Oversigning.com
28Feb/11102

Nutt, Petrino, and Spurrier all Defend Oversigning

The Wall Street Journal just released another article on oversigning written by Hannah Karp and Darren Everson in which Steve Spurrier, Bobby Petrino, and Huston Nutt all attempt to defend oversigning, calling it necessary and helpful. 

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704444604576172954187357370.html 

Spurrier admits that it is a competitive advantage to the SEC and that it is hurting the Big 10 a lot to not partake in the practice of oversigning.  The crazy thing about Spurrier is that he didn't really have to rely on oversigning while at Florida.

Spurrier said oversigning is "helpful" because so many of the players in the state come from underprivileged backgrounds and may not qualify academically. He said the Big Ten, which has curbed oversigning for decades, is making a mistake by doing so. "I think that really hurts them a lot," Spurrier said. "They end up giving scholarships to a lot of walk-ons."

Petrino openly admits that they target 3-4 recruits that they know for sure are not going to qualify academically so they can place them in the JUCO farm system. 

Petrino, the Arkansas coach, said he tries to follow a formula. He signs 19 players he knows are "academically gonna make it without being a load on our academic support staff," six guys who may or may not qualify, and three to four players who have "absolutely no chance" of qualifying. (He signs the last group so that "they feel a commitment to us," and stashes them in junior college for a few years.)

Nutt claims that we can't have a perfect world of signing 22 players every year.  Big 10 coaches must be living in a fantasy world because they average around 22 players per year and have done so for a long time.

Houston Nutt, Mississippi's coach, signed 31 players in 2008, 37 in 2009, 25 last year and 28 last month. He said oversigning is sometimes "necessary," mainly to plug holes. This year, he said, two cornerbacks—Jermaine Whitehead and Floyd Raven—defected at the last minute. "Now I'm sitting here without two corners. You just can't have this perfect world of, 'We're gonna sign 22 this year.'"

Meanwhile, the High School coach of one of the players South Carolina pulled the plug on at the last minute is crying foul play.

Montgomery's high school coach, Walter Banks, said, "I told them this was foul. I didn't have a clue until 18 hours before signing day, and if they say anything else, they're lying."

The number one thing that stands out in this article is that the majority of recruits either don't care or don't know about all the ins and outs of the recruiting numbers -- they all think they are going to play and that they won't be the one to get cut.  Obviously the lure of NFL cash and whatever the recruiters are selling is just too much for kids to look past.

In interviews conducted in the weeks since last month's signing day, when top high-school seniors make their college commitments, dozens of signees headed to some of the nation's most chronically oversigned schools were either unconcerned, or unaware, that these schools may have to cut some players to balance their lopsided books.

Offensive tackle Jonah Austin of New Orleans, who signed at LSU, said he wasn't aware that LSU is about 11 players over budget—and that it's not something he's thought much about. Cornerback Senquez Golson of Pascagoula, Miss., who chose Mississippi over Florida State, said that at the risk of sounding "cocky" he's not worried about being "run off" by coaches. "I don't think I'll be one of those players," he said.

Based on these comments, the conference meeting in July to discuss the topic of oversigning will be very interesting and probably very heated.  Clearly not everyone in the SEC is on the same page with this issue.  The topic of oversigning is a fundamental element of the cultural identity of a conference and for the SEC members to be so divided on this is really unbelievable.  This is where the Big 10 Conference is reaping the benefit of banning this practice back in 1954; the decision to remove oversigning back then created a cultural mindset in the Big 10 Conference that oversigning is not accepted and therefore it is simply not an issue today.  The SEC was faced with this same opportunity back then when Georgia Tech demanded that the SEC step in and put a stop to oversigning, the SEC did not and Georgia Tech left.  Are the rest of the chickens coming home to roost?  It appears that way.

Hannah and Darren have really done a great job covering this topic, we encourage everyone to go read the rest of the article -- things are getting very interesting.

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  1. Texas_Dawg: please email me at joshua@oversigning.com; I don’t have any other way to reach you and need to run something by you.

  2. I’m not surprised by the signees’ comments. Most highly recruited players think that they will come in and play from the start and become big stars even though the reality is that that will not be the case for some of them regardless of the school they choose. I’m sure no Ohio State signee thinks that he will transfer because he’s buried on the depth chart (Antono Henton) or become an academic casualty (Duron Carter).

  3. I think at the minimum recruits and parents/guardians are going to have to sign something stating they understand some basic facts prior to receiving a verbal offer. It’s the only way to ensure they’ve been informed. That doesn’t mean they necessarily are going to heed any of the warnings in the notice, and my recommendation doesn’t mean that I think anyone has been deliberately mislead.

    Is it true that the Big 10 has a higher rate of walk-ons with scholarships? That’s wonderful for the walk-on. On the other hand, they were already on campus – that’s financial aid that could be going to a kid who has no other way of making his way to Columbus or Urbana-Champaign. Pluses and minuses both ways.

    • Very true. The Big Ten schools rarely let those open scholarships go to waste and usually use them to reward senior walk-ons that have been essential scout team players in their freshman-junior years. I’ve always wished that the NCAA let all coaches give seniors that have played in the program in the 3 previous years without a scholarship a one year scholarships outside of the 85 limit. Every school has unheralded scout players that are an essential part of the team and it would be nice for the schools to be able to reward them without limiting their competitiveness.

      Here’s a nice story from last season: http://www.dispatch.com/live/content/sports/stories/2010/12/21/osu-walk-on-working-on-rare-streak.html

      • I agree — the 85 cap could be relaxed in targeted ways that keep schools from hoarding players. If a kid’s put in 3 years and never stepped on the field for more than a few snaps a season, let the university say thanks with some sort of aid in his final year. Call it a walk-on rewards program. Probably runs afoul of Title IX in some way, however.

    • Predatory lending works the same way. Get some spin, sign some documents.

      • Funny, most of the foreclosures up here in the western North Carolina mountains were very high end homes – $1 million plus. Professionals with college degrees who got in over their heads.

        Mauldin still has an opportunity to go to South Carolina, which is where he wants to go, in spite of the fact that he has yet to qualify. That doesn’t exonerate SC for failing to make sure he and Montgomery fully understood their situation, which seems to be the case at least with Montgomery. However, what Mauldin wants does not seem to matter to most here.

        You can fix the ethical dimension of this without making a questionable qualifier such as Mauldin a more dangerous kid to offer. No one even wants to have that debate here, which seems telling to me.

        • Ding ding ding…. well said.

        • No one said all loans were predatory. Just pointing out that predatory lending works the same way.

          Eliminating oversigning would change nothing about Mauldin’s situation. He has no offer. He was simply exploited during the recruiting season to give SC better leverage over other recruits and keep Mauldin from talking to other schools, as he is now doing again.

          Teams will still have the exact same numbers of scholarships to fill. The exact same number of players will get scholarships. If Mauldin qualified, he gets scholarship. If not, he goes to JUCO and gets scholarship after that. Same as now.

          The only thing eliminated is the exploitation of his situation.

          • Rich has pointed out numerous times that Big 10 schools do not make offers with the same frequency to kids with questionable academics. Posters here claim that more walk-ons get scholarships at Big 10 schools.

            Net effect: more financial aid going to kids who have proven they do not need it, even if they welcome it and deserve it. So I disagree that “nothing changes.” I understand that you consider that change incidental and acceptable and that you have perfectly defensible reasons for your opinion.

            I agree that the current system can be abused and that abuses do occur. I firmly believe that the solutions proposed here ultimately effect the kids far more than the coaches or schools. As you noted — they still have 85 kids on GIA and 105 on the roster. The coaches still get X millions of dollars. Who ends up with fewer choices? Mauldin.

            I personally think the system can be just as easily modified to require more responsible behavior from coaches while retaining maximum educational access for the greatest number of kids. I’ve personally seen what college sports can do for kids who just got by in high school. I’d like to see more that, not less.

            • Not all schools are Big 10 schools. Mississippi and Alabama schools will still be pretty weak universities relatively, even without oversigning. They will still be able to fill their rosters with JUCO players and the same players they fill them with now.

              Mauldin doesn’t have fewer options. The same schools that take JUCO players would take him after his JUCO stint.

              • If he qualifies, he’ll be at Louisville or Miami in August or SC in January. The elimination of greyshirting would eliminate the SC/January option. The elimination of more LOI offers than you have spots available would in effect eliminate offers to kids like Mauldin until they qualify, relegating them to schools which still have roster spots. Kids like Clowney – someone will take a chance prior to qualification. Mauldin? No.

                Again – Some people are ok with that reality. I just find it ludicrous that you pretend it doesn’t exist. The Big 10 schools willingly chase a few exceptional athletes who might be an academic risk. They just don’t do it as often. And the fact they don’t does not make them heroes. It doesn’t make them villains. It just means they have a different operating philosophy, one which I personally find a little self-absorbed.

                I would prefer to see the NCAA separate the academic guarantee (4 years) and the athletic commitment (1 year), as well as relaxing transfer requirements for kids near the bottom of a roster. That would alleviate a lot of these pressures and create a better CFB experience for everyone. More roster restrictions will just put even more pressure on the coaches, pressure which will trickle down to the players.

                Iowa 2011: “We’ll find out who wants to be here and who doesn’t.” Scandal.
                Michigan 2010: “We’ll find out who really wants to win and who doesn’t.” Scandal.

                Pattern? Coincidence?

                If the solution does not address player rights in some fashion, then this problem just gets pushed downstream.

          • Eliminating oversigning would change nothing about Mauldin’s situation. He has no offer

            Now flash back 5 days ago when I posted the following in the “What if they Qualify?” thread:

            Guess I’ll point out the obvious. While Mauldin is a victim, he is not a victim of oversigning (note that he never signed an NLI). Spurrier should have never offered him a scholarship if he wasn’t willing to accept his NLI. Since he did accept him verbal commitment, Spurrier should have kept his word and allowed him to sign an NLI. But realize that this situation is due to two things:
            1. Limits on scholarships
            2. A coach’s inability to manage those limits

            If South Carolina had been subject to Big Ten rules on oversigning, this exact same situation could have happened. A coach fails to realize that he’s accepted too many verbal commitments or, even worse, decides there is a different prospect that he would rather have, so he pulls the offer last minute from a long-time verbal commitment in order to stay within NCAA scholarship limits. I hope it works out for him.

            To which you (Texas_Dawg) responded:

            “Guess I’ll point out the obvious.”

            Or just post a bunch of nonsense and spin in support of dishonest behavior.

            Like always.

            Looks like someone owes someone an apology.

            • Good luck with that. His justification for repeatedly calling me a liar is that I stated my opinion – which he says I don’t believe. I don’t think we are dealing with a rational person at this point.

  4. To summarize:
    1. There is a practice called “oversigning” — a practice that the “enablers’ on this board have disputed.
    2. Oversigning is a strategy to sign more players than can be included in the 85 limit.
    3. Oversigning targets the academically ill prepared that could not clear the minimum NCAA standards for
    eligibility.
    4. Coaches who oversign “farm” academically ill-prepared students by sending them to “friendly” JUCO
    setting.
    5. Oversigning provides a significant competitive advantage primarily by creating a larger pool of players to
    review and evaluate than is permitted by NCAA rules.
    6. The primary gains from oversigning are obtained by creating a pipeline that enables academically
    ill-prepared students to find a way to eventually be admitted to a 4-year school. That is, oversigning and
    athletes who can’t cut it academically go hand -in – hand.

    • Also, since the enablers tend to believe that articles are misrepresented on this site,

      here is a link to the WSJ article

      http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704444604576172954187357370.html?mod=WSJ_hpp_editorsPicks_2

      That Murdoch — he must be a communist and a socialist for publishing such lies.

      • Tangent — No, but you have to admit that he’s made his money by elevating the emotional pitch of his news-casting in sometimes irresponsible ways. Standard media operating procedure these days, and Rupert was a pioneer.

    • There is a practice called “oversigning” — a practice that the “enablers’ on this board have disputed

      Not entirely true. The practice does happen (no one disputes that), it is the moniker “oversigning” that is misleading. No team actually oversigns as that would be against the rules, and even Josh admits that no rules are being broken.

      Oversigning is a strategy to sign more players than can be included in the 85 limit.

      See above. Signing more players than the 85 would be a violation of NCAA rules. Some teams manage the roster so that some players are counted against a different class ensuring the 85 limit is never breached. No violation occurs.

      Oversigning targets the academically ill prepared that could not clear the minimum NCAA standards for eligibility.

      Not true. Alabama is undisputedly the favorite target of critics on this site, but they only had two players who did not qualify last year (one was Alfy Hill who was qualified until mid-summer when the NCAA reversed their acceptance of a class he took years before). The year before that, there were no academic casualties. While targeting non-qualifiers is obviously the strategy of some (Ole Miss), it is not for all “oversigning” teams.

      Coaches who oversign “farm” academically ill-prepared students by sending them to “friendly” JUCO
      setting.

      OK, point accepted – where is the problem with helping a struggling student find a pathway to a better education? The academically elite from the B10 may find this repugnent but I find it a benifit (especially to the student) of oversigning.

      Oversigning provides a significant competitive advantage primarily by creating a larger pool of players to review and evaluate than is permitted by NCAA rules.

      No, it is perfectly withing the rules of the NCAA. No rules are being broken. You may argue that it is against the spirit of the rules, but I would disagree with that as well – why were they written that way if not to allow players to backcount and/or delay enrollment? Why is there a 25 cap on the yearly class but only 85 total?

      Also, oversigning does not provide an advantage like you imply. Yes, those who oversign may be better prepared than those who don’t, but that is a willfull disadvantage to those who choose not to, not a special advantage only available to some schools (by the NCAA)

      The primary gains from oversigning are obtained by creating a pipeline that enables academically
      ill-prepared students to find a way to eventually be admitted to a 4-year school. That is, oversigning and athletes who can’t cut it academically go hand -in – hand

      Then this site shouldn’t have near the problem with Alabama that they do. See my comment above – Alabama doesn’t use “sign and place” very much at all. Again, what is your problem with “enabling academically ill-prepared students to find a way to eventually be admitted to a 4-year school”? Is this not a good thing to you? It is to me, but maybe I’m too low-brow for the academically elite.

      • This article in WSJ refers to three SEC coaches who defend the practice of oversigning: a concept that they believe occurs (so the fact that you don’t believe it occurs is irrelevant), provides a competitive advantage for their schools (so the fact that you don’t believe it provides an advantage to the coaches who oversign is, again, irrelevant), and explicitly state that it is part of their strategy to sign kids who have no chance of being admitted to their universities and will therefore be steered to a particular JUCO or Military Academy (again in a post in this thread, you state that there cannot be any advantage obtained by the oversigning coach who signs and then steers a player to a JUCO since the player is not bound to return to the university upon completion of the JUCO course of study — this leads to yet another interesting dilemma for you: either you agree that Petrino and Nutt know their business better than you do, are not wasting their time by sign and place at a JUCO or Military Academy and therefore that your opinion is, again, irrelevant or as with your response to Jay Petrino — you know more than CFB coaches).

        • Did you even read my responses?

          …practice of oversigning: a concept that they believe occurs (so the fact that you don’t believe it occurs is irrelevant),

          My quote from above: “The practice does happen (no one disputes that), it is the moniker “oversigning” that is misleading…”

          …provides a competitive advantage for their schools (so the fact that you don’t believe it provides an advantage to the coaches who oversign is, again, irrelevant),

          Again, you either didn’t read what I wrote, or simply didn’t comprehend it. I’ll try again. Oversigning does help the teams that use it. The way your argument is presented implies that this is by means that are not available to others (“provides a competitive advantage for their schools”) when this is not the case. I have attempted to clarify this and point out that those who don’t oversign choose to put their school at a competitive disadvantage – there is a difference, though it is parsing words.

          again in a post in this thread, you state that there cannot be any advantage obtained by the oversigning coach who signs and then steers a player to a JUCO since the player is not bound to return to the university upon completion of the JUCO course of study

          I think you may have me confused with someone else, as I have not stated such. I would agree that a player who has to go to JuCo first will be more likely to return to the school that recruited them the first time (provided things like playing opportunity and coaches are still the same). In this instance, I would agree that “sign and place” is an advantage to some schools. I also think this is a benefit to the student as it is an encouragement for them to better themselves to qualify for the school of their choice. It is not a mandate as it is still the kid’s choice as to where to go. You made the accusation directly at Alabama, which does not (by recent evidence – Saban did not comment in this article) use this strategy and this was what I was pointing out to you.

          either you agree that Petrino and Nutt know their business better than you do, are not wasting their time by sign and place at a JUCO or Military Academy and therefore that your opinion is, again, irrelevant or as with your response to Jay Petrino — you know more than CFB coaches

          Again, you did not read what I wrote or perhaps chose to ignore it. I agreed that it helps the school. Here’s my quotes from earlier in response to the farming aspect, “OK, point accepted – where is the problem with helping a struggling student find a pathway to a better education? The academically elite from the B10 may find this repugnent but I find it a benifit (especially to the student) of oversigning.” I don’t doubt that Petrino and Nutt use this approach, but your statment inferred that all oversigners use this approach, and my response was that Alabama, the favorite target of this site and anti-oversigning zealots everywhere, does not actively engage it.

    • Your post makes good points. I’d like to discuss your one point from a different perspective.

      > “That is, oversigning and athletes who can’t cut it academically go hand-in–hand.”

      I maintain my disagreement on this one. I’ve tutored kids who athletically drew substantial interest of BCS schools but could not qualify academically. In other words, academically they were in much worse shape than the ones who are questionable yet eligible for oversigning. They were all bright, motivated kids, but all had serious issues, such as learning disabilities, homelessness, or simply academic confidence. They ended up at smaller 4 year schools – Elon, Gardner-Webb, etc. All did very well, graduated, and found good jobs. For most, college football was a ticket to a much better life than the one they had growing up.

      Those are stories just as heart-warming, if not more so, than a walk-on earning a scholarship. Frankly, I think the NCAA misses the boat by not promoting stories like this more often.

      Yes, some kids do not make it. Then again, I had friends who graduated in the top 10 of their class and scored 90th percentile or better on their ACT and SAT who bombed out their freshmen year at State U and had to go home to get their act together. It’s a maturity thing more than a brainpower thing, and it’s impossible to predict.

      Rich, you and others essentially argue that oversigning allows kids who should not be on campus to get there and stay there. Honestly, I think it’s one of the benefits – getting kids who otherwise would never have that opportunity an opportunity for a college degree.

      If you want to raise academic standards, make that argument directly, rather than combining scholarship limits and signing caps that in effect make those kids much riskier GIAs. Those kids are the ones impacted – not you, not the fans, and not even the coaches, really. Tressel, Saban, Nutt, Stoops, and Brown will coach 85 GIAs no matter what.

      • I am not suggesting these coaches are saints, but I also don’t think they are evil. Two basic NCAA realities create this mess — scholarship limits and a total lack of rights for players. That puts the coaches in positions of complete control. You can throw more rules at the coaches to use that power more responsibly. OR – you can change the dynamic and level THAT playing field by giving the student-athlete more control and rights. The “student” part of this needs to be guaranteed for 4 years, which eliminates the ability of a coach to hang a scholarship over a kid’s head (remember Robert Smith being harassed by OSU coaches supposedly for being too committed to academics)? If a coach moves a player out of one of the 85 GIAs (Elliot Porter), then let that kid transfer without penalty to any school he wants. Heck, you could even make school #1 pay his tuition and fees at school #2 and/or pay a fine to an NCAA scholarship fund. That prevents hoarding players. Both ideas emphasize the educational mission.

        What are the downsides to this? I am sure you can think of a dozen.

      • You are confusing the removal of excessive LOIs for a reduction in scholarships.

        The scholarships will still be filled by the exact same players.

        • No, I am not confusing them. I am pointing out that it changes a school’s definition of who is an acceptable risk and who isn’t, which in turn impacts who receives offers from which schools. As a collective system, 120 (?) D-1 programs multiplied by 85 GIAs = 10,200 (roughly) GIAs. That is a finite and unchanging number. What changes? Who gets access to those. It’s NOT the same kids. Rich (and I believe you, too, though I could be wrong on that) has confidently asserted that eliminating OS in effect elevates academic standards, something some here see as an added benefit. I understand their reasons for that perspective.

          I, on the other hand, firmly believe that reducing a program’s capacity to adjust to recruits who don’t make it – the so-called recruiting mistakes – raises the risk for certain kids. Maybe those kids end up at App State, Delaware State, or Arizona Western instead. But adopting the Big 10 Rule across the board does change in substantive ways that population of 10,200. The experience of the Big 10 Rule seems to prove that.

          I would like to see a discussion of changes that maintain maximum opportunity for kids like Mauldin while requiring more responsible behavior by certain coaches. That’s easily achievable if the NCAA wants to.

          • Mauldin was exploited to LIMIT his options. The whole point was to keep him from considering other schools and to have most rosters fill up before it became clear he was available.

            Removing oversigning and force teams to be transparent with their “budgets,” and it would have been much, much harder for SC to limit his options. As the numbers rose to their limit or even over, it would have become clear that someone was getting cut at NSD. Other schools could have been all over that, informing recruits like Mauldin of the situation in an easily documented manner.

            Also, the decision wouldn’t be between poor, unqualified kid to somewhat affluent walk-on kid. It would be between poor, unqualified kid and one of the many other poor, qualified, but just slightly less talented kids.

            • Maybe Mauldin was exploited to limit his options; there’s no proof of it, but it’s possible. It’s also possible that Zach Witchett was exploited by Georgia by waiting 2 months after disciplinary problems to yank his offer in order to limit his options to Hines CC and South Carolina State.

            • How was he limited? He was already high on Kentucky’s radar and remains there — a school within SC’s own division. You take this as a given. I’m not conceding that point. Who, exactly, did SC keep him from by “exploiting” him?

              If by “removing oversigning” you mean limiting schools to X offers for X spots, then no, he never even gets the SC offer. That word seems to have little stretch to it here, so I might not understand what you mean by that. But Mauldin was clearly at the bottom of their list. Coaches do have an obligation to tell certain kids that they have more offers than spots, and that if everyone qualifies, they better have a Plan B. You would remove that choice entirely, because you don’t think the schools can be ethical about it and the kids can be sensible. Well, I disagree.

              You want to limit the coaches in order to protect the kids. I want to protect the kids by giving them more rights and choices. We agree that the status quo needs change. We just disagree about the direction.

              As for your last point, more walk-ons get Big 10 scholarships. Everyone from the Big 10 on this board says its because they have more flex on the back-end as a result of less flex on the front end. If that’s not the case, then I stand corrected, but I’m going by their assertions. So we don’t have to debate the potential effect of the Big 10 Rule – we already see it in action.

              Big 10 schools as a rule do not have higher acceptance requirements than SEC schools for athletics. Vandy and Northwestern – absolutely. But Ohio State, Michigan, Georgia and LSU all find a way to get the 5-star stud on campus. So that’s not the issue as a general rule.

      • Good God, after all that I have written about the poor academic performance of SEC schools (and others), you believe that I need to articulate that academic standards for athletes need to be raised and that the practice of oversigning and steering to JUCOs and Military Academies encourages athletes to believe that there are viable alternatives to improving their academic preparedness?

        Fine, I will state it: about two decades ago the NCAA began implementing its core course requirements and there was a nashing of teeth from the “usual suspects” that increasing the hurdle to get into a 4-year university would hurt the kids. It is safe to say unless there has been massive academic fraud (getting diplomas and grades from fraudulent for-profit, non-accredited online mills or actually have test scores or grades doctored — and there has been plenty of recent evidence of cases — again, most cases reported at schools south of a line from Indianapolis to Philadelphia and east of Texas — but maybe this region is caught more frequently), then the core course requirement has resulted in improved academic preparation for aspiring college athletes. If the core was raised more, the minimum ACT or SAT scores raised, and so on, it would be a great result for high school athletes in general and the alums from the schools that are tainted from the reputation that they routinely admit ill-prepared students for athletics. Oversigning allows coaches to avoid the negative consequences of recruiting and signing the ill prepared but still makes it very comfortable for the ill prepared to remain ill prepared. This is why I find the practice abhorrent — it is adults using a process to gain professional (and personal advantage) and the trickle down benefit for the ill prepared is very small. The ill prepared remain ill prepared and the coach simply does not re-sign the student.

        Did UNLV or Cinncinnati benefit from their decades of bottom feeding — how? How has Ole Miss or Arkansas benefited? How will an athletic policy divorced from an academic policy even lead to an improved academic reputation? It won’t and it can’t be sustained over time.

        • UNLV and Cincy did in Basketball.

        • Dean Smith got into serious trouble years ago when he disclosed in a press conference that Scott Williams and JR Reid had higher SAT scores than Christian Laettner and Danny Ferry. He got ripped for that disclosure, and he probably deserved it.

          However, I think he’d had enough of the Duke fans with the “JR can’t read” signs, which the TV announcers thought were Cameron-cute at the time. I also think he’d had enough of reporters regurgitating the “Duke-Laettner-Hurley-smart” versus “Carolina-Williams-Reid-basketball-factory-basket-weaving-majors” narrative. And those perceptions had everything to do with the white kids at the private school versus the black kids at the state school.

          Point – academic and athletic reputation has already been irrevocably severed. You’re talking about perceptions. Those start elsewhere. There wasn’t much Dean could do with the “private school + white = smarter” perception or the whole north/south bias. Those still exist today, and they draw their strength from prejudices that run far deeper than sports.

          “If the core was raised more, the minimum ACT or SAT scores raised, and so on, it would be a great result for high school athletes in general and the alums from the schools that are tainted from the reputation that they routinely admit ill-prepared students for athletics.”

          The Big 10′s footprint covers an area whose economic fortunes for the past century have been among the best in the world. The SEC West’s covers an area that arguably has been the poorest in the country over that same period. Academic reputations start with the amount of money a state can pump into a campus infrastructure over a sustained period of time. It’s no coincidence that the best state schools tend to be in states with a lot of Congressional seats (population). Better economy, which means more people and more money.

          Does athletics have an impact? If it does, it’s near the bottom in terms of impact. I don’t think less of Cal-Berkeley because of Marshawn Lynch or Desean Jackson. Alabama will remain in Alabama and hence subject to national perceptions no matter how many of its quarterbacks become Rhodes Scholar finalists. And Duke will remain Duke no matter little academic difference really exists between its own basketball players and Carolina’s.

  5. …that these schools may have to cut some players to balance their lopsided books.

    This is untrue. If a school is responsible and does it the right way, there is no need to run anybody off. It is simple, offer grayshirts to the amount you are over the budget and noone gets “run off”. This is at the heart of the issue and if they overlooked this simple fact or chose to overlook it, what else are they sidestepping?

    Hannah and Darren have really done a great job covering this topic

    Yes, I’m sure you do – you seem to look past the same things to get to your conclusions.

  6. Great Article.

  7. The South Carolina press has completely covered for Spurrier and his staff in their screwing over Mauldin and Montgomery. It has taken the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Wall Street Journal to give the victims a voice.

    A great example of how the local SEC press so often helps cover for this morally reprehensible behavior.

    • Probably. Most local papers do tend to favor home-town institutions.

      Then again, I believe Mauldin lives in or near Atlanta, making him a local story for a newspaper in SEC country (AJC). AJ King got ample coverage in the Tampa papers because he’s a local kid – local story for an SEC-area paper(Tampa Tribune). Flipping through LexisNexis, I saw some Huntsville (AL) articles banging on Ole Miss for leaving a local kid hanging – a local story for a SEC-area paper (H’ville Times).

      I also saw an article by a Birmingham (AL) Times writer – I forget the name – that Josh should sue for plagiarism. Almost a cut-and-paste-job from this site.

      I do find it interesting that the WSJ – and Josh, for that matter – only picked the Mauldin story for national broadcast. Purdue left King in the lurch in January over a medical concern, an injury he sustained in September and that Purdue coaches assured him was not a concern as late as December.

      I understand that the King-Purdue story does not neatly fit the editorial focus of this site or the regional focus of this particular WSJ story. Those are fair criteria for exclusion. But it sure looks selective, doesn’t it?

      • I promise you the king story will get a post. Mark I down. What purdue did to him, although not as bad as other stories, was flat wrong, and even though it had nothing to do with oversigning I plan to write something about it.

      • The AJC is a major market newspaper. It’s not a small-town paper and has many voices within the newsroom that are not even SEC fans.

        But yes, many in the SEC region are finally starting to condemn the practice. But it’s still a battle. At the Birmingham News, Jon Solomon and Kevin Scarbinsky have condemned Alabama’s oversigning and revealed the school officials’ dishonest behavior and document-redacting. But several others at the Birmingham News have strongly defended Alabama on the practice.

        South Carolina reporters all spun away the Mauldin/Montgomery story. It took Chip Towers at AJC and Darren Everson and Hannah Karp to give a voice to the other side. And we now see that the situation wasn’t at all what South Carolina coaches were saying nor what your friend at the Post and Courier was spinning it as.

        • Don’t even know what the Post and Courier is. You’ll have to provide a link, or at least the home city for a LexisNexis search.

          My point was that local newspapers and television stations focus on local stories as a business imperative, and they tend to do it with criminally low staffing levels. Carl Hiassen has some great stuff on the issue, especially the glee of county commissioners and zoning boards across Florida when they realized their meetings would no longer be attended by local reporters. I forget the particular novel.

          I’m happy to criticize the media corporations as entities unto themselves. I’m less quick to judge talented individuals who have ridiculous work loads and low pay. I met a lot of people in UNC’s J-school 20 years ago who remain in the industry. 95% are wonderful people. Just like most situations in life, IMO.

        • AJC is a legit source or newspaper. Even here in NC I follow them online.

          Now Scarbinsky makes some of the posters on this site look like angels when bashing Saban or UA. Most of his writings support Auburn most of the time. But I guess in a state like AL you need someone on both sides.

      • I can tell you that if Maudlin’s situation happened at Penn State, a witch hunt would be under way, led by local newspapers.

        • They sure got after Paterno over Rashard Casey, didn’t they? I always admired him for sticking with the kid when everyone else had thrown him under the bus.

        • I remember when some players a while back got in a fight at some apts or somewhere and they were all over CJP. But I think also with Penn State it goes with how the team is doing. If something happens there and the team is not doing well they criticize him more. I give him credit for sticking through for so long.

  8. If the schools in the Big Ten are angry about “oversigning”, then they have no one to blame but themselves. The Big Ten and no one else devised the rules under which their members recruit; and now they want to impose those rules on everyone else. By what right do they do so?

    If the Big Ten believes that one or more of the SEC schools are violating the 85 scholarship limit, then the Big Ten should ask the NCAA to investigate those schools; but as long as the schools in the SEC are in compliance with NCAA rules, then the Big Ten should stay out of the SEC’s business.

    This whole business sounds like sour grapes to me. The Big Ten has “big ego” problems. For too long that conference has labored under the delusion it sets the tone for college sports, esp football. Well, as everyone knows, the Big Ten doesn’t set the tone or the standard for college football. If the Big Ten has a problem, its centered on loosing football games to SEC schools. Too bad.

    • Florida and Georgia are not in the big ten and they are just as much against it as the big ten, in fact, they are the ones publicly condemning the practice.

    • “If the Big Ten has a problem, its centered on loosing (sic) football games to SEC schools. Too bad.”

      Please post a link to the SEC dominant record vs. the Big Ten. Please include the distance each team had to travel for each game.

      Thanks in advance.

  9. Believe me, if Mark Richt has another losing season, he’ll be job hunting. And whoever is hired to be the new football coach at UGA will be stretching the recruiting rules as far as possible to bring in top athletes.
    The same for UF: the president may crticize, but if the Gators have another poor season. the football coach will be signing as many as he can. Fans (and universities) in the SEC will tolerate bending the recruiting rules but they won’t tolerate a looser.

    Those who criticize simply don’t realize how competitive football is in the SEC. The Big Ten is a football oilgarchy – Ohio State, Michigan, and Penn State, possibly – where the top programs run the show. The SEC is wide open with no one school or group of schools dominating the conference.

    In fact, those who criticize remind me of a scene from “Chariots of Fire.” Critics are similar to the Cambridge dons who hammer Harold Abrahams. As Abrahams tells them: “You want to win as much as I, but with the effortlessness of gods. Yours are the archaic values of the prep school playground. I believe in the pursuit of excellence, and I’ll carry the future with me.”

    The SEC understands the future, and it plans to carry the future with it. The Big Ten can whine, piddle around and do what it pleases.

  10. What does coming from an underprivileged background have to do with qualifying academically?

    • Educational circles call it the achievement gap. The #1 predictor in public schools for academic difficulty: the free lunch program. Kids from that background tend to have a more difficult time qualifying, all other things being equal. Now, what that correlation means in terms of policy? Welcome to the endless debate, No Child Left Behind being the most recent example.

  11. 1) Of course the signees are worried about it. They will have a slot (assuming they get accepted academically); it’s the second year players and beyond who will be asked to xfer or take medical hardship or will get cut-off academically and fail out. The signees don’t recognize they they are simply feeding the cycle of abuse.

    2) @ Catch 5: while it may not be “illega,l” schools are oversigning the 85 limit during the timeframe between NSD and Aug 1, when the 85 player limit must be achieved. If the NCAA were to simply enforce the 85 player limit at ALL TIMES, this latent period used to evaluate and subsequently discard players would evaporate. While this may not be the sole required solution to oversigning, I would suggest it is a necessary (first) step.

    • One way that might solve this, is change the scholarship renewel date. Right now coaches have to renew or not all scholarships for returning players by June 1 of each year. Change it to Jan 1. Players would still have the spring to attend at that school, but all transfers and whatever else would take place long before NSD.

      • I have not read all of the NCAA laws, so please correct me if I misrepresent anything here. It is my understanding that the 85 limit is enforced at all times. There is not point where more than 85 scholarships are active at any time. There may be more than 85 players and LOIs accepted, but some of those players are grayshirts and will not participate with the team until the following spring. How would a coach know which players to “cut” if half of them aren’t participating? No, I believe (and Saban has said as much) that players that are deemed “cut” by this site are natural attrition – guys that want more playing time, or want to be closer to home, or simply don’t like the coaches – these things happen everywhere. The fact that Alabama has players ready to fill the holes created by this does not make it nefarious.

  12. Thought i’d put this out there because people are still confusing the issue.

    1. The big 10 rule does not eliminate greyshirts. It does allow for at most 3 a year, PROVIDED that the coach/school submits to the big 10 office in writing why he or she is doing it. I think most of us can agree that would be a decent thing for all coaches to have to do if they oversign, no?
    2. The big 10 does not prevent people from going to JUCO college. I don’t know where people get the idea that it does. Saying the B1G rule “hurting” lower income kids is ludicrous. Once a kid meets eligibility to get into a school, he can apply for a schollie, just like any other incoming freshman with good grades.

    • The big 10 does not prevent people from going to JUCO college

      This is not disputed. The point that is being made is that B10 schools don’t recruit players that have to go to JuCo in the first place – while SEC teams get criticized for doing so (while being oversigned). The B10 school cannot waste its valuable recruiting time on some player who will not qualify, much less an even more valuable scholarship offer. Since B10 schools don’t oversign, they can’t afford to not have any of their players qualify or they will be that much more short of the total scholarship players. This system is fine and all, but you can’t deny that oversigning schools end up being more proactive in assisting these academic casualties in getting an education. Make your accusations about SEC schools “cutting” players and “robbing them of their education” when they transfer for more playing time or go on medical hardships, but you need to acknowledge that they also help a lot of kids by rectuiting them and encouraging them to make it through JuCo. Sorry, I got off topic a little – that wasn’t all directed at you (Luke), but to the B10 academic elite. No, the B10 does not prevent people from going to JuCo, but the oversigning rules they have discourages (greatly) the recruitment of players that may be heading in that direction.

      • False. Two things to consider, 1. The graduation and success rates of those who are “placed” in juco, and 2. The overall quality of education.

        • What are you responding to?
          1. Are you saying that “placed” students in JuCo have a lower graduation rate than if they hadn’t been recruited? I don’t see how this makes your case.
          2. No JuCo is going to be Harvard. The JuCo is an avenue to get the kid qualified for the next level. Again, I don’t see how this is a detriment to the student. The kid couldn’t qualify out of high school – he’s not heading toward a quality education or life for that matter – based on that information alone. Anything that helps these kids raise their educational level – even if it is only a couple of years at a JuCo, is a good thing, no?

  13. Fair points, Luke. Allow me to further clarify the JUCO issue.

    1. If a high school student signs with a 4 year college and fails to qualify, then his NLI is voided. He is under no obligation whatsoever to attend the JUCO recommended by the 4 year college he originally signed with.
    2. Once a student-athlete has completed his coursework at JUCO, he is under no obligation whatsoever to transfer to the 4 year college he signed with out of high school. He is free to attend any 4 year school that accepts his admission application and free to accept any athletic scholarship that is offered without restriction.

  14. The article states as fact that student-athletes are asked to take medical scholarship in order to cull the team down to the limit. I have never seen any evidence that there is any truth to this, and there are plenty of people trying to turn over that rock. Journalistic integrity? Not so much…

  15. “Petrino openly admits that they target 3-4 recruits that they know for sure are not going to qualify academically so they can place them in the JUCO farm system.”

    And what is wrong with that? How does that harm the player in any way, since once you attend a JUCO, the LOI is no longer binding? And how does it result in oversigning or having to chase kids off? Usually, the kids that are placed in the JUCO farm system never enroll at the college that they initially signed their LOI with. Either they flunk out of JUCO as well, give up football altogether, or choose to sign with another school. But even if they do sign with the school that originally signed them to a LOI out of high school, they are a new recruit signed in a subsequent year. That requires a separate LOI and scholarship offer. Consider, for example, Nick Fairley. The fact that he signed a LOI with Auburn in 2007 when he didn’t qualify had nothing to do with his LOI with Auburn in 2009 when he did.

    So, placing kids in JUCOs and military schools is not oversigning, as those kids do not count towards the 85 scholarship limit. Now I do disagree with signing kids that you know aren’t going to qualify, like Houston Nutt did at Ole Miss when he signed 37 players. But there is a difference between signing a kid that may qualify and signing a kid that definitely won’t. Now it is easy to take the stance “you should only offer kids after they become academically eligible” but what you are forgetting is that most schools, particularly in the SEC, the Big 12, the Big East and the mid-majors, aren’t these academically elite AAU schools that are in the ACC, Pac-12 and Big 10. Asking Mississippi State or Arkansas to have the same policies toward recruiting athletes as does Michigan, Illinois, Notre Dame, Cal-Berkeley etc. is hypocritical.

    Consider the fact that where 90-95% of the kids who attend Arkansas or Mississippi State would never get admitted to Michigan, about 70% of the ATHLETES who attend Arkansas would also be allowed to play football, basketball, track etc. at Michigan. Naturally, those SEC West schools use different methods to recruit their students than does Big 10 schools. So, why shouldn’t they use different methods to recruit their athletes as well?

    Being an AAU school provides Michigan, Ohio State, Nebraska and the other Big 10 members a lot of privileges that the SEC West and a lot of the Big 12 schools don’t have. It looks like to me that you AAU Big 10 school guys want to have your cake and eat it too. You want to enjoy all the privileges of being a school that 95% of the folks who earn college degrees can’t get admitted to while creating restrictions in athletics that the aggie schools, the directional schools, and all the other “little people” have to live by. Sorry, but AAU schools only make up a fraction of the NCAA Division I (which, lest we forget, includes FBS and FCS) schools. The NCAA rules have to be fair to all types of schools, not just Big 10 AAU powerhouses.

    Otherwise, why even have this system at all? Instead, why not just make athletes meet the same entrance requirements as everybody else? Don’t laugh. That is what the Ivy League schools basically do, and it is also what the service academies mostly do. Sure, at those schools the jocks’ grades are somewhat lower, but it isn’t the nonsense that you see at places like Michigan, Texas, UCLA and Cal-Berkeley, where kids with 4.0 GPAs and nearly perfect SAT scores get at times rejected while minimum NCAA qualifiers get in to play football and basketball.

    If the Big 10 forces the SEC to play by their rules, I say the SEC should strike back by arguing for some sort of standard deviation with athlete entrance requirements, so basically you would need like a 3.0 GPA and an 1100 SAT score in order to get an ATHLETIC scholarship to Michigan, Indiana, Purdue, Wisconsin or Illinois. How’s about it? A companion site to “oversigning.com” called “WeAdmitKidsToPlayFootballThatWeWouldn’tEvenAllowOnOurCampusAsCooksAndJanitorsLetAloneStudents.com.” Want to get that site going? In addition to an “Oversigning Cup”, there needs to be an award for the school that let in the most football and basketball players that would actually have a chance to get admitted as students … athletes whose grades and SAT scores are at least in the 90% quartile (are at least as good as the BOTTOM TEN PERCENT) of regular student admissions.

    So, are you up for that endeavor? Yes? No?

    • “Petrino openly admits that they target 3-4 recruits that they know for sure are not going to qualify academically so they can place them in the JUCO farm system.”

      And what is wrong with that? How does that harm the player in any way??_____________________________________________________________________

      That is all I needed to read….

      • Come on Mario, you’re better than that. Please explain where the problem is because I fail to see it. You obviously have better insight into this (as a former player) so expand on the problems of this system if it is there, because I don’t see it – in fact from my lazy chair, it looks like a benefit to the kid – if he knows he has interest from a top program, he’s going to try harder to better his education so he can get there. Now if I’m missing something (which I may be) please enlighten me.

    • ” but what you are forgetting is that most schools, particularly in the SEC, the Big 12, the Big East and the mid-majors, aren’t these academically elite AAU schools that are in the ACC, Pac-12 and Big 10. Asking Mississippi State or Arkansas to have the same policies toward recruiting athletes as does Michigan, Illinois, Notre Dame, Cal-Berkeley etc. is hypocritical.” Why? Because while aspring to become “better” academic institutions these schools might have to take a hit in football?

      I would like to read responses from alums and taxpayers of the SEC West schools whether you would trade an improved academic reputation at the undergraduate level for a decline in football prowess.

      • 1000s of factors drive academic reputation, and sports ranks somewhere in the middle of that list, not the top.

        I read through some earlier comments, and I agree with Tar Heel on this one. Big states have for 100 years been an economic and political powerhouse. If you’re competing for $650 million in federal research funding (as Ohio State did last year), then it helps to have a huge infrastructure built from a solid tax base over decades. It also helps to have more representatives in Congress.

        BCS conferences have the same qualification standards. Kids must meet NCAA minimums. After that, anyone’s fair game. Suggesting that this university has a better reputation than that one because it chases 2 or 3 less kids per class who barely qualified is ridiculous.

        • I’ll call out one comment. “it helps to have more representatives in congress”. federal research grants are not awarded by congress or as a part of the federal procurement process. All federal research goes through strict peer review. Having more members in the house or more influential members has nothing to do with it.

          • Really? Congress has no influence at all on the distribution of billions of federal dollars?

            They do not mess with the peer review process. But they absolutely influence the flow of those dollars.

            • they have control over what research is done (stem cell) but nada over the actual execution. Sure an Illinois senator could push for a particular type of research to be done knowing Northwestern or U of Chicago has great quals for the job. that’s the extent.

      • Sorry, Rich – I just have to post this. It’s toooo gooood.

        Iowa: 18
        Penn State: 16
        Wisconsin: 9
        Ohio State: 7

        Arkansas: 18
        Florida: 7
        Alabama: 5
        LSU: 3

        Big 10 wins, 50 to 33.

        Care to guess what the numbers reference? Hint – it’s not academic all-Americans.

        • I know! (Hint: check out si.com)

          That’s got to be at least a little embarrasing for Big Ten alumni. But, hey, at least they don’t have a lot of lowly JUCO transfers roaming the Big Ten campuses.

          • Sorry guys, I know its fun to poke at them and all, but if you look at that article with the same critical eye we do the WSJ oversigning article, you will find that there are as many holes, if not more, in this one. Namely, the fact that the majority of students records are sealed, making the data set for this story woefully incomplete. Also, when compared to the population at large they aren’t too far off. This article should be taken with a grain of salt, or you will run the risk of Trolling.

            • I agree completely, just having a little fun. I also thought that the article was lacking. Without stats on arrests in the general student population, it’s impossible to draw any conclusions from their player-specific stats. Obviously, vetting should be taking place and maybe it’s insufficient at some schools, but does anyone really expect universities to do criminal record checks on recruits?

              It’s also pretty telling that, as far as I can tell, very few people are really talking about the article.

    • To follow your analogy. the goal of your new site would be to have the Big 10 to to lower it’s standards for all students. That’s the approach the SEC has chosen.

      • (sigh)

        Pennsylvania: Population about 12 million. Median Income – around $50,000
        Ohio: Population around 12 millon. Median Income – $49,000
        North Carolina: Population about 10 million. Median Income – $45,000
        Alabama: Population about 5 million. Median Income – around $40,00
        Mississippi: Population about 4 million. Median Income – around #37.000

        To think that if Ole Miss and Alabama had just increased those admission requirements a few decades, they could be Penn State and Ohio State right now.

        These statistics do not justify oversigning. They do explain the different missions of different state universities in different states. Football has nothing to do with overall student standards at these universities.

  16. Where was all this angst about oversigning and complaints of competitive disadvantages back in the 90s when the Big Ten schools had a hard cap of 25 and SEC schools didn’t even have the 28 signing limit? I didn’t hear the Big Ten or Pac 10 complaining back then about not being able to compete. Because the SEC only won 3 titles in the 90s. But suddenly the SEC reels off 5 straight and no one can compete?

    Maybe the truth is the SEC is hiring better coaches and evaluating talent better. Or the best recruits are in their backyard because of population shifts over the last 20 years.

    • Georgia and Florida are NOT IN THE SEC and they are the ones that are the most outspoken about it. This is not being driven by the Big 10.

  17. First off, great article!

    Second, to all of you who went round and round with me about sign and place into JUCO, what now? Petrino blatantly admits it. I know you will go on and dispute this all day again, just like you dispute there is no such thing as oversigning.

    Vesper,
    Looks like Bralon Heard qualified so he wont be going to JUCO after all.

    • I have seen very few people denying that schools help get a recruit into a JuCo that will help get them qualified. What I have seen (and argued myself) from many is how this is helpful to the student. What I have asked for repeatedly without much of an answer from anybody is how is this practice harmful? Why is it so evil? Please point this out because I can’t see anyway that this can be spun has a harmful thing for the students.

      • “He signs the last group so that “they feel a commitment to us,” and stashes them in junior college for a few years.” Enough said. He intentionally signs extras who he knows will not qualify so they feel committed to Arkansas even after they go to a juco system. Petrino then gets 2 more years to evaluate this prospect and decide if he wants them. If you dont see any wrong in this, then your ethics are seriously flawed.

        • what IS’NT wrong is a school like Nebraska waiting around, holding an offer open while Braylon Heard attempts to qualify. Luckily for us fans, he did.

        • He intentionally signs extras who he knows will not qualify so they feel committed to Arkansas

          Where’s the problem? If Petrino invests time in recruiting the kid when other schools will not because they don’t think he’s worth it, why should they not receive the first look from the kid when/if he qualifies? Furthermore, how is the kid harmed? It seems that you have a problem with it because your school doesn’t utilize it and you feel your school doesn’t get a fair shot at those graduating JuCo kids. Not an unreasonable sentiment, but I disagree. What has Nebraska (or other non-sign and place schools) done to help these kids when they were struggling? Arkansas was there, they offered them a scholarship and helped get them in a school. I don’t care if it gives them an advantage – they’ve helped the student and in my eyes deserve an advantage in his recruitment. That said, the student is not bound to go to Arkansas once he qualifies. Nebraska can always swoop in and take him if they have better opportunities to offer.

          Petrino then gets 2 more years to evaluate this prospect and decide if he wants them

          Consequently, so does every other coach in the country.

          If you dont see any wrong in this, then your ethics are seriously flawed

          I must admit that I do not see it. Perhaps you could explain it better. How is the student harmed? I don’t care about the recruiting advantage – it is a tactic available to anybody. I need to see how this is so unethical, i.e. mistreating someone. I imagine Nebraska et al would do more of this if they could offer more scholarships (with some having grayshirt offers in the event more qualify), but since they refuse to do so (their choice, I have no problem with this) they cannot risk very many scholarships on questionable recruits.

          • I figured you would be the one to reject what I said. Let see, obviously you have never had a job, had a school do something for you as a young adult. Being a young adult you feel super great full for what they have done (and rightfully so because it shows being loyal). Even though this might be a great quality for a recruit, its just what these schools bank on. When a kid signs, he feels obligated to sign with the school he previously signed with. Also, the division I coach has a deal to send division I talent to juco with the juco coach sending talent his way. It is a one way street because the div I coach plays good and then waits to see if the juco athlete he previously signed pans out. If you dont see this you are blind. I have no other way to put it. I can talk until I am blind but you will still dispute just as you have done on the oversigning topic. What more evidence do you need than an SEC coach blatantly admitting it? oh well dude.

  18. “It seems that you have a problem with it because your school doesn’t utilize it and you feel your school doesn’t get a fair shot at those graduating JuCo kids. Not an unreasonable sentiment, but I disagree. What has Nebraska (or other non-sign and place schools) done to help these kids when they were struggling? Arkansas was there, they offered them a scholarship and helped get them in a school. I don’t care if it gives them an advantage – they’ve helped the student and in my eyes deserve an advantage in his recruitment. That said, the student is not bound to go to Arkansas once he qualifies. Nebraska can always swoop in and take him if they have better opportunities to offer. ”

    Catch 5, so which is it: does signing players who can’t qualify and then introducing them to a football coach and “friendly” situation at a JUCO provide a competitive advantage for the coach and school that signed the athlete and then steered the athlete to a JUCO or Military Academy? Yes or no. Does the act of signing players who you know cannot qualify to your school and then steering them to a JUCO or Military Academy provide the school with an advantage over all other schools should the athlete “pan out” one or two years later?

    ” What has Nebraska (or other non-sign and place schools) done to help these kids when they were struggling? ” Priceless. Yes, Ole Miss and the SEC West are truly bleeding heart liberals — selflessly doing it for the kids. What a great deal for the kid — sign the kid to a NLI when you know that there is no chance that the kid will qualify and then tell the disappointed kid whatever (“some damn Yankee in Indianapolis won’t let you place here”). What makes you think that upon graduation from a JUCO that the student is still not struggling academically? All you know is that they are eligible to play football.

  19. For what it is worth, I have spoken with Bobby Dodd about this very issue many years ago. The rule 140 was in place but there is a whole lot more involved than that. Georgia Tech left the SEC because they were having trouble getting good players in the numbers they needed. Even then, the SEC had a limit on the number of recruits they could sign. Tech became an independent where they could sign all they wanted. Their first recruiting class as an independent brought in 40 players.
    Looking at their 50,000 seat stadium which is smaller than it was in the 50′s, makes me wonder: Who’s brilliant idea was it to leave? Coach Dodd did think they would be the notre Dame of the south.


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