Oversigning.com
12Feb/1184

The Worst Article Ever Written on Oversigning

We have read a lot of articles on oversigning and listened to a lot of people talk about the topic over the last year.  The vast majority of people writing or talking about this topic don't fully understand it and the complexities involved.  Some are too emotionally charged to think clearly long enough to fully understand what oversigning is and who is guilty of abusing the practice.  Others are in clear denial that it is an issue, such as the blog Bama Sports Report. 

http://www.bamasportsreport.com/2011-articles/february/oversigning-from-alabamas-perspective.html 

Nick Saban is everybody's favorite oversigning whipping boy. It's a role he's no doubt accustomed to - he's been the internet's number two villian (just behind Hitler) since he told reporters he wasn't leaving the Dolphins for Alabama. But here's the thing. There's really nothing to see here. No one has done anything wrong. Let's take a closer look at the rules and what Alabama has done.

Saban and Alabama have broken no rules. No one has even alleged that they have. The process is pretty clear. You put 85 (or fewer) student athletes on scholarship each year, and no more than 25 can be added in a year. You submit those lists to the NCAA and everyone goes on about their way.

Translated: no rules have been broken, there is nothing here to see, and you can put 85 on scholarship each year with no more than 25 being added each year.  Wow.  Really?  Let's continue.

Last year, the SEC changed the rules to allow member institutions to only bring in 28 student athletes per class. This was mostly in response to the class of 33 Houston Nutt inked at Ole Miss a few years earlier. Big Ten fans are up in arms because the Big Ten only allows member institutions to sign the exact number that they have available. 

Why does the Big Ten do this? Moral superiority? Past abuses? The warm fuzzy feeling of getting steamrolled in big bowls? I don't know. But the SEC (and many other conferences) have chosen not to follow their lead. That it disadvantages the Big Ten is a Big Ten problem.

Ugh.  The Huston Nutt Rule was in response to his class of 37, not 33.   The new SEC rule doesn't allow member institutions to bring 28 student-athletes per class, it limits SIGNING to 28 from February to May 31st.  It in no way addresses the real issue of keeping schools from being faced with having to get rid of players because all of their new recruits that signed a LOI qualified and to enroll them all would put them over the 85 limit.  The rule change was meaningless.

Big 10 fans are not the only ones "up in arms."  The University of Florida President, Bernie Machen, was a little bent on the topic, calling it and greyshirting morally reprehensible, Mark Richt has spoken out on the topic, and there is a Twitter account called Oversigning that is operated by a Georgia Bulldog fan who is absolutely furious about oversigning and has been relentless in pestering the national media.  And as a result, the entire national media has picked up on the topic and the court of public opinion has ruled that oversigning is a slime-ball tactic that needs to go.  The issue of oversigning is not a Big 10 problem it is a SEC problem, check that, it's a problem of schools that are abusing it, some SEC schools don't (Georgia, Florida, Vandy traditionally speaking) and some schools outside of the SEC do (Miami, Florida State, Troy) although not to the tune of the SEC schools that do, and even more of a problem for schools who are abusing it and then refusing to release their scholarship numbers to the general public. 

Let's continue...

Sadly, it's a fact that public schools in Alabama and Mississippi are occasionally lacking. See our national rankings in most test scores, etc. So, more frequently than in richer, more industrialized states, kids in the south fail to qualify. It's not a fact that those in the Big Ten don't know; it's frequently used as a convenient insult. But when it hurts their argument, it is ignored.

More industrialized states?  Really?  The bottom line on this BS is that there are plenty of kids that can qualify in the south; they might not run a 4.3 40 or have freakish talent, but with all of the population shifts there are plenty of good, quality kids that can get it done on the field and in the classroom.  Coaches just need to get better at finding them and better at coaching them up.  The reason we see so many guys not getting in is because coaches go after so many kids that they know won't qualify --  they do this for a couple of reasons: to keep competitors away from them and in hopes of signing and placing them in the JUCO farm system. 

And here's the bottom line. Since Nick Saban arrived at Alabama, two student athletes have left the program without a "soft landing" - meaning fre school. Those two kids are Jimmy Johns and Jeremy Elder. They were both arrested for felonies.

Every other kid has received at least some sort of tacit nod to other programs. You can bet if Saban were poor-mouthing departures, less of them would be receiving free rides elsewhere. Either way, these are year to year scholarships. Something that isn't news to anyone. There's no obligation to renew the scholarship.

Soft landing.  Really?  Going from a 4-5 star recruit at one of the premier schools on track to get a quality degree from a great school to a spot on a FCS roster and degree from a lesser school is a soft landing, provided he even makes it that far...sounds more like a shattered dream.  To be fair this isn't all on the oversigning coaches; bogus recruiting services that attempt to rank these kids are just as guilty of contributing to the rise and fall of some of these student-athletes.

It appears that The Drake Group and the National College Players Association disagree with the Bama Sports Report in the assertion that everyone knows that scholarships are 1 year renewable contracts.  Both groups were in Hartford, Connecticut testifying at a legislative hearing.

Sack, who called the proposed bill the "Connecticut Student-Athletes' Right to Know Act," said he was attending the hearing as president-elect of The Drake Group. According to the organization's website, it has a national network of college faculty that lobbies for proposals that ensure a quality education for college athletes.

While NCAA rules state that athletic aid cannot be reduced or cancelled during the one-year period of the award because of athletic ability or injury, Sack said, "the rules are murky when it comes to conditions for the renewal and non-renewal of the scholarships in the subsequent year."

"Some universities renew scholarships for four years as long as athletes continue playing and adhere to team rules," said Sack. "Others cancel scholarships for poor athletic performance or for injury."

Sack, who called the proposed bill the "Connecticut Student-Athletes' Right to Know Act," said he was attending the hearing as president-elect of The Drake Group. According to the organization's website, it has a national network of college faculty that lobbies for proposals that ensure a quality education for college athletes.

Ramogi Huma, a former UCLA football player and president of the National College Players Association — a California nonprofit made up of more than 14,000 Division 1 student athletes — also testified at the hearing and went one step further. He said the majority of high school recruits decide which college to attend based on "false information given to them by athletic recruiters."

Most recruits and their parents have no idea, Huma said, that colleges can "leave them with sports-related medical expenses, take away their scholarship for any reason, leave them with tens of thousands of dollars in educational-related expenses, and hold their eligibility and scholarship opportunities hostage when they try to transfer schools."

http://www.courant.com/news/education/hc-college-sport-scholarships-0209-20110208,0,6085518.story

And for the grand finale...

I was on the debate team in college. It paid my way. I was well aware that if I didn't do what I needed to do, there'd be no scholarship next year. Whether that was a certain amount of research or practice or keeping my grades up, I knew that there were expectations. I knew if I failed to meet those, I'd have to pay my own way. Why is a football scholarship any different?

My final thought is really this. Oversigning is legal. No matter the scenario, kids are getting free college tuition (barring felony arrests). Oversigning does, unequivocally, give a competitive advantage.

If it's legal, and no kids are harmed in the process, then the guy who's getting paid upwards of $4 million dollars a year to win football games ought to be doing it. If he's not, he's not doing everything he can - within the rules - to win football games. And that's not acceptable. That's the cold, hard, unfeeling truth here.

Debate team.  Really?  Regardless, the comparison of a football scholarship to an academic scholarship is completely laughable.  Wonder if the coach of the debate team was being paid millions of dollars based on the performance of the writer of this article.   Wonder if the debate coach faced the same level of pressure to win as Saban or Miles do?  Wonder if the debate team coach was only allowed to give out X number of debate scholarships?  What if a new debate coach comes in and he wants to clear the roster?  If a debater wanted to go to another school to debate would he have to sit out a year?  Wonder if the writer of the article signed of LOI that bound him to the school in a one-way agreement?  And lastly, how many times does a debater put his life at risk debating so that the schools, coaches, and TV networks can make millions?

That last paragraph about sums it up: to not oversign is unacceptable in this guy's eyes.  Pretty sad state of affairs.  Saban has had 12 kids placed on medical hardship scholarship, a scholarship reserved for players that are so severely injured they can no longer play football.  If Alabama were a tax-paying, private sector business, OSHA would be camped out at the corporate headquarters asking why their employees were being injured at such a higher rate than other similar businesses.  Guess this guy would give them the finger too.

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  1. “I was on the debate team in college. It paid my way. I was well aware that if I didn’t do what I needed to do, there’d be no scholarship next year. Whether that was a certain amount of research or practice or keeping my grades up, I knew that there were expectations. I knew if I failed to meet those, I’d have to pay my own way. Why is a football scholarship any different?”

    It’s not just “if I didn’t do what I needed to do…” It’s also “we’re not renewing… yes, you’ve done all we asked… we just think the new guys coming in the Fall may have a better upside than you, so we need your scholarship… if you check the fine print, yes, we can do this.”

    • Why do these universities leave it to fans to guess about their official policies on athletic scholarship renewals?

      Most people, including most recruits, including Alabama recruits like Xzavier Dickson (who announced on national TV he’d be attending Alabama for “the next 3 to 4 years”), believe that athletic scholarships are for 4 years barring bad behavior.

      Given the confusion, why don’t the officials at these universities clear this up and make it very clear that they will pull not renew scholarships for players who get beaten out?

      • Perhaps it is because they don’t simply cut players like you assume. Show me an instance of someone getting cut at Alabama. Not someone who transfers, not someone who goes on a medical scholarship as both of these instances require the student to agree to it. Show me where a player has not had his scholarship renewed – then you may have something.

        • There is absolutely no way that every athlete that has transferred to PoDunk U did so of his own volition. You believe it you are the fool.

          • Then notify the FBI as they must have forced them against their will to sign the transfer. Go find a quote of one of them saying they didn’t want to transfer, they wanted to continue to play at Alabama for Saban, but dang it they pointed a gun at my head and forced me to transfer. Shouldn’t be too hard to find, especially with the scrutiny Bama’s program is under.

            • What’s the point of being so dishonest about all this? What are you scared of?

              • Who’s being dishonest? Is this just what you say when faced with the possibility that all this may not be as sinister as you have been thinking?

                • So let me get this straight.

                  We have to prove that someone signed their medical scholarship or transfer with a gun to their head (literally) – or the argument is moot?

                  Think about that a minute and let the criminality of it set in. Just because someone signs something does not mean they did so of their own volition (even if a gun wasn’t too their head.)

                  I can come up with an infinite number of reasons a player would be pressured/manipulated etc into signing themselves off the team. The first 5 million reasons are Saban’s salary. The next 70 million are the profit that Alabama Football took in last year.

                  Try this one,”I’ll be honest with you Timmy, you are good, but not good enough to play here. Now if you want, I would be happy to help you transfer somewhere where they will appreciate your talent. Otherwise, you ought to know that I am going to work you so mercilessly that you will want to die. And despite all the hard work you will put in for me, I guarantee I will never let you see the field, or letter, or perhaps not even travel with the team.”

                  “So what’ll it be?”

                  Catch 5 – you can’t on one hand say, “well College Football is a big business, and my coach is just treating it as such by employing oversigning. Kudos to him”

                  Then on the otherhand say, “boy, I don’t think I can fathom a reason why someone would be pressured into signing themselves out of a program.”

                  Accepting the first comment pretty much invalidates the second.

                  And if you are really telling yourself that you cannot come up with a possible reason that a kid would sign himself off the team, then you just being obtuse or dishonest.

                  I haven’t decided which is worse.

                  There is no smoking gun. You are correct.

                  But the point is, the more kids oversigned – the more likely that a big heavy institution and all its money (under pressure to hit 85 players by fall) will apply pressure to a single individual 18 year old for its own gain.

                  To act like otherwise is just plain ignorance.

                  • “To act like otherwise is just plain ignorance.”

                    Or, as you put suggested earlier, simply dishonest.

                    Catch 5 is an extremely unethical person who has football wins to protect. I highly doubt he is a graduate of the University of Alabama. So this is just a football team to him. No different than his favorite NFL team. How the team’s terrible behavior reflects upon the already poorly academically-ranked university (which already has a sad history in other areas) is of little concern to him.

        • Please click on the video upper right of this page. Maybe we do have something.

      • Just like I am sure that the 22 African Americans that signed with UGA in this current class will tell you that they will all graduate from UGA with degree. I wonder if UGA or CMR told them that only 11 will actually graduate because an African American at UGA that plays football only has a 48% chance to graduate because football is the focus there before education.

        • Academic success disparity along racial lines among college athletes is a great subject for discussion. But it’s different from the one raised here, unless you’re suggesting UGA purposefully suppresses the academic success of African American student athletes in order to make room on the roster for more incoming athletes (which would be kind of silly). Even then, it would be pertinent only if this practice were used to accommodate oversigning, and clearly it’s not.

          I don’t know if Richt and staff counsel incoming African American players about the statistics you cite, but it’s well documented that they tell them if they stay out of trouble and follow the rules, their scholarships will be there for them for as long as is allowed. And after that, they do what they said they’d do.

          • SoccerMike (and most oversigning apologists) reminds me of this Richard Hofstadter comment about the anti-intellectual and politically paranoid in America:

            “A final characteristic of the paranoid style is related to the quality of its pedantry. One of the impressive things about paranoid literature is the contrast between its fantasied conclusions and the almost touching concern with factuality it invariably shows. It produces heroic strivings for evidence to prove that the unbelievable is the only thing that can be believed. Of course, there are highbrow, lowbrow, and middlebrow paranoids, as there are likely to be in any political tendency. But respectable paranoid literature not only starts from certain moral commitments that can indeed be justified but also carefully and all but obsessively accumulates “evidence.” The difference between this “evidence” and that commonly employed by others is that it seems less a means of entering into normal political controversy than a means of warding off the profane intrusion of the secular political world. The paranoid seems to have little expectation of actually convincing a hostile world, but he can accumulate evidence in order to protect his cherished convictions from it.”

            http://www.kenrahn.com/jfk/conspiracy_theory/the_paranoid_mentality/the_paranoid_style.html

      • YOu guys keep using this Xzavier Dickson comment as though it proves something. The only thing it proves is that you are parsing what he said to suit you. What shouldn’t a kid that is highly-recruited out of high school assume that he will be at the college of his choosing for the next 3-4 years. If he’s good, works hard, keeps his grades up, and so on, then he will be there. What that kid says in no way proves that he doesn’t understand the one-year-renewable rule. What this whole silly argument proves is that you are being asinine.

        • Unfortunately for you he didn’t say “I hope to be able not get hurt and beat out other players so that Alabama will give me a new contract after my first year…”

          He apparently believes he was committing to a 4-year contract.

          How in the world could he have made THAT mistake I wonder.

          • It’s one thing to argue vehemently. It’s another thing entirely to willfully mis-portray something, as you are doing here. Lame.

  2. I wonder, would the debater approve of his scholarship being taken away if he were getting great grades and great in debate prep, but just not good enough to make the traveling debate team?

    It is amazing that fans of those that practice morally reprehensible actions are the only ones blinded by it.

  3. The stories of Cam Newton and Nick Fairley also suggest what can happen through the use of JUCOs.

    An SEC school can oversign, and then “out-place” some of the excess to selected JUCOs. Some of those “student-athletes” can meet the generally lower standards and “graduate” from the 2-year school. Then the SEC school can choose the best athletes, and (like Newton and Fairley) they play only one year, then head to the NFL. In this way, the SEC school has no worries about “student-athletes” maintaining adequate progress toward a degree, and it seems to involve minimum risk of taking an APR hit.

    • Yes, the world would be much better if we just let these people go by the wayside. If they can’t qualify for college straight out of high school, they obviously have no value. They should know better than to aspire to a better education and the SEC schools should not inspire them to do so. It is just immoral, plain and simple to attempt to make them think they can make something of themselves by offering them a scholarship when they won’t qualify. How can fans of these SEC schools look themselves in the mirror with any sense of pride when they stoop to such lows?

      Obviously (I hope) the above is sarcasm, but your post does bring out other points you likely didn’t realize. First, when a team brings in a JUCO transfer, they only get 2 or three years (or less if they are an early draft prospect) as opposed to the 4 or 5 years that this site assumes from every signee. This is something that has been pointed out to no avail when Joshua does his numbers. If a team regularly signs a couple of Juco guys, and a couple of guys that don’t qualify, then that team’s numbers will be inflated over the 4 or 5 years that Josh likes to do when he compares the total numbers signed between SEC and B10 schools. Secondly, the APR thing may be true, as it is not a good measure and many have been trying to change how it is calculated. The GSR is done by the NCAA, and takes into account transfers from JuCos. When a player leaves early for the draft, it hurts that school’s GSR as they don’t graduate within the 6 years it is calculated from. More and more people are looking at the GSR as opposed to the APR, so this does in fact harm the school if the player leaves early. I don’t see how this could be seen as anything but a positive either way, however as the kid is immensely better for the experience, and isn’t that what we are supposed to be concerned about? Lastly is a question for you. How is it a bad thing that oversigning encourages kids struggling to qualify to get into a program where they can work their way into the University? Why is it bad to be able to assist a kid that would otherwise not get an education at all? If they end up not making it back to school, they still at least get a JuCo degree. While you may turn your nose up at that, it will benifit that kid in his life, and to me that is a good thing.

      • You doing a good job of reassuring your views on oversigning.

        • Cam Newton is not a good case of a kid in JUCO anyway. He went to Florida out of highschool to play for Urban Meyer and Dan Mullen (OC). He got kicked out for stealing laptops so he went to JUCO. He wanted to go play for Dan Mullen at Miss. State until the Aurburn money came calling and his father couldnt resist. Yeah great example.

          • As I requested of you, I’ll do here. Newton did not get kicked out of Florida. He transfered out for more playing time when Tebow came back for his senior year. There is no evidece that Auburn offered money to anybody, or even that Mr Newton approached them for any. The only discussion of money in this whole affair is between a representative for Mr Newton and Miss St. Don’t get me wrong, something stinks to high Heavan about this, but don’t go pointing your fingers without anything to back it up. I do agree that Cam is not the typical JuCo transfer.

            • Newton was facing harsh disciplinary action for stealing the laptops and was kinda pushed in the direction to transfer because the negative publicity the University of Florida was receiving. Newton was ruled eligible to complete the rest of the season because the NCAA would not be able to investigate and make a ruling on the matter. Mark my words this is not over! The Reggie Bush investigation took 5 years. There have been a list of text messages between Mr. Newton and others about money. Believe what you want but Auburn boosters are known for shady dealings. This did not come up out of the blue and it is not done, stay tuned.

            • Maybe he and Florida didn’t like all the bad press clippings he was receiving so they both agreed he should just leave in order to save his good name. I wish all the media outlets would just quit reporting all of these lies from the police departments!

        • If anything I posted is false or in anyway misrepresented, please correct me.

      • Alabama’s APR scores have been in the range of or better than Ohio State’s for the past several years.

        And don’t try to point out the shortcomings of Josh’s approach here. He isn’t trying to be accurate. He may claim he is, but that is a smokescreen.

      • Catch5 – do you also support the decisions to secede from the Union? Just askin’.

  4. Here are a couple of paragraphs from the article that Josh left out:

    No one gripes that the Ivy League’s higher admission standards hurt their football teams. They’ve chosen their lot, they can either continue to feel morally superior or be competitive. The SEC doesn’t allow partial qualifiers. The Big East does. I didn’t like seeing Mike Ford (a 17 team Alabama signee – yes, I’m slightly exaggerating) playing for South Florida, but I moved on.

    Student athletes should not be lied to. No one here is arguing that. And, for the largest part, no one is accusing Alabama of lieing to student athletes. Saban is notoriously honest – he even reminds the players that the scholarships are renewable on a year to year basis.

    • But you included them – and yet, added what in doing so? What’s your point?

      Speaking as one who attended – and participated in athletics at – an Ivy League school, the choice presented between choosing to feel “morally superior” or be competitive is obviously a false one, since the “Ivy Group Agreement” had at its core the affirmation of the goal of asserting the academic missions of those schools above their emphasis of intercollegiate athletics.

      Still, Ivy schools remain competitive in athletics on a national level (look it up) and experience great pride in the results, knowing they’re achieved with proper balance in and respect to the student-athlete experience. This “moral superiority” angle the author presents is just a red herring that also reflects what the author is inferring, not what the Ivies are projecting. Perhaps he’s identified reasons closer to home that underlie feelings of “moral inferiority”…

      As for lying to student-athletes, it has to be concluded that those Alabama players who were reluctantly forced out of their athletic scholarships and into medical scholarships believe it’s a lie to tell them they can’t continue to play football when they obviously believe otherwise.

      As well, that Saban telegraphs the potential for his future misdeeds is hardly a saving grace. Plus, it’s not at all clear that this isn’t just a new CYA tactic by Saban brought on by the increased scrutiny he’s now facing due to the wider publicity his actions garner.

      • No one claimed that the Ivy League is not competitive. The claim was that the Ivy League’s higher admission standards put them at a competitive disadvantage. The Big Ten is competitive, but it doesn’t stop people from claiming that they are disadvantaged by not oversigning. Given the fact that the Ivy League has placed themselves at a comepetitive disadvantage, should the NCAA force every university to adopt the same admission standards to negate this competitive disadvantage? People who use the “competitive advantage” arguement against oversigning are effectively doing the same thing.

        Swing and a miss on using the medical scholarship recipients as examples of players being lied to. None of them claimed that they were lied to. They were told of the determination made by the medical staff and then told about their options. Even if a player disagrees with the determination made by the medical staff, it does not mean that he was lied to.

        • Scratch that first line. The article does imply that Ivy League schools aren’t competitive. Whether or not they are competitive is not the issue. The issue is whether or not their higher admission standards place them at a competitive disadvantage.

          • If the Ivy League schools are competitive then why don’t they schedule games with some B10 schools?

            • Because they don’t give a crap. They are 1aa in football and don’t even participate in the FCS playoff. They aren’t looking to prove anything when it comes to football.

          • As someone who also attended an Ivy League school (grad) I can tell you that being competitive in sports is not real high on the priority list. The fact that they have been is secondary. They give no athletic scholarships and the only post season game they participate is the NCAA tourney. The Ivy League has no interest in producing NFL or NBA stars, there have been a few, but when I watch a Princeton BB game, I know I am watching future business leaders not NBA millionaires. The Ivies don’t take themselves all that seriously when it comes to being competitive with anyone but each other. Some of the rivalries make Duke-NC or tOSU and UM look tame. The Ivy League decided a very long time ago that they would not lose sight of their mission to be the finest academic institutions in the country and even the world, not the best football or basketball league.

        • The claim was that the Ivy League’s higher admission standards put them at a competitive disadvantage.

          You’re projecting there. The Ivies simply don’t view it that way, because they’re not in the sports business. They don’t even allow the league football champion to participate in post-season playoffs. You’re simply barking up the wrong tree in attempting to make whatever point it is you feel is there in that author’s quote.

          Besides, the most relevant example is right in front of you: all of Division IA football playing under the same explicit rules which, prima facie, would suggest that it’s all a level playing field. That is, until the less scrupulous decide it’s acceptable to exploit anything that isn’t explicitly prohibited – despite that all other reasonable and ethical men see the harm of such actions – and refrain from joining in. So 85/25 and the expectation that the student-athlete in good standing will leave the school at the end of his football eligibility with a degree in hand gets pissed on.

          Given the fact that the Ivy League has placed themselves at a comepetitive (sic) disadvantage, should the NCAA force every university to adopt the same admission standards to negate this competitive disadvantage? People who use the “competitive advantage” arguement (sic) against oversigning are effectively doing the same thing.

          Not so about the Ivies, as I explained. Besides, you’re doing an apples to oranges comparison here, referencing Ivy admissions standards while discussing restrictions against the abuse of scholarship administration practices. Further, the NCAA has already established rules regarding competitive advantage (with more undoubtedly coming) – but as mentioned, with the prevailing ethos in some quarters being “if they didn’t say we can’t, then it must mean we can” – then the actions that follow will engender a competitive imbalance. It will remain so for as long as some choose to win first and consider morals and ethics later, if at all.

          Swing and a miss on using the medical scholarship recipients as examples of players being lied to. None of them claimed that they were lied to.

          Willful denial of the obvious on your part. It seems you actually need to see the word “lie” to even then consider that it’s in play. “Take this medical scholarship because we’re telling you that you can’t play anymore – and we’re not giving you that option” is a lie when the player believes that determination isn’t accurate. No matter what a doctor tells the coach, the player still knows his physical capabilities better than anyone. I’m confident any reasonable person who reads the linked article will draw the obvious conclusion from the very words the players spoke.

          • You’re projecting there. The Ivies simply don’t view it that way, because they’re not in the sports business.

            Replace “Ivy League” in my previous post with Vanderbilt, Stanford, or Georgia Tech then.

            The ethical arguement against oversigning is separate from the competitive advantage arguement. If you want to discuss the alleged ethical issues with oversigning, that’s fine, but it does nothing to support the competitive advantage arguement which is what I was discussing.

            Willful denial of the obvious on your part. It seems you actually need to see the word “lie” to even then consider that it’s in play. “Take this medical scholarship because we’re telling you that you can’t play anymore – and we’re not giving you that option” is a lie when the player believes that determination isn’t accurate. No matter what a doctor tells the coach, the player still knows his physical capabilities better than anyone. I’m confident any reasonable person who reads the linked article will draw the obvious conclusion from the very words the players spoke.

            A player may know his physical capabilities better than anyone, but he may not be as concerned about the potential for compounding his medical problems as he should be. I’m sure there are dozens of players every year who would go right back to full contact a couple of days after suffering a concussion if it were left to them. After all, I’m sure they feel like they are physically capable. But the medical staff has a responsibility to the student-athlete and the university to be more cautious and to take the long view as to the individual’s health.

            Ezekial Knight is one of the Alabama football players who was medically disqualified (“heart-related issues”). Knight disagreed and wanted to keep playing because of his dreams of playing in the NFL (http://blog.al.com/bamabeat/2009/08/ezekial_knight_you_dont_have_t.html). Rather than take a medical hardship, he transferred to Stillman College, was cleared, and played his senior year, thankfully, without issue. Does this mean that Alabama’s medical staff was wrong and Knight was right? I don’t know. I then consider a case like Alabama basketball player Mikhail Torrance. He had an enlarged heart but felt he could still play and Alabama’s medical staff agree with him. He played all 4 years, practicing hard every day, without issue. After graduation, NBA teams expressed concerned about his heart condition, but he was determined to play professional basketball. NBA physicians also cleared him. A few weeks later, he collapsed from a massive heart attack during a light work-out. He remained unconscious for 10 days but slowly recovered over a period of months. I think there should be more concern over cases like Mikhail Torrance than cases like Ezekial Knight.

            The three players who went on record with the WSJ all stated that they had a choice and chose to take the medical scholarship. They could’ve followed Ezekial Knight’s example and transferred to another school if they could find one that would clear them. I’m sure they truly did want to continue playing but knew deep down that the determination made by medical staff was the correct one.

            • Gee, notice how all these drum pounders that keep mentioning that WSJ article have nothing to say in response to this post. Big surprise there.

              • Depends on how far Ezekial Knight was down Saban’s depth chart and how many recruits he had to purge to make room for his oversigned roster. This is the real question here.

                You see Vesper this is where you paint yourself into a corner. These players who say or dont say if they have a choice to really doesnt matter. If they take the medical hardship, their school will be taken care of and Saban gets him of his roster as a scholarship player. If the player decides to transfer (he would then have to sit out a year in order to transfer to Div. IA school) and Saban gets to open up a scholarship on his roster. Do you see a problem with this?

                And lastly, Oversigning is a competitive advantage because a team with NORMAL attrition is able to fill those roster spots bringing them back to a full roster. Also, the oversigning team has a larger talent pool to choose from and plug them in to add depth (helps with injuries during the season and wearing down opponents). This also helps for scout team (players on scholarship, non starters included) helping prepare the team. When you practice against better competition, YOU WILL GET BETTER! Any benefit is on special teams. Larger talent pool with better players to put on special teams. = competitive advantage.

                • Depends on how far Ezekial Knight was down Saban’s depth chart and how many recruits he had to purge to make room for his oversigned roster. This is the real question here.

                  Ezekial Knight was a returning starter at a thin position for Bama. He had emerged as a potential NFL prospect after amassing 64 tackles, 11 TFL (2nd on team), 3 sacks (2nd on team), 2 INTs, 3 PBUs, 5 QBHs, 1 FR, 1 FF. If someone was going to be “purged” from the roster, he would be one of the last candidates.

                  You see Vesper this is where you paint yourself into a corner. These players who say or dont say if they have a choice to really doesnt matter. If they take the medical hardship, their school will be taken care of and Saban gets him of his roster as a scholarship player. If the player decides to transfer (he would then have to sit out a year in order to transfer to Div. IA school) and Saban gets to open up a scholarship on his roster. Do you see a problem with this?

                  There is another option. The player could refuse the medical and stay on the football roster knowing that he would not be allowed to practice because the coaching staff is not going to go against the determination of the medical staff. But the bottom line is that a player not cleared by medical will not play at that school. Not worth the risk to the player’s long-term health (not to mention possible lawsuits).

                  With respect to your last paragraph, I have never disputed that oversigning provides a competitive advantage; much like 100,000+ capacity stadiums, state of the art facilities, $30 million football budgets, lack of in-state recruiting competition, lower school admission requirements, robust walk-on programs, etc…

                  • I see that last part you point toward the team I am a fan of. If so, Nebraska only fits into two of those categories. Memorial Stadium capacity is no where near 100,000 but we do have a NCAA record for consecutive sell outs. Nebraska does have state of art facilities which rank right up there with the best. There again the budget is no where near 30 mil. The state of Nebraska produces anywhere from 2-5 Div. I prospects annually. There is plenty of competition for those recruits as well. ND, Kansas, Iowa, Nebraska, Ohio and Colorado all come to the state to recruit, especially linemen. Walkon program, what can I say? Tradition! Anyone can have walkons so that is not even an issue. I do know Nebraska doesnt oversign and even gives plenty of walk ons scholarships.

                    • The walk-on program is the only one in which I had Nebraska in mind (the first three I actually had Alabama in mind). While it’s true that anyone can have walk-ons; it’s also true that NCAA rules allow anyone to oversign to account for expected attrition.

                    • If you don’t think Nebraska has market advantages over most of the rest of 1-A football due to revenues, facilities, and the like, then you are being intentionally obtuse.

                    • Joe, I agreed with facilities. Nebraska does bring in alot of revenue but their expense budget is nowhere near many of the BCS schools. Middle of the pack in the Big 12 actually. Did you know Nebraska is one of the few major players in the NCAA who doesnt have a private plane for recruiting? Just imagine that for a minute. Nebraska produced 5 BCS athletes this year, they recruit nationally but do NOT have a private plane. In comparision, Alabama had 35 or 36 BCS school athletes with a hotbed of talent all around them.

                      This is all besides the point because Nebraska does not oversign, nor get rid of “inadequate” talent like MOST oversigning schools do.

            • Replace “Ivy League” in my previous post with Vanderbilt, Stanford, or Georgia Tech then.

              Why? What part of “apple to oranges” did you not understand? As with the Ivies, these are three schools who have explicitly chosen to place appropriate elevated academic emphasis on the student side of student-athlete. Their thought process was not at all in terms of competitive advantage or disadvantage, but concerned with being true to their academic missions while respecting the dignity of the students for whom they are responsible. This choice of placing themselves at a competitive disadvantage remains a projection on your part – one that is as flawed as your insistence that the ethical aspect of oversigning can be separated from the competitive advantage aspect.

              In fact, you unwittingly are undermining your own argument by bringing into the discussion the ethical actors – Stanford, Georgia Tech and Vanderbilt – who show that in terms of competitive balance, college footbalt functions well under 85/25 and one-year scholarships (which are used by virtually all of their players to obtain a degree) until the bad actors step in to exploit unethical practices that aren’t explicitly prohibitedthereby upsetting competitive balance.

              How is it that you insist on being so intransigent in the face of such obvious and elementary evidence establishing that unethical behavior in roster management engenders competitive imbalance? It really appears that you’re so locked into arguing a side that you’ve sacrificed any semblance of the intellectual honesty that would take you to a place that the same facts and common sense would take a reasonable man.

              The three players who went on record with the WSJ all stated that they had a choice and chose to take the medical scholarship.

              These players “chose” from among the “choices” that remained – none of which included their first preference to continue playing football for Alabama. Saban had personally closed that door to them by simply approaching them with a proposition they had not even known was a consideration for them. The players choosing from among less desirable choices doesn’t at all disprove that they were lied to in the presentation of medical scenarios that forced them from the football team in order to free up football scholarships for players who were standing on the sideline waiting for one to come free for their immediate use.

              • As with the Ivies, these are three schools who have explicitly chosen to place appropriate elevated academic emphasis on the student side of student-athlete. Their thought process was not at all in terms of competitive advantage or disadvantage, but concerned with being true to their academic missions while respecting the dignity of the students for whom they are responsible.

                I completely agree. But whether or not it was their intention to do so, the higher admission standards do place them at a competitive disadvantage (again, not saying that they aren’t competitive). If you don’t believe me, ask any fan of one of those schools. In order to negate that competitive disadvantage, should the NCAA force all schools to adopt the same higher admission standards?

                While it might be a stated purpose of the NCAA to maintain a competitive balance, not every single variable that might result in an imbalance can or should be regulated. Higher admission standards is just one of many examples.

                These players “chose” from among the “choices” that remained – none of which included their first preference to continue playing football for Alabama

                True, but as I tried to explain in my previous post, the player’s preference may not always be prudent from a medical standpoint, and it can be downright dangerous. If a player is not cleared by medical, playing for that school will not be one of his options. The same is true at all levels of organized football from Pop Warner to the NFL.

                The players choosing from among less desirable choices doesn’t at all disprove that they were lied to in the presentation of medical scenarios that forced them from the football team in order to free up football scholarships for players who were standing on the sideline waiting for one to come free for their immediate use.

                “lied to in the presentation of medical scenarios” – that’s a very strong accusation. What evidence do you have to support the accusation? Is it the claim that the number of medical scholarships awarded at Alabama is excessively high? Well, then what is an appropriate number? For that matter, what is the average number of medical scholarships awarded per school each year?

                If it’s not the number of medical scholarships, it must be the WSJ piece that created such a comotion. The WSJ went on record with 3 players who had received medicals. What about the other 9 players who had received medicals under Saban? Did the WSJ even attempt to contact them?

                One of the players that is quoted (Charles Hoke) stated that he didn’t feel pressured and the decision was entirely up to him. Doesn’t sound like he feels lied to . Jeremie Griffin stated that he doesn’t contest the results of his failed physical. Doesn’t sound like he feels lied to.

                Then there is Charlie Kirschman. Although he states the the decision to accept the medical was his, he does paint a different picture. Kirschman must be the case that your bold claim is based on. Fair enough, but I have a few questions. What was the exact nature of his back injury?…Don’t know? That would seem like a pretty important piece of information to have if you are going to claim that he was lied to about his medical condition. Well, let’s press on. What was the severity? How much did it limit him in practice and in the weight room? While he was practicing, did he ever experience complications as a result of the injury? Was the injury ever reaggravated? What were his chances of suffering a more serious injury? And most importantly, what were the possible long-term consequences of continuing to play with his specific type of back injury?

                Of course, you can’t answer any of these questions. The University of Alabama is prohibited from disclosing any of this information but Charlie Kirschman is not. Did the WSJ ask him any of these questions? If not, why? Did the WSJ investigate whether the determination made by the medical staff was legitimate? If not, why?

                One final question. If you don’t know the answers to any of the questions that I posed, how were you able to claim that these players have been lied to about their medical situations? Of course, one of the benefits of being an anonymous poster on a message board is that you can make wreckless accusations without fear of any real consequence such as libel.

                • That is the problem on this site. A small group ban together and state opinion as if it is fact. Next they stroke each other because they agree but yet have not supplied any value or fact to their defense, except restating the opinions of Joshua as if they are fact. Once cornered on their defense they become very defensive and call people names. Sort of like a bunch of elementry kids that do not play well on the playground.

                  In regards to the medical scholarship they use the refernce of one player without all the facts and try to make it representative of all medical hardships. The same if one players says he did not want to transfer none of them did.

                  The thing I find the most amusing though is they sing from the rooftops about what UA is doing or other SEC schools are doing being unethnical but turn the cheek if their school practices in unethnical practices and will defend it with every excuse in the book.

  5. The reason we see so many guys not getting in is because coaches go after so many kids that they know won’t qualify — they do this for a couple of reasons: to keep competitors away from them and in hopes of signing and placing them in the JUCO farm system.

    Why is this a bad thing? The alternative is to just let the kid go, likely to not enroll in any school and never further his failed education. If the SEC school is successful, then the kid goes to JuCo and at the least gets a two year education. Is that not better for the kid? Or are we now putting any perceived advantage above the interest of the student?

    Going from a 4-5 star recruit at one of the premier schools on track to get a quality degree from a great school to a spot on a FCS roster and degree from a lesser school is a soft landing

    First the position on the roster comment is silly. Noone guarantees a starting spot (unless you’re Tommy Bowden promising the first carry of the year didn’t work out so well when the kid fumbled the ball away), and even if they do, it is up to the kid to keep it. If he slides down the depth chart, would a transfer, even to an FCS school, not provide the kid more playing time? You also equate lesser football division to a lesser education. In some cases you may be right – especially in your beloved B10 where they admittedly have higher academic credentials. But being an FCS school does not automatically equate to lesser educational standards. In fact in some instances, it could be an upgrade.

    While NCAA rules state that athletic aid cannot be reduced or cancelled during the one-year period of the award because of athletic ability or injury, Sack said, “the rules are murky when it comes to conditions for the renewal and non-renewal of the scholarships in the subsequent year.”

    “Some universities renew scholarships for four years as long as athletes continue playing and adhere to team rules,” said Sack. “Others cancel scholarships for poor athletic performance or for injury.”…

    …Most recruits and their parents have no idea…

    If only there were someone we could point to as a good example of educating their recruits. If we could only find someone who has been quoted as letting his players know what is to be expected of them before they sign, who lets them know what the conditions of a scholarship are, and not just glossing over the subject and making them research it for themselves.

    Oh, look what I found in an article referenced by Joshua himself – thought this quote has still not found its way into his blog…

    Give Saban credit. At least he tells recruits they might get cut to clear space for newer signees. When the Myrtle Beach (S.C.) Sun-News interviewed seven participants in the Offense-Defense Bowl about the topic of the one-year, renewable scholarship, only one, Alabama commitment Christion Jones, knew his scholarship had to be renewed annually. “Coach Saban told me it’s a one-year scholarship you have to work for,” Jones told the paper. “Some coaches don’t tell some kids. Some kids have to find out the hard way

    Read more: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2011/writers/andy_staples/01/24/oversigning/index.html#ixzz1DlaZjnlw

  6. You did not lie. You promised the worst article ever written on oversigning, and then you went right out there and delivered. After reading this trash, I’d like a few minutes of my life back.

  7. I will ask again, can anyone who supports oversigning explain why Saban has had 12 medical hardships since he has been at Alabama? This is more than any other conference. One teams has more than an entire conference in the same time span? Can a supporter of oversigning please explain this?

    • 1. He has had several severe injuries. Anyone want to question Tyrone Prothro?
      2. He has taken on several recruits that are coming off of major surgeries. Some of these guys don’t recover to the level they once had. I imagine that most schools don’t offer to these type kids in the first place, and perhaps if they do, are happy to have them occupy a roster spot even though they will never play.
      3. Perhaps Saban’s tolerance for an injury warranting a medical hardship is lower than most – point out where the players are harmed. They stay at the University, they finish their education, they don’t pay for it. I’d take that in a heartbeat if I knew I had been injured to the point that I no longer had the skills to play on Saturdays – even if I could still technically go through the drills and motions of practice. Don’t know this to be the case, I’m just assuming.

      Now, why does it matter? All 12 players (even the 2 who said they felt pressured) agreed to the medical. They could have transferred to another school if they could still play. They didn’t.

      • 1. There is no question about Prothro. There is one out of the 13
        2. Your reason here is complete bogus. All coaches take on these type of recruits. This is the worse defense I have ever heard.
        3. They are harmed because a team doctor is making the determination without a separate third party. Saban can use this to get rid of empty space on the roster and you know it. Just look at the numbers. 12 in a 4 year period! Let me say that again. 12! This is not the point, yes they are taken care of but in many cases their football careers normally would not be over. Think of this, if a kid is a sophomore he has a couple years left and some kids dont develop as quickly. If Saban forces that kid to a medical scholarship, no one will know if this kid is going to develop.

        Here we go again. If you have a perceived team doctor telling you repeatedly you will not play again and you should either take or leave the chance to get your school paid for you would probably do it too. These kids are young and alot of the time come from families who dont know any better. Answer this question, when you doctor tells you about a fracture in your wrist, do you disagree with him? I bet you are the guy who never believes what a doctor says and run off and get 2nd and 3rd opinions, huh?

        • 1. Specific information about injuries is hard to come by (and probably illegal since it is medical information about an individual afterall) so I can’t give any other examples of clear open-and-shut cases. Would you like to share any that seem to be suspect? Or is it just that they have a large number that makes you question the injuries?
          2. Really? Do you have any names you can share of players sitting on the bench with injuries they incurred before they signed? McKeller (one of the Medical recepients) and Love (one of last year’s grayshirts) are but two exaples of Bama recruits with pre-existing injuries. McKeller’s (I think wrist) injury did not heal correctly and he went on medical without ever officially making the team. Love will be on the team this year, and will hopefully recover fully from his injury.
          3. No, Saban cannot use this as it is a medical determination. Bama has an excellent medical staff, and even has James Andrews as a consultant if needed. Andrews is probably the most respected orthapedic surgeon in the country – he has repaired more knees and shoulders from pro athletes than just about anybody. If you question the judgement of this staff, then bring it to the boards of medicine. If you want to say that the injuries were not to the level of acquiring a medical hardship, then fine – come up with a way to better define this so that all the schools can operate under the same definitions.
          4. ” but in many cases their football careers normally would not be over” How do you know this? You are assuming that Saban is just taking a kid who is on scholarship and giving him a medical without cause. I would say that is not happening. What I will say could be going on (this is completely my opinion) is that a player gets injured, but after his recovery he doesn’t have the strength he once did in his leg/arm/whatever was injured. He may have lost some speed. He may have lost the ability to cut as dynamically as he once could. Yes, he can run again, or block/throw/catch, but not at the level expected of a Div I athlete. While he can still participate, he will not compete at that level. Is it unreasonable to put this player on medical hardship? Why not? Before his injury, he was an elite athlete but because of the injury he no longer has that elite ability he was given a scholarship for. I understand if this is not the definition of what a medical should be used for, but is it unreasonable that some may? I think these are reasonable scenarios for their use, but I can also see where some coaches may not, and thus not utilize the option as often.

        • Here we go again with your attempt to attack UA. You are one of the many posters that get on here and scream oversigning is wrong because it is unfair to take the education away that a kid is promised, but yet when they get the opportunity to remain in school, via a medical hardship you bash.

          Answer me this. These so called perceived doctors can you show me how you know their credentials are fake? You are implying that. Also not one player is being forced to take a medical hardship or stay at any school. They can transfer. You always seem to twist events to fit your defense.

          Let me also ask you this. When Nebraska does somthing unethnical in regards to their football team do you demand them to stop it? Just curious but I probably already know that answer.

        • You are quite mistaken. These doctors may have some sort of affiliation with the school (they are alumni, possibly), but they are generally not “TEAM” doctors. You are thinking of the NFL. You are trying to imply that the athletic department is telling those doctors what to conclude, and that is not only wrong, but it is malicious. What in the hell do you MEAN, “separate third party”? Like a representative of oversigning.com? Maybe YOU could be present during the examination? What a thoroughly idiotic post, Red.

          • You are wrong. Division I schools have team doctors who are employees of the University. It is not like Saban will send a kid to the hospital to get checked out and go off what that doctor found. Im pretty sure Alabama has 3 primary team physicians employed by the university. I guess I dont know what you would call them other than “team” doctors?

            • Oh, I am wrong huh? Perhaps you would like to produce a document that shows Dr. James Andrews is a team doctor? I guess he’s a team doctor for most of the NFL, NBA, and MLB as well.

              You have no idea what the hell you are talking about. You have no idea who “employs” these doctors. Get your facts straight and don’t throw this crap around in here, because that is exactly what it is. You are completely uninformed and are talking out of your poop chute.

            • Some Division 1 schools might have “team” doctors that are employees of the school, but the University of Alabama is not one of them. Alabama employs athletic trainers that are employees of the school, but these men/women are not doctors, and they do not have the ability to clear/disqualify an athlete.

              Alabama’s “team” doctor is James Robinson, who is a partner in West Alabama Family Medicine – along side Doctors Mohr, Beuttner, and Luebenthal who also work with UA athletes. He happens to be my personal doctor for both general medical issues and for sports related issues (I have back an knee issues). I have waited in his waiting room alongside several Alabama student-athletes (including football players) because they visit his practice. He does attend practices and games in order to provide on-site medical attention, but general examinations are done at his office.

              If a player gets injured enough to go to the hospital, the on-site doctors treat the patient as they would any other patient. Typically the player will see Dr. Robinson for a follow-up and a “second opinion”.

              While he is a general practitioner, he is so well respected in the sports medicine field that he he was the team doctor for the USA Men’s and Women’s soccer at the 2000 Olympics.

              Do you really want to question his credentials and whether or not he clears/disqualifies players at the request of Nick Saban? He would lose his license to practice medicine. No member of West Alabama Family Practice is a graduate of the University of Alabama, and they are full time employees of their own practice.

              Alabama’s team surgeons are James Andrews and Lyle Cain. They share the most respected sports medicine practice in the world. That’s not hyperbole, either. Look it up.

              Are you questioning their credentials and whether or not they clear/disqualify players at the request of Nick Saban? They would also lose their license to practice medicine. And, for the record, Dr. Andrews is a booster of the athletic department at Auburn University. I doubt he would be involved in a conspiracy to help give Alabama a competitive advantage. Neither doctor is a graduate of the University of Alabama, and they are full time employees of their own practice.

              Alabama also has a third surgeon, Les Fowler, who has his own medical practice. Les is a former scholarship football player who did graduate from Alabama. He is also a doctor with a very poor history of dealing with Alabama athletes – several careers have been cut short due to inferior medical care. He was the primary team surgeon until Nick Saban was hired at Alabama, and at that point was relegated to doing minor surgeries. Saban wasn’t interested in keeping the alumnus around – he instead brought in Andrews and Cain because they are superior doctors.

              I have no problem with someone disagreeing with oversigning. What I do have a problem with is someone making a claim that three enormously well respected doctors – none of which graduated from Alabama or are full time employees of Alabama – would put their reputation and licenses on the line to help Nick Saban.

              That doesn’t happen. Period.

              • What say you now, BetterRed? Should we just disregard EVERYTHING you say from this point forward, since it’s clear you are talking out of your hind quarters and have NO IDEA what you are talking about?

    • I’ll ask again for a link to the “more than any other conference claim”.

      What is the average number of players to end their career each year due to injury? I confess, I don’t know, but I doubt you do either. Saban has had 12 in 4 years. That’s 3 per year. Based on the comments you provided in the Oversigning Cup entry, Nebraska has had 4 players whose careers have ended due to injury in the last year (1 may have been senior, but his career was still ended by an injury). I’m sure they are all legitmate. Football is a very physical and dangerous sport and unfortuntely career-ending injuries happen.

      • and I posted the link yesterday. Look back to the first time I asked.

        • You linked the Stewart Mandel piece. I’ve read it 3 times now and no where does it make the claim with respect to “more than any other conference” that you keep making. Are you sure you linked the correct article? Of course, you also said of the same article that Saban used the word “replaced” over and over. Not sure how once constitutes over and over.

  8. I am a former college football coach. Tell me what you would do in this scenario. There are 5 classes (true freshmen, redshirt freshmen, soph., jrs and srs.) You can only bring in 25 in a year and have 85 overall. What if you have 25 true freshmen; 25 redshirt freshmen; 25 sophomores; and 10 juniors, with 0 seniors? This year, you WOULD NOT EVEN RECRUIT since you are already at the 85 limit. The following year, you would only sign 10 players to replace those who graduate (present juniors). There is nothing wrong with oversigning as long as the players know where they stand. As for grey shirting, it is of tremendous benefit to the player. They come in on scholarship after Christmas when they are bigger and more mature. They get to go through spring training and can STILL BE REDSHIRTED. That extra spring training and half year pays off great, on down the road.

    • Every coach has a working plan. NO ONE is qualified in February on signing day. The student athlete has over 3 more months in high school. Some of them are going to be close academically because of test scores or core courses. Some may be coming off of high school injuries where the rehab leaves a great deal to be desired. By your defintion of “oversigning”, signing more than 25 or the potential of exceeding the 85 cap “on paper” does not hold water.

      • You ethics are right on par with Saban! Where do(did) you coach at? Cool, I will make sure I dont let anyone I know play football there.

        • You are entertaining the heck out of me here. I know the rest of us are feeling a little safer in the world today, knowing that you won’t let anyone you know play for Mr. Bradford. Good lord.

        • Would that on the same line of the ethnics displayed by the Nebraska football team for the last 15 years. Or how the state and the university looks at CFB as a business.

          • Forget it Mike. This guy is on such a sanctimonious roll that he believes his own BS. People tend to be able to detect that on their own, thank goodness.

        • You never responded to the question about the numbers stated above? Would you sign anyone this year or not? FYI: Alabama and Louisville.

  9. I disagree with your assertion that the linked article is the worst ever written on oversigning. I’ll agree it is bad but http://ncaafootball.fanhouse.com/2011/02/09/oversigning-is-legal-but-is-it-wrong/ is much worse. :P

  10. Nice work, Oversigning.com. Please never hesitate to post such articles because, as with many of the posts that appear here defending oversigning, they provide some of the very best ammunition against the practice. You absolutely want influential readers to read that stuff!

  11. I don’t see anything in the Alabama article more egregious than some of the circular reasoning and hyperbole posted here.

    This site has become anti-Alabama.com. No one’s going to support NCAA reforms to rein in one coach who has yet to be criticized harshly by a single former player.

    Oversigning is a sad symptom of some NCAA issues which need serious reform. Treating OS as the cause and spanking Saban as the cure misses the mark badly.

  12. Excellent analysis. And I wouldn’t have even given that post the status of calling it an “article” when it’s clearly a blog post on a fan/supporter/booster site.

  13. That the problem alot of articles are just that blogs written by fans, which are no different than an article written by a team beat writer. So when an article is posted on here by Gerd who is an OSU beat writer it also has very little value because of the bias it presents. But some will argue it does because it supports their view.

    • I think with the Gerdeman guy, you couldn’t even comment on his “article”. What a great way to force-feed a Buckeye homer’s POV. Simply don’t allow for a response.

  14. Personally, I think responding to comments like the guy wrote about Saban and Alabama in a thoughtful way is kind of a waste of time. Clearly that person isn’t going to change his mind. Go with humor instead. Fire Joe Morgan those articles and expose the clowns for what idiots they truly are.

  15. Oversigning is all a matter of degrees. With 25 scholarships available each year you could potentially have 125 players to fit into 85 slots over a period of five years (includes redshirt year). The existing rules already anticipate attrition, early graduation, injury etc in order to fit 125 potential into 85 slots. The 25/85 number is for attrition after enrollment. The 25/28 number is for attrition between signing day and enrollment. Many who follow HS recruiting know that some of the recruits are down to the last minute qualifiers/non-qualifiers. Some of these signees don’t really start focusing on grades until late in their Sr. year. Greyshirting (another cause celebre’) also can accomodate some of the oversigning and CAN be good for the signee who is recuperating from an injury sustained in HS or who needs to bulk up/mature. I don’t remember which SEC school it was a couple of years ago that signed 28 but only 22 enrolled (LSU, Alabama, Auburn?) due to non-qualifiers and MLB signing them to lucrative contracts.

    I don’t think kids should be forced off a team due to lack of talent. Talent evaluation should fall on the coaches and perhaps assistants who consistently over evaluate the talent in their geographic areas should be relieved of duties a la what Mack Brown did at Texas this year. I think Medical Hardships should be the purview of the medical staff and the HC should not be involved in it. Eligibility for grades should be the purview of an academic dean and eligibility as to team rules/the law would be the responsibility of the HC and the AD. If I were a coach I would probably have some type of annual review with each player (and their position coach) just like I do in the workplace. I would evaluate them on a number of factors such as practice performance, game performance, leadership, academics, off season conditioning etc. One of the points of discussion would have to be where I see them fitting in as it relates to the depth chart and their potential for the future. Just as I have many employees over the years I might not fire them but I could suggest that they might have a brighter future in a different company/industry/career path.


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