Florida, Muschamp Will Not Grayshirt or Sign and Place

Things are starting to heat back up a little on the oversigning topic.  The last few weeks have been slow, but with the conference meetings coming soon, as well as the forced attrition to clear roster space via medical hardships, grayshirts, and coerced transfers to lower tier programs, we will start to see a lot more news on the oversigning front.

Will Muschamp got things going today during a teleconference with all 12 SEC head coaches when he had this to say when asked about oversigning and grayshirting:

Muschamp also addressed the oversigning and grayshirting of athletes that has become a recent subject of concern in some areas.

"I think there is some gray area involved with all of it," he said."Now, you're able to sign players back (previous year) as long as you're under your 85 (scholarship) total. So does that count against the 28 you signed in February? Right now it doesn't.

"Again, at Florida, we don't grayshirt. That's not something that we do; it's not a policy of ours. We don't place students; that's not a policy of ours. That's not something that I'm going to cross that bridge on right now because it's not something that we do or is part of what we're going to do."


Wonder what Huston Nutt, Les Miles, and Nick Saban had so say to that during the conference call?  Kudos to Muschamp for going public with their policy on signing and placing and grayshirting, and Kudos to Florida for making it a policy (not sure if that is an actual written policy or not) not to exploit these two loopholes in the system.

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  1. Nick Saban said in a recent interview that he wouldn’t be naming a starting quarterback. Does this mean every other school should follow? It is often his policy not to release any kind of depth chart, especially this time of year, is it wrong that other schools do?

    Still claiming that there is all that forced attrition? I sent you attrition percentages for the SEC and B10 over two weeks ago, and despite your assurance that you would put them up, we have seen nothing. Are my numbers off or was I unfair in my representation? If so please tell me where and I’ll try to correct it, but I find it dishonest to make this accusation with the information I provided. If my take on it is incorrect, you have had my request to counter it for everyone.

    • Catch 5, what’s the big tease with the attrition numbers? Post them. I’m curious to see them. I’d also like to see the scholarship numbers for OSU and the rest of the Big 10 but it appears I will see neither.

      • It is not my desire to hijack one of Josh’s threads with my own topic – even if it is relevant to oversigning like this one. I sent him the information so that he could decide to post it or not. He has told me that he intends to post it and I will respect that for a bit longer. My issue is that he continues to make this accusation even with the recent numbers, so either he completely disregards them or he finds fault with them.

        As you may have noticed, I have tried to get people thinking about what they would expect from such an analysis – though noone has taken me up on responding to it. For the record, if the SEC teams were actively forcing as many kids off the team as this site accuses, I would expect that you should see at least a 20% difference between the them and a conference that doesn’t oversign like the B10. I went into the excercise expecting the SEC to have an 8-10% higher rate (natural attrition) due to the fact that they recruit higher rated players who have higher egos and are more prone to leaving if they are not the star of the team. Given this, if the B10 has a natural rate of 20%, I would expect the SEC to be around 30%, but if they were 40% instead, I would have to concede that many players were being forced off. That said, I have only done the 2008 class, and one year does not make a trend so take it for what it’s worth…

        • Catch,
          It is the kicker of these teams having an oversigned roster to fill in spots where as most BIG teams are reluctant to have attrition because they DONT have numbers to plug in. You analogy of the starting qb is just plain poor. Saban probably doesnt know because last years stater is gone so he opened up the competition. Its simple.

          • So you agree that the SEC would have a much higher attrition?

            It’s not just the QB. Saban never releases any type of depth chart, especially this time of year. It is likely the biggest subject that gets him worked up with the media. They are constantly asking him about who is the starter and he never names them for any position, the QB position is just at the forefront now.

    • I did a similar thing with the 2006-7 recruiting classes. Basically I took the recruiting information from the Rivals website and compared it to the opening day rosters for the 2009 and 2010 season that were on Scout. I then looked into every player on the “missing” list to see if it appeared they graduated or turned pro. Everyone else was deemed to be MIA. Here’s the listing I came up with by school:

      MIA % by school (Signed/GradPro/MIA):
      20% – Ohio State (35/7/7)
      29% – Penn State (45/7/13)
      38% – Michigan (39/6/15)
      29% – Iowa (42/3/12)
      48% – Wisconsin (40/1/19)

      28% – Notre Dame (46/19/13)

      42% – Alabama (48/7/20)
      46% – LSU (52/10/24)
      27% – USC (44/8/12)
      27% – Georgia (51/8/13)
      35% – Florida (54/13/19)
      37% – Texas (49/6/18)

      My original plan was to do all the schools in the top 25 along with every school in the Big Ten and SEC but this took a ton of time and this was as far as I got before my motivation expired. All the information has only been checked by me so it is probable that there are a few errors though I’m confident that it is directionally correct. At some point I’d like to redo the information and include more schools / different years but I need to find some time.

      The hard part isn’t finding the base info it is figuring out what happened with players that just disappeared from the roster as the schools/players rarely want to publicize it. 4 players I struggled with the most were Ricardo Crawford/Kevin Perez from Georgia and Brent Carter/Tom McEowen of Penn State. Each of these players were on the team through their redshirt junior year but not for their redshirt senior year. My suspicion is they graduated and even though they had eligibility left, they left the team (asked to leave? – no way to tell). I put them as missing even through they probably graduated. For what it is worth, they were the only 4 players on the team as redshirt juniors that I couldn’t confirm graduated or turned pro.

      • If you want a better understanding of why Wisconsin’s number is so high you can read this article – http://host.madison.com/ct/sports/college/football/article_0205a4fa-2eda-11e0-833d-001cc4c002e0.html

      • I have done something similar for every SEC and B10 team, but for just the 2008 recruiting class, and using the spring rosters. My reason for doing this is to investigate attrition – are players being evaluated and “cut” from some rosters – particularly ones from teams that oversign. The numbers you have provided don’t tell this story as you count players that never set foot on the field, and it appears that JuCo players who only had one or two years of eligibility to start with could also be counted as MIA. When I looked at the classes, I took the signed list from Rivals and compared that to the 2008 roster to get a MIA list similar to what you have. I then took every MIA and found out why. Some were JuCo as mentioned earlier, some did not qualify and never made it on the team, some left early for the NFL, and in Bama’s case, two signees were drafted into MLB and opted for that route. None of these players could in any way be accused of being forcedly removed from the team and do not count in an analysis of attrition. Any player that set foot on the field and is no longer on the team with eligibility remaining (except for NFL draftees) count, that is my criteria and I feel is a better guage of attrition. This includes transfers, dropouts, dismissals, medical hardships and in Bama’s case one guy who gave up football and is now on Bama’s baseball team.

        Wisconsin may be a team to keep an eye on as their 2008 class also had the highest attrition in the B10. I find it interesting that of that 2006 class there were 4 players that seemed to fall victim to medical hardships – did they remain on scholarship I wonder? They had one more in the 2008 class that left due to back issues. Where is the WSJ article on them? Speaking of that, from the SEC’s 2008 class alone there were 10 cases of medical hardships excluding Alabama. From that WSJ article:

        Including the Crimson Tide, the 12 members of the Southeastern Conference have given at least 25 of these scholarships to football players in the past three years
        [they just pointed out that the Tide used 12 of these in this time frame]

        Kinda makes you wonder (once again) about how much actual research went into that peice beyond finding a couple of guys that gave them quotes they could twist to meet their conclusions.

        • Correction, Michigan State has the highest attrition percentage from the B10, just a little higher than Wisconsin. ITM, Iowa is right behind them.

        • To add to your point about medicals, I’ve been looking into attrition myself and there are a lot of medical scholarships given out each year across the country. Way more than I would’ve thought and they span every conference. The thing is, the fans of most schools don’t really care about roster changes unless it involves a star player. Therefore when a player transfers or goes on medical at Colorado State or UTEP, it doesn’t leave much of a footprint on the internet. When a player leaves Alabama for one of those reasons, there’s typically several articles or internet forum discuessions documenting it. This creates the false perception that there’s more of those things happening at Alabama/SEC than other places – a perception that is reinforced frequently on this site.

          I’ve seen several people misinterpet the WSJ quote you cited to mean that Alabama has had more medicals than the rest of the SEC combined and even that Alabama has had more medicals than any other conference in the country. A combination of poor writing and people reading into it what they want it to be.

          • You are dead on about that. Medicals and non-qualifiers are the hardest to confirm. You can assume the NQ guys well enough when they don’t show up on any roster, but the medical guys often just disappear with no explaination. Sometimes you get an article about an injury, then nothing, sometimes a mention in a blog is all you have – usually from schools with the smaller fanbases. The larger schools like Bama have every move very well documented.

        • For what it is worth, I looked into every player that I designated MIA to determine a cause which is how I found out about the 4 kids I mentioned that graduated but didn’t use their final year of eligibility at Penn State/Georgia. Doing that was the only way to make sure my numbers were right (as I’m sure you’ll agree this process takes a ridiculous amount of time which is why I never finished the other 20 schools I initially planned). I also checked the rosters for 06-10 and verified that a player wasn’t a senior before they went missing so I accounted for all JUCO’s. My definition of MIA included anyone that was signed but didn’t play as a senior or go to the pro’s early. I did include players that never made it to campus and almost included that in parenthesis above but didn’t as I didn’t want to confuse the issue with more numbers. Since you mentioned it here’s the breakdown of “never made it to campus” by school:

          06-07 MIA % (Adjusted by “never enrolled”):
          20% – Ohio State (0)
          27% – Penn State (1)
          37% – Michigan (1)
          27% – Iowa (1)
          48% – Wisconsin (0)

          28% – Notre Dame (0)

          35% – Alabama (5)
          40% – LSU (5)
          27% – USC (0)
          24% – Georgia (1)
          34% – Florida (1)
          35% – Texas (1)

          • Thanks for the numbers. I think it’s also relevant to point out that three of the schools on your list that had a high number of MIAs experienced coaching changes right around that ’06-’07 time frame: Michigan – ’08, Wisconsin – ’06, Alabama – ’07. Not surprising since there’s often a spike in attrition whenever there is a coaching change for a variety of reasons (scheme changes, personality clashes, etc…)

          • By senior, do you include both 4th and 5th year Seniors or just the 4th year of eligibility? Some schools list their rosters by eligibility and some list by academic year.

          • That makes sense, and I was also going to mention the coaching turn over but Vesper beat me to it. Tell me Buckskin, what do you take from this? Given the sample, there is a significantly higher representation of non-oversigning teams than oversigning (only 3) but perhaps enough to begin to form an opinion. The average attrition from the non-oversigning teams from your analysis is 31.11% while that from oversigning teams is 34.00%. With such a small sample it is difficult to know if LSU’s 40% is the outlyer or if USC’s 27% is, but a 3% difference between the two groups is no reason to convict anyone of forced attrition in my view. It appears to me that natural attrition from 25-35% can be expected with good or bad spikes which can happen to teams whether they oversign or not. Given this data, it appears to me that oversigning is being used as insurance against natural attrition, not a reason driving forced attrition.
            Either that or teams that don’t oversign force just as many kids off their teams as well, just without the publicity.

      • I compared Rivals and Scouts signing lists to active rosters for the 4 succeeding years for Iowa from 2002 to present, just to see how difficult the process would be and to see how various assumptions about scholarship numbers checked out. When I tossed out my original numbers, the Iowa blog helpfully pointed out that Iowa redshirts 9 out of 10 players and that they sign a few specialists every year that never make the Rivals or Scouts signing lists. That accounted for the huge shortfall of scholarships I noted originally on the assumption that most kids cycled out in 4 years.

        The Iowa website did a follow-up to that piece which identified a huge attrition rate relative to their “speed” positions, most of which were the students recruited furthest out of state.

        My numbers for Iowa, 2002 through 2008, based on the Rivals/Scouts lists:

        157 kids signed, 66 somewhere else prior to Year 4 (42%). My 2006-07 numbers were 43 and 15 instead of 42 and 15. I did not count kids either way kids who signed but never showed up on any of the rosters. Those kids seem appropriate to a discussion of oversigning but inappropriate relative to a discussion about attrition. You can’t retain a kid who never enrolls, although you don’t have to sign him.

      • Wow. That’s a lot of work.

      • Do you have the details of the PSU 13? I only count 10.

  2. Wonder what Huston Nutt, Les Miles, and Nick Saban had so say to that during the conference call?

    How bout Mark Richt? Did he speak out against grayshirting and sign and place?. Probably not since he uses both those practices. Nebraska and Ohio State grayshirt. Rutgers uses sign and place.

    The reality is that Will Muschamp has been a head coach for all of about 4 months, so it’s quite easy for him to provide a laundry list of practices that he hasn’t used. Let’s hear what he has to say in about 5 years.

    • CMR is on the hot seat in Athens; another bad or so-so season, and he’s history. Lets keep one fact in mind: GA may have never “oversigned” but they have signed JUCO players who were ineligible to enter UGA when they graduated from high school.
      Muschamp and FL may claim they will never “oversign”, but given enough pressure to win, they’ll exploit every loophole in the book.

      • Nebraska does use Grayshirt and there is nothing wrong with that if it is communicated well beforehand. Many coaches use this as a gray area so they can get down to the roster max by Aug and that is a big difference.

  3. Why do you wonder what Saban, Nutt, and Miles had to say on this subject? I think their thoughts on these two things have already been answered. Would not be to hard to find direct quotes from these three coaches in reference to the subject. If their statements in previous years are not enough, simply look at their actions.

    Obviously these three feel they are doing nothing wrong, and the NCAA agrees with them. No reason for them to defend their practices every time another coaches chooses to do things differently.

    Saban does many things other coaches do not. Such as not allowing fr. players to interview, nor assistant coaches and very limited media exposure to practice. If Saban had to explain his reasoning on everything he does differently, he would not have time to coach. Saban wants and has total control of his program, that will not change while he is at Alabama.

  4. If UF has decided it won’t greyshirt or sign and place… so be it. I don’t think there is any rule that says they HAVE to do it.

    I do find it a bit interesting that they say they don’t greyshirt, yet it was very public knowledge that they have offered greyshirts to recruits and those recruits have been in the media and said they were not going to accept that greyshirt offer…

    Maybe, what they mean is that they will not offer hidden greyshirts, something I would supprort. I think that hidden greyshirts are wrong; however, being up front and open with a recruit about his offer and letting him decide what is best for him is a very good thing. If that’s the case, then I think it is something all teams should aspire.

    Again, I’ll state this… I don’t think many, if any “pro-oversigners” would say that rules don’t need to be in place to inform and protect the recruits so that they can make the proper decisions on where they should sign. I think it can be accomplished without taking away the use of greyshirts.

    • I agree. There’s nothing wrong with a greyshirt as long as the player is aware of it on signing day. At that point it is the player’s choice. After signing day it is too late for them to catch on anywhere else so they usually have no choice but to accept the greyshirt.

      • I think he needs to be aware of it before signing day so he can look at his options as far as scholarship offers. Good points all of you though. Can believe I am agreeing with Vesper and Bathel. haha. jk

        • It’s ok BRed… I’ve learned some stuff from you guys that has challenged views that I had held for a long time… having an open mind is always better than closed. You don’t have to agree with the points others make, but having an open mind will help you either mold a view or solidify what you already believe.

          I don’t think any one person has the perfect solution to the issues that face College Football, but being closed minded to other views, I can assure you, would make it worse (that goes for both sides.)

  5. considering that UF has said this before, and then offered a greyshirt to Jacoby Brisset, i’m not going to hold my breath on this one.

  6. Bathel: I agree: all prospects should be clearly and adequately informed of their rights (and responsibilities) that all scholarship offers are conditional until accompanied by an LOI, and that all LOI’s are conditional upon a student meeting the NCAA/Conference and institution’s minimum accademic standards. As to “grayshirting”: that’s a matter between the university and the student. If both are willing and understand the consequences, then I have no objections.

  7. Since greyshirting has apparently made it onto this site’s no-no list, how come KSU coach, Bill Snyder, is never called out? Here’s an article from NSD in 2010:

    Snyder first utilized the grayshirt option for quarterback Brian Kavanaugh — the first grayshirt in college football, he said — and has continued to use grayshirts as a way to give players extra time in the program.

    So, Snyder is the self-proclaimed father of greyshirting. He also greyshirted 6 players from the 2009 recruiting class and 3 players from the 2010 recruiting class.

    Snyder also grayshirted players out of necessity to make K-State’s scholarship numbers add up

    To keep the numbers in balance, some of the 10 high school seniors who signed with K-State are expected to grayshirt or enroll in junior college.

    “We’re still working through that,” Snyder said. “I’m not altogether certain which ones will and which ones won’t. For the most part, we’ll decide that later on.”


    In 2011, KSU brought in 33 players (27 signees, 3 greyshirts, and 3 transfers) while only losing 24 seniors – some of whom may have been walk-on’s.

    Odds that this site will ever highlight Kansas State?

    • Snyder’s actions, not the act of grayshirting is what I am against.

      “We’re still working through that,” Snyder said. “I’m not altogether certain which ones will and which ones won’t. For the most part, we’ll decide that later on.”

      That does a disservice to these student athletes unless they are completely on board with this well prior to LOI day. Some could have signed elsewhere. His quote leads me to believe he doesn’t know, so I’m skeptical that the kids do.

      What is even worse is the signature on an loi with the end outcome being forced to junior college. It appears that it is based on a scholarship count and not a kids ability to get into Snyder’s school. So he now has the option of taking these kids in one of three years classes, the current, the grayshirt or the third after a couple of juco years.

      this practice should be called out unless the kids are on board long before LOI day. I highly doubt they have anything more than a “you might need to defer, wink, wink” chat.

  8. Boise State coach, Chris Peterson, is onboard with grayshirting: http://www.ktvb.com/sports/football/7-Factors-Gray-Shirt-119549529.html

    Also, here’s a story about 5 players from the same high school in Las Vegas who are all grayshirting at an FCS school: http://www.maxpreps.com/blogs/football-signing-day-blog/g39nFElSEeCkhgAcxJSkrA/five-canyon-springs-football-players-to-grayshirt-at-southern.htm

  9. Chris Peterson should make about 3 mil a year because he does more with less than any coach in the nation. IMO

  10. I’ve seen lots of tweets to the effect of “Mark Richt rips oversigning” or “Mark Richt this week on oversigning: ‘I think that’s an awful thing to do’”. And, of course, many, many people just read such tweets and accept it as fact without bothering to open a link and read the entire article. In reality, Richt’s comments are very much consistent with those made by me and several other oversigning defenders.

    1. First of all, the “awful thing to do” that Richt was referring to is forcing players to grayshirt when the possibility of grayshirting wasn’t discussed with them before they signed their LOI (i.e. Elliot Porter). I think a concensus was reached long ago that that type of situation is wrong.

    2. Richt goes on to outline proper use of grayshirting as used by UGA:

    “Not to say we haven’t gray shirted, or talked to a kid about gray shirting, but if you tell five of those guys, hey, we’ve got 20 spaces, I can sign 25 and there’s a good chance by the time school starts there will be room for you because of the attrition which seems to happen every year,” Richt said. “We tell them if there’s space for you, you come in with your class, if there’s not, we ask, are you willing to come next January? They’ll then say ‘Coach, I understand it’ and they are willing to do that. If you tell them on the front end, they understand that. That’s how we go about it if we talk to a kid about gray shirting.”

    Read Richt’s comments closely. He’s not only defending grayshirting; he’s not only defending the use of conditional grayshirts; but he goes as far as to defend the use of conditional grayshirts in conjunction with oversigning. But when I proposed that this is what was happening at Alabama, Josh and CHB thought it was just the most ridiculous theory they had ever heard. Of course, at the time, they were also lauding Jim Tressel for his ethics.

    3. Others have argued that grayshirting is ok, but only if they are announced publicly on or before NSD. We usually don’t find out which Alabama players are grayshirting til the start of fall camp, and for some reason that is considered by some as a bad thing. Mark Richt would disagree:

    “Almost every year there have been guys in our class in that gray shirt situation. Normally, we say you don’t have to tell anybody, just sign on Signing Day and the chances of you coming in with your class, no one’s going to know the difference, which I don’t think is dishonest with the way things are,” Richt said. “So we’ve signed guys knowing that the class is full and asked if they could come in January, but every time we’ve done that, there’s been a space and they came in with their class.”


    Based on Richt’s actual comments, how could anyone conclude that he was ripping oversigning or calling it an awful thing? He actually defended the proper use of grayshirting and oversigning while condemning the improper use of grayshirts – arguements that many of us “pro-oversigners” have been making for a long time.

    Does Richt oversign? No. Does he offer conditional grayshirts? Yes. Does he sign and place? Yes. Does he have quite a few medical harships? Yes (6 in the last 2 years plus another who quit football with eiligibility remaining due to an injury). Throw in recruiting violations by Richt, yanking the scholarship offer from a commit less than a month before NSD, numerous player arrests to put it mildly, appallingly low graduation rates in football and basketball especially among African-Americans, an assistant coach attempting to intimidate a player on an opposing team…well, you get the idea. Georgia may sign fewer players than most SEC teams, but that doesn’t make them a more ethical program.

    • Wow, I hope I’m not the only one who notices that Vesper has reported more articles (in context) relevant to the discussion than anyone on this site. And that includes the founder.

    • “Richt said Georgia usually has at least one player that grayshirts in every class. The public doesn’t even know about it, he added.”

      Another tidbit from that article. I think most fans do not understand what goes on in college football.

      I also find it interesting that the brother of the top recruit in the state of GA for 2013 and should be the number 1 player in the country for 2013, may now qualify for a 4 year school. But even before that no one was offering him a scholly and he is not rated at his position and is not concidered a top player. But him and his brother have stated they want to play to gether in college. Now he looks to qualify and UGA just offered. Sort of like when they offered Crowell’s cousin right beofre NSD to help recruit Crowell. The interesting part is he said he will announce this week and sign. It has also just been reported that a UGA is leaving the team for personal reasons. Now if this was happening at UA this site would accuse Saban for running off the player to make room, but why is it different at UGA.

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