“We will not over-sign at Georgia, either," McGarity said.
Sounds like the SEC East has decided to take a stand against the SEC West and the oversigning abuse that takes place at Ole Miss, Alabama, LSU, and Auburn (Note: Auburn's oversigning issues were primarily in the Tuberville era -- Gene Chizik has had room the last two years for his numbers).
According to McGarity, “I think it will be a topic for discussion (at SEC meetings) in Destin this year.”
“I think you will see controls in place,” McGarity said. “Now what that model will look like will be determined later -- sooner than later. … I think you'll see it being dealt with at the conference level much like the Big Ten (Conference) deals with it currently.”
SEC teams currently are limited to 28 signees in a certain class. But there are technical ways around the 28, such as the ability to count prospects that enroll early to the previous year.
In the Big Ten, teams are restricted from recruiting more than the 85 players. This has led to cries that Big Ten schools continue to play against a stacked deck when it comes to the SEC, which has an ongoing five-year streak of BCS titles.
“No question it gives the SEC a big advantage," former Ohio State coach John Cooper recently told The Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch. "And let's face it -- they don't need another advantage.”
McGarity’s preference would be a rule similar to what the Big Ten has in place. By instituting that, McGarity says the SEC could then help initiate change on the national level.
“For instance, if you know you're going to lose 20 student-athletes at the end of the year, then you basically should be able to sign that amount,” McGarity said. “I know there's several proposals out there that we'll discuss later. But I think there has to be some controls in place that prevent oversigning from occurring.
“And it should be based on the number of individuals that you're graduating or that are moving on to the NFL or choose to transfer at the appropriate time. We've got a lot of work to do to work through that process, but I think in general, (we should do) whatever we can do to avoid the situations that have developed here recently.”
One thing is for sure, in order for oversigning to go away in the SEC you are going to have to cut the head off of the snake and make 100% sure that no one is abusing the practice -- all it takes is one school doing it and the rest will feel as though they have to do it in order to keep up.
Adopting the Big 10 rules for oversigning is the ideal short-term solution. However, given how hard it has been to get the SEC to address this issue, we would not be surprised to see a new loophole emerge as a result of banning oversigning.