Texas_Dawg?) who were denied the OPPORTUNITY to compete for their preferred school. And why? Because these schools couldn’t risk being over the limit, or because they can’t use the greyshirt. Instead, they watched as the school they wanted to attend ended up not filling up their limit and gave the extra scholarship to a walk-on who never played a meaningful snap in his time on campus. How is that good for humanity? Put yourself in a recruit’s shoes. Would you rather have the opportunity to play for a top-10 BCS school knowing that if you don’t develop you may be encouraged to transfer to another, lesser school to finish your career, or just go straight to that lesser school? Answer that question honestly then tell me how evil this oversigning thing is.

    • The Sarcastic store called. They want to give you your money back. Seriously, can you post anything that doesn’t include a Republican Fox news rant or a mention of crack smoking?

    • Did you actually infer it’s racist to not oversign?

      Wow. I don’t care what side of the arguement you are on, that may be the most idiotic statement made here.

      • Yes I did imply that, but it is meant as a jab at an equally idiotic statement made by another poster on an earlier thread. Sorry for any confusion, and I certainly agree with you that it is absurd. I can only hope that you would feel the same when others try to say that oversigning is equal to segregation practices from the 60s.

    • Al wouldn’t like my global warming arguments.

    • Just to avoid some ludicrous logical fallacies, I’ll state from the outset that I don’t like the practice of oversigning, I’m an OSU grad, and I don’t begrudge on the field success to the SEC or any other league. I’m not motivated by won-loss record in my feelings and would say the same about the Big Ten if they oversigned.

      That said, I’ll offer an opinion on this:

      “Instead, they watched as the school they wanted to attend ended up not filling up their limit and gave the extra scholarship to a walk-on who never played a meaningful snap in his time on campus. How is that good for humanity? Put yourself in a recruit’s shoes. Would you rather have the opportunity to play for a top-10 BCS school knowing that if you don’t develop you may be encouraged to transfer to another, lesser school to finish your career, or just go straight to that lesser school? Answer that question honestly then tell me how evil this oversigning thing is.”

      First, I think the walk-on might appreciate the scholarship, and it’s certainly beneficial to his humanity. Athleticism isn’t the only determinant in granting or obtaining a scholarship, even if it’s the main one. Tressel for his part reserves scholarships in some classes for walk-ons and rewards diligence and faithfulness to the team.

      Second, you’re competing for roster spots in high school at your preferred school; you have the opportunity to make the cut right then and there. Prohibiting oversigning doesn’t eliminate any opportunity whatsoever. In fact, prohibiting it would probably help make lesser schools more competitive (see below).

      As for putting myself in a recruit’s shoes, that’s a little difficult. I can say for my part that I’d rather an open and honest coach who’s willing to tell me the likelihood of playing, who can explain the importance of academics (and the relative burn-out rate in the NFL) and saving my money, who dashes an unrealistic dream and puts in its place one that is considerably more likely to lead to future success, and who is trustworthy and honest.

      I guess I doubt most recruiters are going to students and saying, “Listen, this is a one-year deal. I may replace you next year.” They’ll stress academics—and undoubtedly many of these schools are fine academic institutions—and the possibility of immediate playing time if they have a need. If they have NFL cachet, they’ll talk about putting the person in the Big League and other things. But I doubt they’ll say, “We have our eyes on the next Joe Montana, and it’s possible that we’ll revoke your scholarship and give it to him next year.”

      With respect to how not oversigning benefits athletes in general:

      The ostensible point of scholarship limits is to increase parity and provide more equal access to athletes for smaller schools. While scholarships are technically a one-year contract, it contains what amounts to a one-year non-compete clause: athletes are not allowed to play football for another Div. I school for a year if they transfer, relegating them to an even lower tier if they want to play right away. In this respect, the athlete is not as advantaged as the school, which can recruit a replacement for the player without paying any penalty. It would be more fair to say that if an existing scholarship is not renewed, the player who takes it should redshirt if the student who transfers goes to another D1 school.

      Prohibiting oversigning would also eliminate the frustration and personal difficulties of a school transfer. The social and psychological upheaval involved is hard, and transitioning from one school to another isn’t usually easy. While it’s fair to say that college athletics are big business, it’s rare to find any college athlete making money at the professional level afterward, which is why arguments that treat athletics just like a business are so flawed. Oversigning seems to emphasize athletics the expense of the athlete.

      • Of course the walk-ons appreciate the scholarship, and if I had to operate under the B10 rules I would do the same. Better to give it to a walk-on than have it hang out there unused. It is, however on par with giving an academic scholarship to a C student.

        “Prohibiting oversigning doesn’t eliminate any opportunity whatsoever. In fact, prohibiting it would probably help make lesser schools more competitive ”
        You can’t deny the numbers that are all over this site. In one of the previous articles, Josh points out that Arkansas has signed 30 more players than OSU in recent years. That’s more opportunity. That’s 30 more players that have been given the opportunity to play for a top-level BCS school. While Ohio may benefit from the marginal players that don’t get offered at OSU, can you say with a straight face that the majority of the players at Ohio wouldn’t prefer to be playing every Saturday at the Shoe? How many of these players would have been a Buckeye had the B10 allowed greyshirting? How many of these 3-stars would have developed into a Javier Arenas given the better coaching and facilities at OSU? Sure Ohio may be a better team because of the B10′s rules, but the smaller teams in the south don’t seem to be suffering too bad (Troy is in Alabama too afterall).

        Despite all the negative things on this site and the recent WSJ articles, I have not seen any evidence that Saban misleads any of his recruits*. I have in fact read where they have said that they did know the greyshirt was a probability, or that there was competition at their position. These players are still willing to come to Bama to play there because they want that chance. They want to be able to say that they played for the Tide. That is something that can never be “leveled” by the NCAA – the history and stigma of an elite program that only exists in a few schools. Those schools will continue to be sucessful regardless of number of scholarships allowed.

        As to your last point, I want to agree with making the school sit out a year when the player transfers as well. The problem with that is – much to the contrary to the information on this site – most players that transfer do so of their own desire. Be it to get more playing time, be closer to home, or other outside circumstances, most transfers are for the player’s desire/benefit. If the school had to leave that scholarship vacant for a year, they would be less likely to allow the students to transfer, and that hurts the student. I agree that the school has a little more power in this situation, and I would be for something that levels this a little, but I think this proposal does more harm than good.

        *Evidence is out there that Les Miles totally mislead some of his recruits, and his fiasco at the start of this year was very bad. Oversigning can be a good or bad thing – all depending on how it is handled.

        • “You can’t deny the numbers that are all over this site. In one of the previous articles, Josh points out that Arkansas has signed 30 more players than OSU in recent years. That’s more opportunity. That’s 30 more players that have been given the opportunity to play for a top-level BCS school. While Ohio may benefit from the marginal players that don’t get offered at OSU, can you say with a straight face that the majority of the players at Ohio wouldn’t prefer to be playing every Saturday at the Shoe? How many of these players would have been a Buckeye had the B10 allowed greyshirting? How many of these 3-stars would have developed into a Javier Arenas given the better coaching and facilities at OSU? Sure Ohio may be a better team because of the B10’s rules, but the smaller teams in the south don’t seem to be suffering too bad (Troy is in Alabama too afterall).”

          I guess I can’t really speculate how the players feel, though I bet a lot of them would love to play for OSU if they could. If it were me, and I were on the cusp of playing for OSU but couldn’t quite make it, I’d probably want to try anyway. If it were between getting a full ride at Ohio and paying my way at OSU, it would come down to finances, not my shot at the NFL (because very few make it to the NFL no matter where they go).

          My feelings aside, oversigning doesn’t really offer any more opportunities to the student than not oversigning. Why? Because they are going to school for an education. (Before that raises any hackles, keep reading.) At its zenith, OSU put a record 14 players into the NFL in a season (2002). That’s a 14% success rate (assuming a 100-man roster).

          Whatever cynics say, athletics provide opportunity by allowing the athletic to get a degree, not by helping them become a professional athlete. If we’re going to be honest about oversigning (you may lose your scholarship, we may ask you to grayshirt, et c.), we should be honest about this, too (statistically you have a low chance of getting to the NFL). The emphasis should be on the educational opportunity afforded an athlete who otherwise wouldn’t have it. Oversigning denigrates this emphasis.

          Schools like Alabama, UF, and Ohio State offer a quality education (even though some of that is likely to be remedial for the stereotypical scholarship athlete). If you offer a student a scholarship and later revoke it, you are actually hurting their ability to finish their degree and thereby hurting their chances for getting a respectable degree.

          It’s true that a student who has a scholarship revoked can transfer; but as I’ve said, this can be just as dicey. The scholarship they were offered at another school that they rejected to join an oversigned class may no longer be available, or their credits may not transfer cleanly; if they transfer to a D-I school, they have to sit out, which means they’re not playing—just practicing. It’s socially and personally difficult. And so on.

          In the end, I don’t know how Coaches Saban and Miles do their thing, and I honestly don’t really feel like I need to. Competitively, of course I want to beat them all over the field. I hate losing, and getting beaten by LSU and Florida in repeat years was horrible. But I don’t like football because we always win. In fact, losing is what makes it worth it.

          Regardless of how morally upright they are or not, though, I’d still oppose oversigning—even if schools were always honest about the opportunities being afforded to students. I think it’s an unethical practice regardless of what the NCAA rulebook stipulates, and I think in the end it really hurts the students who are cut.

          • While we may differ on for or against oversigning, I don’t think our sentiments are that far apart. 14 players in one year to the NFL? That is a great number, and you undersell it by comparing it to the whole team. If you look at it in the context of the class, it is a much higher percentage. That is not to take away from your point, which I agree with completely. Very few players will reach the NFL, and fewer still from the ones that do make the money they all dream of. That is not the opportunity I speak of. I mean the opportunity to play for a top-level BCS team.

            The only statement you make that I wholly disagree on is that you think oversigning doesn’t provide more opportunity. How can it not when more students are brought in every year? If Alabama is bringing in 8-10 more players every year compared to Ohio State, how can you say they are not offering more chances to kids? You mention revoking scholarships. There have been very few if any instances of this. There are a lot of transfers – and these are officially at the request of the player – but I haven’t seen any instances of a player having his scholarship just not renewed.

            I do understand your point about transferring schools being hard on the student aspect. I appreciate that point and it is a good one to consider. Of course I still remember that these kids aren’t paying for any of it, and at the end of the day, they will have a college degree (provided they complete their classes) completely paid for due to the fact they are pretty good at football. When I graduated from college, I also didn’t owe anything. The difference was that I worked full-time for most of the six years it took me to pay for it as I went. I just can’t get on board this thought that all these lives are being ruined by giving them a free education, even if they have a little turbulance along the way.

    • Simple. The oversigning is evil because they don’t tell the recruit they are signing up for a “chance to tryout” for the University of Alabama football team. They are signing up for a scholarship for four years.

  4. This website should detail all the shady recruiting practices in the SEC. Oversigning is merely the tip of the iceberg. If you look hard enough, you may uncover complex pay-for-play schemes. That is, of course, if you don’t have an agenda.

  5. This blog obviously has a prejudice against the SEC and few mentions of the ACC.

    Some news for you from ajc.com:

    “Georgia Tech wide receiver Quentin Sims has decided to transfer. Sims, a redshirt sophomore, will not travel with the team to the Independence Bowl.

    The reasons for Sims’ decision were not immediately available, but he has not seen the field much in his two seasons with the Jackets. As a backup wide receiver, he did not have a catch in two years and mostly played special teams.

    After playing quarterback at Colerain High in Cincinnati, Sims was recruited to Tech as a wide receiver. However, he worked at quarterback in a few instances to provide depth. Safety Cooper Taylor, A-back Chris Jackson and quarterback Jordan Luallen.”

    That is four players dumped for no reason. What say you?

    • I think you mis-understand. Tech doesn’t oversign, so if players leave there, it is perfectly fine. Natural attrition. It is only at SEC and other oversigning schools where transfers are all nefarious.

  6. The continued efforts by Deep South Boy and other oversigning defenders indicates that this issue is not “claptrap” as they argue. If it were, wouldn’t they just dismiss this website and move on to other activities? Instead, they return to this site frequently to make their efforts to distract those who feel the oversigning practice provides a clear advantage to the teams oversigning. “Alabama destroyed OSU in 1978…”. I certainly do not care about the 1978 team. What I care about is establishing a uniform set of rules that prohibits the advantages of oversigning. It is clear that oversigning gives an advantage to the oversigning teams. That advantage does not explain OSU’s recent defeats to Florida and LSU by itself, but it does provide a serious advantage. The inability by Deep South Boy and other defenders to accept the competitive advantages it provides to the teams that oversign is disappointing. Rather than argue further, it makes more sense to expend my energy congratulating the owner of this site for his persistence. Your effort to champion this issue is clearly helping. It is heartening to see this issue gain increased coverage in news outlets such as the WSJ and ESPN. I hope the NCAA will take issue on soon.

    • If your issue is with any advantage gained by those practicing oversigning, then your issue should be with the B10 as oversigning isn’t an unfair advantage but rather a disadvantage imposed on the B10 teams by their own rules. If you don’t like the disparagy, get your conference to change the rules to allow it, but don’t impose your own sense of self-righteousness onto other teams that don’t share your views.

      • But it really isn’t just an issue of competitive advantage. It’s an issue of how oversigning affects the lives of those who are affected by oversigning. And in fact, schools that oversign clearly aren’t violating NCAA rules. That doesn’t mean that the practice isn’t unethical.

        • That depends on who you talk to. To most on this site (one of the site polls prove this) oversigining is about (at least partly) the competitive advantage.

          As to being unethical, the average life affected by this is a junior player who is facing two more years of very little playing time being “forced” to transfer to another school to finish out his career where he will likely see the field. Don’t forget the part where he has had, at the end of the day, up to 5 years of college completely paid for. Some of the more extreme cases highlighted on this site have resulted in guys who were “forced” to take a medical scholarship (even though it is their call ultimately) and receive all 5 years (and into graduate school with at least one of them) paid for. Forgive me if I find calls about this being abuse to be sanctimonious.

          That really doesn’t seem like a life ruined by oversigning.

          • Catch 5 and DSB seem to disagree that oversigning is actually a negative practice. Clearly, a big part of oversigning is de-facto roster cuts, which is not part of the amateur concept of college sports. For others to participate in oversigning would be tantamount to a race to the bottom. Big-time college sports, though full of corporate commercialization, still stand for the ideals of fairness, equity, and above all else, education. Oversigning, no matter how you paint it, does not align with any of those qualities and never will.

            Additionally, when you argue that these lives aren’t ruined, then maybe you aren’t considering the idea that promises have been broken. Yes, an athletic scholarship is only renewable on a yearly basis, but that is not at all how it’s mentioned to recruits and their parents. Otherwise, you’d have a coach say this, “Yes, sir, I and my staff will take care of your son/daughter as if they were my own son for a year. If he’s good enough to make it on the team the next year, we’ll take care of him again. For a year. And so on.”

            You know that’s not how it’s pitched to any athletes around the country, and you know there’s a pretty obvious reason why.

            • If promises have been broken, then I’m on board with you that it is wrong. Show me where this has happened, and I’ll yell “Unfair!” right along with you. Les Miles and his fiasco at the start of this year is a good place to start your search, btw (I’m not sure this was an oversigning issue as much as a mis-management issue though).

              You ever try out for a team? I remember my 7th grade year, I tried out for the basketball team at school (it never was one of my better sports) and didn’t make it. Junior High basketball is still considered amateur isn’t it? And in that case, I wasn’t given free tuition to another school where I would make the team.

              Hey, I know – if we’re shooting for fairness and equity with our teams, let’s go to the bastion of fairness and amateurness – little league sports. Let’s make a rule where every player on the team MUST play at least 5 snaps every game. Special teams doesn’t count. You gotta play them all. Afterall, you aren’t interested in winning as much as making sure that every team member is treated fairly, right? Make sure you include this proposal with the one you are preparing to ban oversigning.

              • Catch 5, I’m glad you’d stand up against that unfairness. Kudos. Still, I don’t think I have to prove to you that these kids were in fact cut by LSU and by Miami as illustrated in the ESPN OTL piece. Neither of the kids was notified prior to the fact, and they were purposefully cut to make way for other scholarships.

                Also, you seem to be conflating college amateurism with other kinds of amateur sports. No one’s talking about forcing the coaches to be overly PC. Rather, they’re talking about treating players as student-athletes and not professional athletes. I talked about the “amateur concept of college sports” and not just amateur sports for a reason. You have tryouts in high school and junior high, etc… Once you’re on an athletic scholarship, you’re not trying out so you aren’t supposed to be cut.

                Additionally, you don’t have to be in the home during a coach’s visit to realize that coaches do not tell them that they may be cut during their career. It’s impossible for me or anyone to prove this, because I’d have to be there with a tape recorder. Needless to say, you don’t have to, because it’s obvious to anyone but the most partisan person.

                • Also, just in case you wanted to see some form of proof that there’s lying by the coaches going on here, I’ll give you the Wall Street Journal article that overtly proves this against Nick Saban:


                  “In interviews with The Wall Street Journal, three of the players Mr. Saban mentioned that day—cornerback Alonzo Lawrence, running back Jermaine Preyear and linebacker Prince Hall—said Mr. Saban’s statement about their departures wasn’t accurate.”

                  “If Mr. Saban had said the players decided to transfer because they didn’t believe they would have a chance to play at Alabama, the players said, it would have provided ammunition for rival coaches competing for the same recruits. But if the players were seen as disciplinary cases, they said, Mr. Saban’s recruiting methods wouldn’t be viewed as the problem. Mr. Saban, Mr. Preyear said, ‘was just making himself look good for the media, and making us look bad.’”

                  “The latest pushback from Mr. Saban’s recruits follows claims by three other former Alabama players that Mr. Saban and his staff had pressured them into quitting the team for medical reasons, even though their injuries weren’t serious.”

                  Finally, “In April 2008, Alabama had 91 players already on scholarship or expected to enroll. A Birmingham News reporter asked Mr. Saban at a news conference how he planned to whittle the roster down to 85 by August. ‘We know how it has to be managed, and it will be managed,’ Mr. Saban said.”

                  There’s more, too. This is just Alabama and the tip of the iceberg. Good job, WSJ, on uncovering this.

                  • In Nick Saban’s defense (and just so you know, I wish the SEC would do more about limiting oversigning), Prince Hall violated team rules more than once. I can’t say for sure whether the other two players mentioned caused trouble nor can I say how serious their injuries were.

                    A question I have is whether an academic scholarship counts toward the magical number of 85? Does anyone happen to know?

          • I don’t care about competitive advantage. College football is fun, but most coaches will probably say it’s more about making men out of boys than winning games. Anyone with sufficient team experience knows and understands this. (Yes, I’m a member/captain of a team, though it’s not football.)

            I’m not really sure that I said lives would be ruined; in fact, I said “affects.” Clearly oversigning has consequences, and the least of these are a great inconvenience for those who are cut. Life’s not fair, but at least in this case the inconvenience (and any of the other seediness that goes along with the practice) could be easily avoided.

            In the end, all it really looks like is a school making money off the athlete at his own expense—not a full 5–year ride where the student is being taken care of.

            What is pretty bad is to put yourself in the students’ shoes for the signing day, but not the cutting day. And that’s precisely what you’ve done here. Out of one side of the mouth, you say, “More opportunity” and out of the other side “Tough luck if you get cut.” If it were me, I wouldn’t want to be cut.

            • Opportunity is not a guarantee. Along with opportunity is the chance of failure, so while I did not mention the “getting cut” part, I guess you can say that it is there (as mentioned before, no one’s scholarship has been revoked – the student opts to transfer, though for the sake of this discussion, we’ll accept that as being cut). That is what my question I posed yesterday was getting at. Would you rather go to the team of your dreams for a chance to play, knowing that you may be encouraged to transfer if you don’t develop to a high level, or go straight to a lesser team from the start. It’s the old addage, “better to have tried and failed than to have never tried at all”. From my viewpoint, we are so concered with hurting some kids’ feelings that we don’t allow them the chance at greatness. Were I one of the ones “cut” of course I wouldn’t enjoy the moment when Coach tells me that my prospect of making the field is slim to none, but would I want to go back and do it differently? Would I have rather played at some Sun Belt team instead? No, I’ll take the disappointment and be a better man for it (and I have – football is not the only issue in life afterall)

  7. “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.”

    Josh, this isn’t like you. How can they “skirt” rules that don’t apply to them? If the B10 makes a rule that kickers must do a pirouette before kicking a field goal because they want to give the defending team a better chance to block the kick that’s fine, but don’t expect your OOC opponents to follow suit. You have been good at pointing out that oversigning is not against the rules, so this is a new direction for you.

    The fact of the matter is that oversigning is not an advantage to teams that use it, but rather it is a disadvantage to those that choose not to.

    • Yeah, I like how SEC schools are “skirting” Big Ten rules now

    • True, oversigning is not an advantage to teams that use it. Still, it is incredibly sleazy and the definining point as to how we treat ourselves: as student-athletes or as chattel.

      • Well put.

        Unfortunately though, most of the white Southerners that hold the large majority of dollars of SEC West school fan bases certainly do not see many of the communities from which their teams’ athletes are drawn as “ourselves.”

      • Sorry, how do I cancel my previous post? Oversigning is both an advantage to teams that use it and a disadvantage to teams that don’t. Not sure how I screwed the pooch on that one.

  8. UGA and Vandy have athletic and academic integrity, sadly it appears many other SEC athletic departments do not. Very good article from an SEC fan. The NCAA and the SEC need to crack down on the abuses in the SEC such as this and offering your children to the highest bidder. But, sadly they will do nothing. College football and NASCAR; winning is all that matters.

    • Academic integrity, maybe Vandy but I would not include any other program in the SEC with that unless I misunstand your staement. Vandy is the only school that I know for the most part will require the same academic standards for all incoming freshman. They do however like GT have exceptions to the rule but are limited in how they use them.

      In regards to on the field advantages I can see the advantage of having a larger pool of players to pick from or bring in to replace under performing players currently rostered. But a good coach is still needed to win games and be successful. If not H Nutt would be in a BCS bowl game this year for his oversigning practices. Some people like to point out that the SEC gets an advantage and I would agree to some extent but to many make the assumption that if their school practiced oversigning they would be just as successful. Sorry not buying that.

      It is understandable that many supprt their school and each team has diehard fans but that does not mean they see that sometimes their program is just not that good no matter how many excuses they come up with for being beat by rival teams.

    • If we’re going to talk about academics, it’s probably necessary to put UF in the list of good schools. I hate losing to Florida teams, but UF is a good academic school, and so is that freaking school up north. On the same token, I would say that most public universities in the Big 6 afford a great education; it may not be Ivy-league on average, but that sort of education is available for those who are persistent enough to get it.

      What frustrates me about so many of the comments on this site—and in fact, the only reason I comment here at all—is that oversigning is taken as a proxy for fans on both sides to argue the relative superiority of their teams and/or schools.

      This kind of posturing is foolish, and really detracts from the point. Oversigning is in my opinion really a symptom of the problem with college football today, and that is that winning trumps everything—just like you said in your post. This is very sad, in all the senses that word can convey. The reason you play a game like football is precisely because you can lose it.

      • I am not saying that UF or FSU are not good academic schools. I will even say that Auburn has some very good academic standards in certian departments. The difference is that Vandy is hamstrung in the SEC. Just like some of the ACC schools. UF, FSU, and the other 10 SEC schools allow exceptions to the academic standard required for general admission to overlook hish risk athletes who might struggle in the classroom. Vandy is the only one that I know of that requires a very long and hard process to give an exception. Every other school in the SEC waives the process essentially so that all the student athletes they are recruiting can get in by meeting the minimal NCAA requirments which is a joke to me. The SEC is not the only conference that does this but Vandy even when they grant an exception it is still above the NCAA minimum.

        My concern with recruiting is the players that are recruited fail to meet a standard passed by the school that they feel should be met to allow the student to succeed in the classroom. Not just on the field. Many players in all concferences are recruited that end up as an academic casuality. That is the injustice. I also dislike the exception practice because these exceptions are not made for the non-student athlete. There are schools that require most of their student athletes to meet the same standards, such as Vandy and ND, but more than many lower that standard to meet their athletic goals of the school. Sorry that is something that needs to be fixed first.

        Students show up and write their name and score high enough to pass the ACT and combine that with water down courses to keep their GPA around 2.5 so they meet the minimum requirments of the NCAA to be cleared. And it is not just a college level concern but it happens early on in HS where they are granted these exceptions to allow students to particpate in HS athletics. But I doubt it will change any time soon because it targets certian demographics and will cause an unrest with people who are the product of a larger sociatal issue will call foul and say they are being treated unfair.

        I mention this because one of the excuses used or arguements to support oversigning is that a school does not know who will qualify. That might be the only point I con concur with on this site and the owner. A better job needs to be done in recruiting athletes who also need to be students first. The NCAA should up the requirement at the Clearinghouse level to make that student eligible and any student that concerns might arise until after the spring semester should not be allowed to sign a LOI.

        It is one thing to bring in a person with the hope they will succeed on the field and meet their potential and later cut them from the team. Not really different from hiring an employee hoping they will do the same but later firing them. I do understand the concerns in way they might be recruited but it is nothing like bringing a person who is only being set up to fail in the classroom. Even those who do receive a degree usually are not in the top fields that school offers and their hand is being held the whole way through.

        • I concur with Catch5 that there’s some good stuff here. I would argue, however, that it can cut both ways. Athletics may present opportunities otherwise not afforded to a student whose grades are sub-par. If we were to speak of the issue philanthropically, the idea here is that an education—remedial if needed—might be provided for such a student on the basis of athletic qualifications, not just academic ones.

          There could be a mercenary sense to this, at least if we are talking about trading on the athletic ability of one person at the expense of another who is in a similar need of remediation but lacks requisite athleticism. However, if taking a good athlete who is a poor student over a bad athlete who is a poor student will produce revenue sufficient for funding (just for example) scholarships to other student-athletes, that seems like a fair trade to me. All things being equal, it should also provide a good education to the athlete.

          In my experience, academic standards function largely to control educational quality and to ensure access to educational resources. Brown is not in the business of remedial education because of their entrance requirements; each Brown student also has access to some of the best educational resources in the world. That said, some exceptions may be made (one is notably chronicled in Hope in the Unseen by Ron Suskind).

          I would argue that athletics could constitute such an exception, especially given the potential benefits to the student and the university (some of which are naturally monetary in the form of sports revenue). But please don’t misread that as saying that I think it’s equally okay to provide a lower-quality education to the athlete because we’re engaging in a business transaction; that’s not how I feel at all. Again, the ideal of the situation is probably rather different than its implementation, but at least for some of these students, athletics could provide a more accessible avenue to education than other roads.

          The relative morality and merits of such are of course debatable; but in the end I think it’s a university decision and a reality of how things are done. I personally don’t have much of a problem with the practice of granting athletic exceptions. I do have a problem with anyone who does that without actually remediating the student (if needed) and providing an adequate education.

          • There is the problem because the student’s welfare is not a concern if they are not performing on the athletic field. I also concur that athletics may be an alternative for some to seek an education not made available to them otherwise. But as mentioned some schools have exceptions but are very thorough in how they award them. The problem is when the process is there in principle but yet abused to satisfy the needs of the program.

          • In regards to the benefit of a student athlete receiving an opportunity that might not present itself if they were not an athlete sort of undermines the concern of oversigning. One of the arguements on this side both ways is oversigning allows schools to sign and place athletes who are academic high risk and may not qualify. An excuse used by those that support it that it allow these players that opportunity you mention where opponants argue it is an excuse to oversign because of that because it allows coaches to oversign to keep players from going elsewhere. Like Nutt did when he signed 38 but knew a bunch would not qualify. It also affords the coaches opportunities to get them if they do but will help to remove the scholarship of someone else to make room.

            Now I am not naive and know that if they could not get into an SEC school they would not anywhere esle either. So they are really not being prevented from going another school. I also am aware of the rules regarding a NLI once signed. It is only valid for one year and if a player is placed in prep school or JUCO after one year they have obligation to attend the school they originally signed with. Now I am a huge proponant of overhauling the education requirments required for entrance by student athletes. But to defend your point about an opportunity would not oversigning support that. I mean these college coaches have relationships with JUCOs and prep schools. Placing players in these programs help them out. It gives the athlete a sense of pride because a big school signed them to a LOI with the opportunity of possibly coming back. The dilemma than rises here because it allows schools to oversign and if they all qualify then someone has to go. A gamble with people which might not pay off like LSU recently.

            I guess the real question is would they qualify for JUCO or prep school without the help of the sign and place method in CFB. These schools are designed to help students to meet future education goals, but how much is being done to get them into these programs. Because some of the players I hear about that fail to qualify sound as if they would struggle anywhere and might not even be considered for JUCO. Just curious.

  9. In the article you mention that those are Big 10 rules. Why would any SEC coach follow Big 10 rules? Those are self imposed restrictions on Big 10 conference teams. Don’t compare the two conferences, because there is no comparison, by the rules or on the field.

  10. What does that have to do with over signing?

  11. Auburn actually had LESS than 80 scholarship players when they played Northwestern last year. Also, and get this, in the last four drafts, the SEC has lost exactly 50 underclassman to the NFL, the Big 10? 24. So there are 26 extra players.

    The next two big things I would look at are qualifiers. I bet that SEC teams have had a significantly higher number of recruits who failed to qualify academically and moved on to junior colleges or disappeared altogether. (What does that say about the south? Just asking.)

    “That’s not college football—that’s professional football. It’s the biggest difference between the SEC and the Big Ten right now and it will be until the NCAA finally steps in and enforces their pretend rules—or changes them altogether.

    Just like they did with Cameron Newton.”

    What a load of BS! There are legitimate reasons to oversigning. And do not be so sanctimonious about Georgia. They have offered players a scholarship, players accepted, and then Georgia has come back and rescinded the offer so they could give the scholarship to someone else. That does not seem to be very saintly.

    Gerdeman would have us think that all SEC schools are “sifting” players. I do not believe that is the case. The NCAA knows what is going on and if it is a real problem, they will take care of it.

    And as for Gerdeman’s very unclassy, low blow about Cameron Newton – Cam has more dignity and class than Gerdeman has in one of his two typing fingers!

    • Quick math, provided your numbers are accurate…

      50 early entries / 12 Schools = 4.1 / 4 years = 1.04166666 players per year per program.

      During our examination of Alabama and LSU, despite taking into account early entries they have both been way over their projected recruiting budget on signing day.

      Lastly, it should be noted that we have, on multiple occasions, mentioned that Auburn was not guilty of oversigning last year…not sure about previous years, but last year they had room.

      Despite having room this year, Auburn’s numbers are off the charts and far above the norm.

      • No DSB, the 25/125 wouldn’t make a difference. You know why? Because you would still have Sabans, and Mcnutts signing 80 and knowing they need to have 25 by Aug? Get it? WHy are you not understanding the evil behind what they are doing? it is called having trys outs at the expense of getting rid of the guys you have no regard for, but in your way is called in the name of not doing what is asked. However, the real thing it needs to be called is, you just aren’t good enough and your use around here is not needed anymore so I am going to toss you aside like an old shoe. Isn’t that really what the crutch is DSB. The SEC wants to know ahead of time who the bust are and who aren’t. Seems like a pretty big advnatage to me, just think if we can have 85 no bust guys on the team, where other teams, are being weighed down because in the spirit of the law, they are doing what is expected by the law of what the NCAA wants. To mold young boys into men, and giving them a chance to earn a degree, and possibly either an NFL or career in something with a degree.

        The bottom line is, they want to know who is going to suck and who isn’t and the ones that suck because they didn’t pan out like everyone hoped, are tossed away like an old shoe. I guarnatee you if all 120 teams were doing this to this degree the outcry would be so great the NCAA would never allow it but because the SEC is the only ones who do it, it doesn’t get enough attention, YET, for the NCAA to feel they have to step in . However, the more this gets big and bigger the NCAA isn’t going to be able to deny it and I wish some damn lawyers would get off their butts and start challenging this BS, I don’t know why it takes so long for them to do anything about crap like this.

        Come on Lawyers out there, there has to be so many holes to latch on to sue either the colleges , the NCAA or whoever to put an end to this crap. DSB , it will happen, and Alabama will become another Vandy. They can’t compete without cheating someway, why do you think they do it all the time, they know, they know.

        • Oh really, do you really want to get into comparing the list of Alabama Transgressions versus OSU Transgressions? Last I checked Alabama is under investigation too, so don’t pull this Tatgate out like OSU is some dirty football factory compared to Alabama, I guarnatee you, Alabama transgressions are longer and dirtier. The bottom line is, Alabama pushes the limits in all phases, and if they aren’t cheating they aren’t trying. Isn’t that the SEC Motto.

          • What is your problem with Alabama? Why don’t you go after some of the SEC schools that you guys have actually played? Is this a preemptive strike in case the two meet in a bowl soon? I’ve been a Tide fan all my life and I’m not happy with the way coach has handled some of these situations in getting within the 85 limit but for you people to claim every transfer, medical redshirt and grayshirt to be a malicious act by Saban is flat out ridiculous. I know, I know if it happened just once then it still isn’t right but for all of you to be so up in arms about it is absolutely insane. You won’t admit it but this website and the facebook page exists because of the SEC fans, media and many others across the country give OSU hell about the SEC losses. Why else is it that 95% of the people that give a crap about this issue is OSU fans? I’m not the type that even cares enough to brag behind a computer screen about conference superiority and maybe if OSU can beat Arky then you guys can get over it? life is too short for someone to sit around complaining all of the time about a team that isn’t in your conference and not played since 1995? Get over it!

            • “life is too short for someone to sit around complaining all of the time about a team that isn’t in your conference and not played since 1995? Get over it!”

              Some sage advice for you DSB.

              • That advice might be giving to the owner of the sight. I mean the whole sight was designed based around his dislike for UA and CNS. Sorry some UA fans laugh at the Auburn fans obsession for UA, but I guess I can see that with an instate rival. But the obsession for a team that is not even a rival, a little strange do you not think. And before you say this site was only created for the issue of oversigning you might want to go read the Ozone fan forums and look up 7NCs7Heisman who is the person behind this site. He is constantly on CNS and UA along with the rest of the SEC. Here is a direct quote from him 3 days ago why he created this site.

                “Nick Saban and it is the reason why I jumped on this topic ”

                He usually has more posts on the Ozone discussing UA and CNS then he does about OSU. A little obsessive do you not think. I understand being the champion for a cause but do not use that cause to further your hatred. It sort of denies the credibility for the sight and the issue. An issue that needs to be looked at but the site has become more of a deterrent for seeking info then it has been a place for people to gain knowledge and make more people aware.

                Look I am an avid CFB fan. I agree that there are problems with the sport. I do not think oversigning is the main problem but a product of larger problems that need to be addressed. Problems that have created a negative environment for those athletes who become a part of it. If those problems are addressed than oversigning will no longer take place to the extent it does now. But even ESPN in its OTL show never mentioned this site and probably because it has become a watch dog site not an informative site with no solutions addressing the issue.

                This site has made its rounds not just throughout the SEC but throughout all CFB boards. My Alma Maters are Pac-10 and ACC schools. So I frequent alot of different boards. Even those boards outside of the SEC fans see concerns with the direction of CFB but do not use this board as foundation for those concerns. They see it as a upset rival fan(little do they know he supports a non-rival) of CNS and UA.

                Look at who post here, die hard OSU and UA fans along with some rival fans of UA. And the majority of the post are fans calling each other out about whose team is better, not in trouble as much, or personal attacks. What value does that bring to this issue.

                The board is not designed to create a positvie outcome on the issue of oversigning.

              • SoccerMike

                Quite Crying was giving that advice to the site owner. Everything he said about Josh can be said about DSB with regards to tOSU. Long before this site existed he has trolled every message board and spent more time on tOSU boards than ‘Bama, the same thing you say that Josh is doing with ‘Bama.

              • Not crying just pointing out that the banter and name calling does not help the issue. I also agree that it goes both ways.

                The presentation of the site has created a forum it seems for this behaviour, whether that was the intention or not. Just like many fans sites for CFB you see people, even for the team you support, bring a negative light to your team. Everyone has them.

                I also concur completely that it does not bring or add anything of importance to the site.

  12. Ok, so let me get this straight, lets say that Iowa State signs is 34 players, all the recruits that send in their NLOI and told they are on scholarships…they attempt to get settled in with Admissions and three months later and nine of these are told they didn’t qualify. So, they scramble to find someone who offered a scholarship(IF one was offered), and they have to make life changing plans(go to a school they didn’t want to go to).


    • This is where I think a player should not be allowed to sign a NLI until they qualified. That way they understand that they may not get into school if the spring does not go well. So the expectation of them not attending the school they want is realistic. Remember the requirements for them to qualify is really a very low standard. So if there is that concern why bother even taking a chance on them when the chance for them to succeed in college level courses is even less than to qualify.

  13. That doesn’t have any relevance to the topic at hand. What the OSU players did was against the rules. Any true fan of college football would like them to receive their just punishment. I’m a huge Buckeye, but if they treated, then they deserve to get punished by the NCAA. No ifs, ands, or butts about it.

    Now, back to the topic: oversigning.

  14. Oversigning isn’t illegal…yet. I think that argument has been made a million times. What is it is unethical. That’s the issue, and it’s a clear one, especially in the case of Alabama. The majority of the SEC does this and receives advantages for it. It’s pretty simple and quite obvious.

    • You’re welcome to said high ground. No one’s disputing that, but it’s irrelevant to the topic at hand. Again.

      And no one cares about that. It’s akin to venturing onto a political web site and discussing the latest fashion trends. It has nothing to do with the scope of this site.

  15. Predictable commentary from Deep South Boy, who again seeks to distract from the subject of this site. To the other posters, do yourselves a favor by not replying to his responses. The purpose of such forums is to discuss oversigning–the practice, implications, and hopefully the solutions to this archaic and unethical practice that has real implications on people’s lives and in the game of football. That issue has not changed.

    • I am not proud of them at all. However, you not only are proud of your coach, you brag about how is getting away with an sleazy practice because it is “not against the rules”

      • Sure you do, by defending it. Your pathetic attempts at sarcasm that you repeat ad nauseam on Scout and all the other sites you troll and have for YEARS is way beyond pathetic, it’s sick and twisted. You claim to be a man in your 40′s and you act worse than the kids you take such glee in ripping on. I am so glad that this has brought you so much joy for the holiday’s. A grown man getting a thrill over what happens to a school that isn’t a rival, doesn’t play in your conference and hasn’t played in a million years, is not only sad, but reflects such a character flaw you are rendered incapable of judging the character of others. God, I need a shower.

        • DeepSthBoy, it’s apparent you have an inability to separate an argument against unethical practices from your feelings for you team. You may want to try that sometime.

          • Why would they suspend them when the NCAA says they don’t have to? Isn’t that your argument, that over signing is not against NCAA rules?

            And good luck with your smear campaign. I am sure those people will think the same thing the rest of us do: What does Josh being a tOSU fan have to do with over signing? And then they will laugh at you. Like the rest of us.

    • Question: Will Ohio State be put on probation or have to vacate wins due to this? No? We’re good. I hope you, the biggest jerkoff around is proud of that.

    • I just read this. I’m going to ignore DSB from now on. I agree. Said poster is not at all interested in the truth, but rather, blindly defending his team and coach.

  16. What a miserable piece of crap you are. Seriously, John it is just sickening reading the lengths you go to on so many websites. I pity you.

  17. As stated earlier, I am hopeful that the NCAA will make the correct decision by creating practical solutions to mitigate if not outright ban this unethical practice. At that time, the efforts by DeepSouthBoy and others to deny and distract from this issue will be as irrelevant as DeepSouthBoy has made himself.

    The question for those of us who view this as an unethical issue is what can we do today to continue to bring this to the attention of the decision-makers at the NCAA at the athletic conferences? Clearly, folks like Nick Saban and Les Miles and other offenders are not going to change their practices without significant external pressure, and neither will the decision-makers above them (the university presidents, the athletic directors, etc.). A letter campaign? Josh, what are your thoughts?

  18. Not an Alabama fan. Not a OSU hater. But seriously… this blog sounds alot like jealousy. I periodically check in here to see the oversigning propaganda. I believe that most of the arguments against oversigning are meant to appeal emotionally, not logically. Simply stating that it is unethical, over and over and over, does NOT make it unethical.

    The most compelling arguments that I’ve seen on either side favor Saban. It sounds, to me, like he is responsible for the education of more young men than Tressel.

    • I have to agree. To say that there is a consistent theme is the understatement of the century. This guy would seem to be the ultimate one trick pony, trying to rally what appears to be scant support for his ideas.

  19. Charlie,
    Not a Alabama or Ohio State fan nor a hater of either. It is pretty simple why there are so many people writing and exposing what Alabama, LSU, Ole Miss, Arkansas are doing with oversigning. It is unethical treatment of the student athlete and also a competitive advantage for that said school that oversigns. You have to be blind to not realize this.

    • The unethical aspect is, at most debatable. Any competitive advantage gained is more accurately described as selective disadvantage on the part of those who don’t. As long as it is within the acceped NCAA rules, there is no advantage gained that is not available to any other school, unless that school or its conference has such a rule. Yes, there may be an advantage to oversignin when compared to not, but there is also one for teams that wear cleats vs those that wear tennis shoes. If tomorrow the SEC ruled that cleats were causing too many injuries and will be banned by the SEC, what would Penn St be wearing when Bama comes to Happy Valley next year?

  20. Regarding competitive advantage… Tony Gerdeman, in his article, makes the point that the Big Ten is as competitive and is just as good as the SEC. So… does the SEC have a competitive advantage because of oversigning? Gerdeman makes it sound as if there is no correlation between oversigning and competitive quality.

    But let’s assume that oversigning does yield an advantage. Does USC have a competitive advantage because recruits like the weather there? Is USC’s weather causing unethical competitive advantages? I think so… what should the NCAA do about it?

    Now… to the “unethical treatment of the student athlete.” I still don’t understand what it unethical about it. Unethical according to what standard? If an athlete understands that oversigning may occur and that he may be a casualty of oversigning, that student can make an informed decision. Explain what is unethical.

  21. Competitive Inequality… top spenders in college football according to ESPN. I think that dollars correlate more highly with performance than oversigning. NCAA should cap it.

    1. Ohio State, $31,763,036
    2. Alabama, $31,118,134
    3. Notre Dame, $29,490,788
    4. Auburn, $27,911,713
    5. LSU, $25,566,520
    6. Florida, $24,457,557
    7. South Carolina, $22,794,211
    8. Wisconsin, $22,041,491
    9. Arkansas $22,005,014
    10. TCU $20,609,361

    • That needs to happen as well…A Cap would benefit everyone.

      • I was being sarcastic, but I appreciate your zeal. All sarcasm aside, Mario, at least, is consistent in the application of fairness and the idea of some unethical competitive advantage. I might expect most of the anti-oversigning crowd to defend uber-high spending because of who is at the top of the list.

  22. Obviously, I’m late to the party. Hope everyone had a great holiday.

    #1, there’s no such thing as oversigning. No program in the country has taken in more players for any given year than allowed by the NCAA. There have been greyshirts and back-counters. In the end, none of the 120 FBS programs have oversigned beyond the 25 limit. It’s a simple misnomer sensationalized to draw attention.

    #2, I don’t see how greyshirting is unethical. Please explain.

    #3, I don’t see how back-counting is unethical. Please explain.

    #4, Since the WSJ articles seem to be the only strings to grasp, I’ll ask an unanswered question: Kirschman said he felt he could play. Let’s say Saban plays him and he worsens his injury (maybe even to a debilitating point). Word comes out that Kirschman was injured but Saban played him anyway. What’s the reaction?

    #5, I haven’t seen it addressed, but are we suggesting Saban arbitrarily hands out medicals to players not cutting the mustard without a doctor/physician’s opinion? I find it hard to believe a man with the kind of anal retentive attention to detail he has displayed would just pluck a player off the team for no other reason than productivity.

    #6, Roy Upchurch, who was way down in the depth chart behind Glen Coffee, Mark Ingram, and Trent Richardson, was an oft-injured running back for Saban through 2009. In fact, Upchurch required surgery for a neck problem. If Saban is so callous about running off players, why did he keep a back-up to a back-up on the roster? If there’s one position Alabama has been loaded at the past two years, it’s running back. Why keep a broke-neck 3rd stringer?

    #7, If the NCAA makes a hard and fast 25 rule, does anyone believe this will somehow translate to the demise of the Southeastern Conference’s recent dominance?

    #8, Opinion: All this feigned disgust about oversigning and handwringing about the poor children tossed in the streets by evil-minded coaches is a front. The truth is the creators of this site are tired of seeing southern teams dominate. If the 25 rule comes into play, what next? Are you going to demand all programs require the same admission standards? We can’t recruit anyone who can run faster than 4.8? No one over 5’10″ allowed?

    #9, I’ll bring up the elephant in the room: The south’s rise to college football power rests on African-American demographics. Google it. I truly don’t mean to offend any particular race, but there’s a reason why so many programs in the south are so successful.

    Happy New Year to all

    • Ken, you have really good points, but most of anti-oversigning zealots in this forum do not understand facts. See if you can bundle your points into a tear-wrenching emotional story about ruined lives. That will definitely help.

      Also, you make the point that the south dominates. The most predominantly defended conference in this forum is the Big 10. The most predominantly attacked conference in this forum is the SEC. Surely you’re not making an affront to his premise linked above. The premise that “the Big Ten can hold their own with the SEC…” (Gerdeman).

      • What’s interesting is the author seems happy to respond to posters that agree with him, but not to those that don’t. Is he so convinced he’s right that he doesn’t bother to try and counter well thought out counterpoints? I think zealotry is the only real answer to why that would be, Charlie.

      • Heh, I see what you’re doing there.

        I’m not planning on posting beyond this point. I only read the latest article listed here and immediately saw it for what it was, a terribly disguised attempt to “even the playing field” relative to the Big Ten and felt the need to air my questions/opinions. I fully expect my post to go unanswered or, at best, have a response littered with supposition, accusations, unfounded rumor, and feigned rage.

        As I read through the comments, I saw a pattern: Someone would make a post supporting the Southeastern Conference’s practices and someone (usually several people) would respond with an eloquent post which basically said, “What about the CHILDREN?!?!”

        I’ve seen that act before and have no time to waste on it.

  23. Oh, I do have one more point before I shuffle off to watch the last few weeks of recruiting before National Oversigning Day:

    How about the NCAA just do away with scholarship limitations so programs aren’t tempted to throw student-athletes “out in the streets”? No 85 rule. No 25 rule. Sign however many a program can get. If a player isn’t living up to the hype, he can ride the bench for four years and walk out with his degree (or transfer if he really wants). Either way, he’s not tossed away through any supposed unethical means.

    There’s only one point to the 85/25 rule: parity. A player wants to go to school #1, but can’t because of a bogus NCAA rule and he’s forced to go to school #2. Sounds pretty stupid and is a direct result of pathetic NCAA policies.

    Or are the supporters of this website more concerned with artificial competitve parity than they are the student-athletes they professes to champion?

    I leave you all to your own pissed off world…

  24. Why dont you fuckin cry about it! BITCH!!!!!!

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