Oversigning.com
27May/1192

Nick Saban Joins Houston Nutt in the Fight to Keep Oversigning

It appears the battle lines are taking shape as the SEC meetings draw near.  On one side we have the chronic oversigners clamouring to come up with excuses as to why oversigning should remain in tact, reasons such as “It’s a very difficult job to try to manage, to keep two, three deep at every position” (Houtson Nutt), or  "oversigning is 'helpful' because so many of the players in the state come from underprivileged backgrounds and may not qualify academically" (Steve Spurrier), or  "I don't see it as a bad thing unless you're being dishonest or waiting until the last minute, which eliminates their visit opportunities with other schools" (Bobby Petrino).

Nick Saban added his name to the list of coaches that will fight to keep oversigning alive and well in the SEC on Thursday.

"The innuendo out there is that all these things are being manipulated in a negative way," Alabama coach Nick Saban said. "But nobody has ever really brought to the forefront the positives by doing it the right way. People hang onto all the situations that aren't done the right way and act like in every situation that somebody is getting screwed in some sort of way, and that's just not the case."

http://sports.espn.go.com/ncf/news/story?id=6593311

Shouldn't the situations like Elliott Porter, Chris Garrett, and Steven Wesley be the situations that everyone holds onto, not the positives?  Did he even mention any positives other than the competitive advantage aspect?  The stories of kids having their scholarship offers pulled the day before signing day by Spurrier and their High School coaches being irate about it, shouldn't that be what we hold on to? 

If just one kid gets screwed by oversigning, isn't it enough to seriously crack down on the practice?  Think about it in terms of the way the NCAA creates its rules.  Often times, an NCAA rule is created not because the area in question is nefarious, such as the rules regarding selling personal memorabilia, but rather because of the potential for abuse.  The rules regarding selling personal memorabilia are in place to prevent a booster from buying a jersey from a player for $100K, not because they don't want some kid selling his ring at a fraction of its value.  Even if you believe that oversigning only harms a few and only when not done right, shouldn't it be addressed in the same way as the rules regarding selling memorabilia?  What's more harmful, a kid getting a few extra bucks or some poor kid losing his scholarship at the last minute because a coach oversigned his class to bring in better talent so that he can keep making his millions of dollars?

Those positives that Saban refers to by the way are the competitive advantage that these coaches gain by exploiting this practice.  Nearly every coach that oversigns has stated that it provides them with an advantage.

"In my opinion, it would really affect the quality in our league," Saban said. "You can't know the attrition from signing day until August, which guys who're going to be fifth-year seniors that decide they don't want to come back and play football. Well, you can't count those guys. You're going to have to tell those guys they're going to have to decide in January.

http://sports.espn.go.com/ncf/news/story?id=6593311

This is where the competitive advantage issue comes into play.  By oversigning, coaches can bring in a few extra guys and work them through the spring while at the same time working the 5th year guys that have eligibility remaining, and then after spring training is over coaches can make a decision as to whether or not they want to renew a 5th year guy who may or may not have graduated yet, knowing all along they have an ace in the hole and will end up with the best 85.  The coaches want their cake and eat it too. 

Why is it that 5th year guys can't make a decision as to whether or not they want to come back in January, but Juniors leaving early for the NFL can?  Are Juniors that much more prepared to make a life-altering decision than 5th year seniors?

Furthermore, if the question is whether or not they want to come back, isn't their participation in spring practice an indication that they would like to come back?  Just recently Alabama had a 5th year RB Demetrius Goode participate in spring practice, indicating he hadn't given up on football, but then after spring practice decided he wanted to go to UNA instead.  Perhaps he wanted playing time, fine.  But can't that decision be made in January at the same time Juniors make decisions to go to the NFL? 

On the other side of the battle line you have Florida and Georgia who have both been very outspoken about the abuses of oversigning and greyshirting.  Mark Richt has been especially outspoken about the abuses taking place:

Georgia coach Mark Richt is in the opposite camp. He said that it was an "awful thing to do" to bring in players to participate in the summer strength program and then ask some to leave or wait until January to sign based on which ones performed the best.

He didn't stop there, either.

"These other coaches have been oversigning, trying to make sure they never come up short of that 85 number," Richt said earlier this month at a Georgia booster club speaking engagement in Greenville, S.C. "But in doing so, have they done it in an ethical way?

"I'd say the answer is probably not."

http://sports.espn.go.com/ncf/news/story?id=6593311

It has become extremely clear that the coaches that want to continue oversigning all want  you to believe that there is nothing wrong with the practice as long as it is done the right way.  Again, there is nothing wrong with selling your jersey for a few bucks, so long as you don't sell it to a booster for $100K, right?

At the end of the day it all comes back to the competitive advantage aspect of the argument and the pressure on these coaches to win.  These coaches are under more pressure to win than anywhere else in the country, so of course they want  you to believe their practice of oversigning is okay as long as it's done right, they can't afford to live without it based on the pressure to win.

Houston Nutt is already starting to feel the affects of the 28 rule, named in his honor, and he knows if further rules are passed that he could be in serious jeopardy of losing his multi-million dollar job, so of course he's fighting for the right to continue to exploit the spirit of the signing process and the loopholes inherent to the NCAA's 25/85 rule.

Quick Note Regarding the Medical Hardship Aspect of the new Legislation:

The new legislation that is on the table includes a proposal to address the issue of medical hardships and how those are being used to game the system and fudge the scholarship numbers.  As the Wall Street Journal pointed out, Nick Saban's medical hardship numbers are way above the norm, and then when former players were asked about those medical hardships and whether or not they felt pressured to take them the players revealed that they were pressured and that they thought the medical hardship was loophole used to bring in better players.

Three Alabama players who've taken these exemptions say they believe the team uses the practice as a way to clear spots for better players by cutting players it no longer wants. These players said they believe Mr. Saban and his staff pressure some players to take these scholarships even though their injuries aren't serious enough to warrant keeping them off the field.

"I'm still kind of bitter," said former Alabama linebacker Chuck Kirschman, who took a medical scholarship last year. Mr. Kirschman said Mr. Saban encouraged him to accept the scholarship because of a back problem that he believes he could have played through. "It's a business," Mr. Kirschman said. "College football is all about politics. And this is a loophole in the system."

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703384204575509901468451306.html

That is THREE former players coming out and saying they believed the team used the medical hardships to clear roster space for better players, one of which says he's still bitter about it calling it a business and a loophole.

Here is what Nick Saban had to say about it.

Saban is also quick to defend the charge that he pressures players into taking medical redshirts or dismisses players who aren't contributing on the field in order to open up more scholarship room each year.

"First of all, I've never gotten rid of a player who didn't create his own circumstances for why he had to leave the program, whether it was academic, whether it was behavior, whether it was drug-related, whatever," Saban said. "Really, I've always given guys more rope than they deserve, and I think the innuendo out there is that I'm just picking and choosing which guys to run off, and people bring it up that I've medical-ed more people. Well, yeah, I medical them so they can stay in school and graduate, where other people just get rid of them. I don't make those decisions, either. The doctors make them, and we have great doctors."

In one breath Saban says, "I medical them so they can stay in school," and in the next breath he says, "I don't make those decisions, either.  The doctors make them, and we have great doctors."  Which one is it?  Who is making the final decision to issue the medical hardship?  Hard to believe everything is on the up and up when you have 3 players claiming they were wrongly pressured to take those medical hardships to clear roster space and another player calling it a loophole.

The new proposal on the table includes a measure for medical hardship monitoring, but is it enough?

Giving the SEC league office more oversight concerning those players placed on medical scholarship. In other words, the league would be involved in reviewing outcomes. A team doctor, trainer and athletic director would need to sign off on each case.

http://espn.go.com/blog/sec/post/_/id/23199/proposed-sec-oversigning-legislation

The new legislation would require 3 people to sign off on the medical waiver, does anyone in their right mind believe that a trainer or an athletic director are going to go against the decision of a doctor?  And if what we read above from Saban is true, it appears that he has great influence on whether or not a medical is issued to a player.  The details are still unclear, but you have to believe the athletic director would only be signing off on whether or not to grant the medical hardship or to just not renew the player -- if coaches are allowed to continue oversigning and continue to be in a numbers crunch, is there an athletic director out there that is going to refuse to sign off on a medical hardship and have his school face NCAA violations for going over the 85 limit?

Unless there are more details regarding the medical hardship oversight, what we have on the table doesn't appear to be anything other than window dressing in reaction to the WSJ piece on Alabama's medical hardships. 

We have a couple of suggestions: 1. many of these medical hardships are the result of a numbers crunch because of oversigning, eliminate the oversigning and you would see a drastic decline in the number of medical hardships issued by schools that oversign, 2. have the NCAA conduct an exit interview with the kids placed on medical hardship so that guys like the 3 Alabama players who told the WSJ that they thought they were being pushed out to make room for better players can tell the NCAA and have the NCAA conduct an investigation.

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  1. “That is THREE former players coming out and saying they believed the team used the medical hardships to clear roster space for better players, one of which says he’s still bitter about it calling it a business and a loophole.”

    if you close that medical hardship “loophole” it will HURT the players. Because then instead of going on “Medical” and getting a free education, now they will just get KICKED OFF the team & OUT OF SCHOOL.

    You honestly think Saban is gonna keep scrubs around? They’re gonna be gone one way or the other, atleast this way they get a free education, close off the medical hardships and they’ll get NOTHING.

    Apparently you & ungrateful scrubs like Chuck Kirschman don’t seem to get that.

  2. The “one kid gets screwed” standard: Fine. But it’s obvious that more than one kid gets screwed under the B1G rules as well, as numerous posters here document. So be consistent in your condemnations. Right now you’re about as fair and balanced as Faux News.

    Seriously. You’re working overtime to interpret everything from Saban and the SEC in such a negative light, and yet in the same breath, you want to wait until the NCAA renders its opinion on Tressel to form your own opinion on Tressel. Saban makes some decent points in that article. The SEC has proposed some interesting rules with some positive consequences for the S-A. Would it kill you to concede some of them? The B1G has its own roster warts. Would it kill you to admit to some of them?

    • I agree there are “roster warts” all over the place, and not all of them are because of oversigning. I am pretty sure that one day we will expand the discussion of roster attrition and other exploitation outside of the bounds of oversigning, but for now the focus remains on this practice and for the time being the SEC is the conference with the biggest issue with it.

      I can assure you, Marc is working very hard on some very good stories that bring to light other areas of exploitation and roster management outside of the context of oversigning…stay tuned.

      I have stated my opinion on Tressel in the context of oversigning. He doesn’t do it, goes out of his way not to do it, and therefore there is no issue with him regarding oversigning. If I were to comment on the other issues and share my opinion about him falsifying the compliance documents, then I would have to start sharing my opinion on all areas of misconduct and unethical behavior outside of the oversigning narrative, such as examining the Cam Newton case, or commenting on the USC case, or the UNC/Alabama agent case, or the Alabama textbook case.

      • I disagree on Tressel. You made the decision to make Tressel Exhibit A for your position, which makes his body of work in regards to ethics relevant to the discussion here in ways that John Blake, Pete Carroll, or textbook distribution accounting methodologies never could be. For the record, I said well before the OSU stories broke that his prominence in the discussions here was high risk/low reward.

        You said you were going to look through the Iowa rosters/signing lists. I did it in an afternoon. If Iowa redshirts everyone, then they should be signing 17 a year rather than 22. And if the B1G rules prevent coaches from bringing in more players than they have spots, then how does Iowa’s attrition rate exceed Alabama’s? How does Alabama’s multi-year APR exceed Iowa’s by 16 and Michigan’s by 45? The long-term APR and attrition numbers just don’t show the sort of qualitative differences that should be there if the assumptions here are accurate.

        I am not arguing that Alabama’s doing nothing wrong. I just don’t buy the notion that the differences between conferences somehow represents an essential difference. Putting the magnifying glass on this issue certainly has benefits, but the magnification also runs the risks of distortions, and those distortions, in my opinion, have shifted the debate here from “what’s best for the student-athlete” to “what’s best for the Big 10.”

        You’ve done good work here. I commend you for it, for what it’s worth, which probably isn’t much. But your allegiance to the B1G at times turns you into just another fan rather than an effective advocate. That’s your right. But it limits your effectiveness.

      • How can you continue to say that Tressel doesn’t oversign? He oversigned this year according to your own site! Per your Cup standings, OSU is +2 – and they openly announced one grayshirt earlier in the year. He certainly seems to be doing it “the right way”, but he is doing it.

    • No kids get screwed under the B1G rule. Point out where thats the case. No one has documented that, please show where

      Ironically you claim he’s interpereting everything from the B1G and the SEC in a negative light, but all you do is get on here and say how the B1G is screwing over students and such, but have yet to point to a single piece of evidence of the case.

      Where are the roster warts for the B1G? Go ahead and try to find one.

      • No one? Ever?

        If you want to scan the previous three months’ activity here, you will see all sorts of contributions by Catch 5, Vesper, et al that provide links to credible news sources detailing kids transferring out of B1G schools to make room for incoming classes. It’s all right here – you just have to want to take the time to be informed. That’s up to you.

        • You will see posts about players leaving. You take it to mean if a kid leaves a program he is being forced out? Please. Student athletes can leave, that doesn’t mean the are forced out.

          I have not seen one credible source that says a kid got screwed over like elliot porter.

          And i notice you still have not come up with any valid reasons for how the B1G screws over kids. Please point to some post about a kid leaving to make room for another.

          In fact, go back and actually read the B1G rules, because you don’t seem to understand them. The rules do much to prevent students from being abused or cut.

          • I’ve posted this a lot, but to save you the effort:

            Sam Longo.
            http://www.thebuckeyetimes.com/2011/01/ohio-state-backup-offensive-tackle-sam.html
            Note the date of the story, just a week or two before NSD, when OSU was already several over the limit. From the article:

            who played in just one game during his short career at Ohio State — has not announced where he will be transferring.

            Usually when players announce their transfer from SEC schools, they know where they are going as the coaches have helped them find a team that fits them better.

            also:

            http://www.thebuckeyebattlecry.com/tag/transfer/

            With so many incoming offensive lineman in the 2011 class, he may have seen the writing on the wall…

            Or perhaps Tressell told him they needed his scholarship for someone else.
            lastly:
            http://www.cleveland.com/buckeyeblog/index.ssf/2011/01/ohio_state_second-year_backup.html

            Ohio State has 21 oral commitments for the Class of 2011, with National Signing Day less than two weeks away, and the Buckeyes have several other recruits they are interested in. The scholarship numbers, limited to 85, are getting a little tight, so some movement with players who aren’t in the two deep is not unexpected.

            You tell me what the difference is between this and a kid transferring from Alabama in mid-June. To me the only difference is that the Bama kid had one more spring practice to rise on the depth chart, where Longo needed to go before NSD to make room since OSU couldn’t oversign (though they did anyway according to oversigning.com)

            • All of those posts have to do with one kid, Sam Longo, who is transferring. You realize OSU can’t even OFFER a scholarship to someone else without accounting for why he is leaving.

              OSU also has to notify the B1G of why he is transferring, WHO INITIATED the process, and others etcetera etcetera.

              Your SEC coach comment about SEC coaches treating them fairly is just speculation, not actual facts.

              You think that OSU will run some kids off based on the assumption that a kid is going to transfer? Just kick kids out and hope that they sign? You realize if the kid didn’t sign, they would be stuck without a prospective scholarship player?

              An athelete gettting cut from alabama in mid june is MUCH MUCH worse.
              1. First off, if he’s forced to transfer in june, he will have a much harder time getting into college in the fall. Most colleges finish their rosters by april/june.
              2. Kids shouldn’t be getting cut just because a better player comes in. If you oversign, YOU HAVE TO CUT PLAYERS. Thats the problem with oversigning, it forces you to cut/encourage players to transfer.

              • Yes, one kid – but that’s all you asked for. Vesper has shown several more (and I’ve come across a few other late January transfers, but without the details).

                My understanding of the B10 rule is that they have to account for the roster spot for every signee over the limit (up to 3). By having Longo transfer when they did, they don’t have to provide this data on him as it simply raises their limit. I could be wrong – you may well be more versed than I on this rule – even still, OSU would never misrepresent or hide information that would harm them would they?

                Your SEC coach comment about SEC coaches treating them fairly is just speculation, not actual facts.

                Not really. Every time I come across an article announcing a transfer from an SEC school, they seem to list where that player is going. Here are the latest from Bama:
                Star Jackson to Ga State:
                http://sports.espn.go.com/ncf/news/story?id=5249261
                BJ Scott to South Alabama:
                http://www.al.com/sports/index.ssf/2011/01/alabama_defensive_bj_scott_wil.html
                Demetrius Goode to North Alabama:
                http://bleacherreport.com/articles/710643-alabama-football-tide-running-back-tranfers-for-his-sr-season-to-get-runs
                You could say that the Bama coaches don’t help with this. From the Goode article, “He comes with the highest recommendations from every coach I had the opportunity to talk to at Alabama in regards to his character, football playing ability and work ethic”. Kinda sounds like the University makes sure their players land on their feet somewhere when they want to transfer.

                You think that OSU will run some kids off based on the assumption that a kid is going to transfer? Just kick kids out and hope that they sign? You realize if the kid didn’t sign, they would be stuck without a prospective scholarship player?

                Do I think that? No. I have little doubt that Longo transfered of his own free will, be it for academic reasons, for more playing time, or some hot chick that he thinks he has a shot with wants him at her school. My point is that people that see Bama transfers and only see kids “cut” should see the same thing here. BTW, OSU fans love to tout the scholarships given to walk-ons when other players don’t sign, or they have summer transfers, so I don’t think they were sweating that.

                An athelete gettting cut from alabama in mid june is MUCH MUCH worse.
                1. First off, if he’s forced to transfer in june, he will have a much harder time getting into college in the fall. Most colleges finish their rosters by april/june.
                2. [a]Kids shouldn’t be getting cut just because a better player comes in. [b]If you oversign, YOU HAVE TO CUT PLAYERS. Thats the problem with oversigning, it forces you to cut/encourage players to transfer.

                1. See Goode above. He announced his transfer this week, and he’s already on a team. Not really a problem.
                2. [a]I agree, but they should have the right to transfer if they won’t be getting much playing time. If it is their desire to play in games, a good coach would assist in helping him find a place where he could contribute more would he not?
                [b] Wrong. If you oversign and nobody transfers, then you have a few guys grayshirt to the next class. As long as you have been up-front with those guys about the situation, and they knew it to be a possibility before they signed, there is no problem, and nobody gets kicked off the team.
                What else you got?

                • You misunderstand the B1G rule. OSU still has to provide the data on Sam Longo. See the excerpt from the chad hawley case if you don’t believe me. I asked for a case where a student was run off. You still haven’t provided one. You even state yourself Longo transferred on his own free will.

                  1. The exception is not the rule. Yes, some athletes can transfer in June, but its not easier. Transferring in June is harder than transferring in march/april.
                  2. [a] I agree that players should be allowed to transfer. No argument here.

                  2 [b] I think elliot porter might disagree with you. Would you agree that this is his fault? What if Les Miles told him he may have to greyshirt? According to you, his treatment was fair.

                  but you seem to want to put the needs of the school before the student. Telling a student “you may have to greyshirt” gives an incentive for coaches to actively push/encourage current players to transfer. Do you disagree?

                  • I may be misreading the B10 rule, but that doesn’t change the possibility of them pushing kids out the door just as much as anybody else. Go read the articles announcing any players transfering from Bama or any other SEC school, you will see the same language you find with Longo (with the added name of the school he is going to), “Mr Football players has decided to transfer to…”. I’m sure some players are encouraged to transfer – it is sometimes in their interest for them to do so. I mean, how many times do you see a starter for anybody transfer? Also, I said I believed Longo transfered of his own free will. I don’t know – but I tend to give everyone the benefit of the doubt. My point is that if you think SEC teams are cutting players, then you should also think Longo was cut – very comparable circumstances.

                    1.I still disagree. Longo announced his transfer less than 2 weeks before NSD. Did that give him enough time to find another team? I would say that most teams have already given out all the offers they can by that point. In all reality, most of these guys transfer to a Div II team where roster space is evidently more fluid.
                    2[b]NO! If I came across as blaming Porter for his situation, that was not my intent. Miles is to blame for not covering his bases were more of his recruits to qualify. If Miles had told him before he signed, yes he would have been treated fairly. I don’t see any harm with that – though from his reaction, it seems that Porter would have gone somewhere else had he known the situation.

                    I don’t believe my stance puts the school before the SA. I don’t deny that it benefits the school, but it is not a win-lose scenario when done right. If a kid wants to go to Bama, and is willing to delay enrollment one semester to do so, how is it a bad thing to let him? Especially when the alternative is that he attends a school of his lesser desire. Properly managed grayshirts allows for more opportunities for incoming recruits, and yes, I see that as a very good thing for the players.

                    I can see where a coach would encourage a kid to transfer – as I’ve discussed earlier. My origional point with Longo, however, was that the same thing can happen with the B10 rules. The difference is that the B10 kids get pushed out before NSD, while the SEC kids have a spring practice to still make a splash. <-Devil's advocate view, not mine.

                • Here’s another example for you from June 30th of last year:

                  Heading into the summer, Indiana was still over its limit of 85 scholarship players on the football roster. However, two recent moves have brought the Hoosiers back to compliance.

                  Running back Shane Covington will transfer according to a source, and defensive tackle Jarrod Smith is staying at Indiana but will leave the football program because of a back injury that cost him much of last season and all spring. By NCAA rule, he will continue to receive a scholarship, but no longer counts against Indiana’s limit of 85 scholarships

                  http://blogs.heraldtimesonline.com/iusp/?p=9000

      • Do you actually read any of In the Middle’s posts? I do. He has never said the B1G is screwing over students, only that the B1G rules do not prevent students from being screwed over, much like they can be screwed over by the SEC’s lack of rules. That is a very big distinction. Any true opponent of oversigning should be concerned by this. Apparently, however, the mindset around here is that the B1G is ethical and no kids ever get screwed.

        Doesn’t Iowa’s 40% attrition rate over a 6-year period (as In the Middle spent a lot of time and research documenting) concern you? Doesn’t the fact that the SEC is currently addressing oversigning encourage you? No, their proposals are not a perfect solution, but sometimes real change takes time. At least there is an admission that there is a problem. You would think that would be cause for at least some small celebration by oversigning opponents, but all you hear around here is bitching and moaning.

        The problem is that facts like these above (Iowa’s attrition rate and the SEC’s admission that change is needed) do not fit the agenda that this site (and many posters) wishes to communicate.

        In the Middle has consistantly called for rules more stringent than the B1G. Why? Maybe because he really does have a problem with oversigning and the exploitation of kids and not simply some vendetta against a certain conference (just my guess). Yet he is constantly accused as being biased and “never bringing facts” to the discussion by many posters on this site, including you. I’m just not sure why anyone who is trully concerned with the welfare of the SA’s wouldn’t be more in agreement with what he says.

        • I do think the SEC is moving in the right direction. You and the SEC are basically admitting, “hey! oversigning is a problem!”

          The B1G rule does not have to worry about that, because there is a rule in place to prevent oversigning and cutting of a player.

          You agree that changes need to be made. Everyone can agree to this. But when it comes to oversigning and maliciously cutting players to make room for more players, the B1G rules prevent that, due to documentation that is submitted to the B1G office about every student who is and was on scholarship for the last year, and why any who left have left and why they have left.

          Think about that – if the B1G wants to OFFER, not if a student accepts, they must provide documentation on any students who have left/will leave, what their reasons for leaving were, whether they request a hearing, etc. How can you claim that rule does not do much to prevent oversigning/kids being cut to make room for more people?

          • I’m assuming you are new around here, because the loopholes in the B1G rules have been pointed out ad nauseam on this site. Roster management is still possible, only the timing changes (Sam Longo, anyone?). As In the Middle pointed out, if you want to educate yourself (if you really do care about the kids, regardless of conference affiliation), the information is on this site. If you want to keep the blinders on and assume that “all is well in the B1G, nothing to see here,” that is your choice…

            • And i have pointed out how those claims have no base. I would be happy to rehash and point out the flaws in them. Here is the short:

              Whenever a B1G school wishes to offer a student a written offer, they MUST inform the B1G office to account for all of their student athletes. If a student athelete is transferring/leaving, they must tell the B1G office who started the process for transfer, whether the student has requested a hearing, etc.

              How do you propose the B1G gets around this and cuts players? Do they simply write on their scholarship forms to the B1G office “well, we want to offer this one guy, so we decided to cut someone else”

              Is it really to much to ask for a football program to inform their conference of the students which are on scholarship, and which ones aren’t? or which ones are leaving?

              AS for sam longo, i’ve stated before and i’ve stated again: please point out to where he says he was cut, instead of transferring.

              • How they might do it, I’m not sure. However if anybody in the B1G is looking for pointers on how to effectively lie and game the system in order to gain a competitive advantage, they should call ol’ Jim Tressel at Ohio State. He seems to have it figured out.

                Keep in mind, I’m not saying that anybody in the B1G does this. I’m simply illustrating the point that having extensive bureaucratic red tape (as the NCAA definitively does in the realm of compliance) does not make it impossible for a clever dissembler to do wrong. To believe otherwise is to either be naive or willfully obtuse and generally ignorant of the modern American condition.

                • Yes, you could have people who skirt the rules. But that’s like saying, “we shouldn’t have rules because people could break them”

                  Yes, coaches may/can lie to the B1G office. But you would have to agree that SOME oversight is better than none. Right?

                  • I don’t know anyone here who thinks otherwise.

                    I think the issue here is that you’re making your argument sound like the B1G rules on oversigning are foolproof, which they are most definitely not. I’m glad you’ve come to a place where you can acknowledge that, though.

          • And for the record, I never said the B1G rule didn’t help discourage oversigning. It is a useful rule that goes a long way, but it is not perfect and abuses can still occur. Why is it so controversial to point this out and say, “we can do better for the student athelete?”

          • I agree with Chuy above. Your comment also insinuates that SEC teams are outright cutting players. This isn’t the case. Players transfer, just like in the B10. Now, you can accuse them of being forced out, but I can do the same for players leaving the B10 in the same fasion – and when player attrition is compared between the conferences, there is no difference. So either the SEC is not cutting or forcing players off, or the B10 is – take your pick.

            • You don’t think players getting screwed over like elliot porter is a big deal? Maybe not.

              Here is the difference: B1G schools are forced to account for every student leaving the program whenever they OFFER to a prospective athlete. Its a detailed, DOCUMENTED process. What is wrong with documenting your process to the conference offices? It prevents abuse.

              For a B1G coach to cut a player, he would have to lie on his forms, and cut players without the gaurantee that a prospective athlete is even coming to the school.

              So when comparing player attrition between conferences, there is a huge difference:

              In one conference, you have a documented process where all student athletes are accounted for whenever a new athlete is offered a scholarship.

              In the other conference you have coaches who can offer more scholarships than they have available without any conference oversight on whether the students are being treated fairly.

              Why don’t you take your pick?

              • Wait, a coach would have to lie on his form to the conference? You mean falsify a document? Clearly, that would NEVER happen.

                Again, B1G rules are better than SEC’s — does anyone dispute this? The B1G rules are not bulletproof and do not prevent roster management. What is wrong with pointing that out. Everyone is only concerned with the SA’s, right?

              • LOL. A B1G coach lie on his forms?????

                Who could ever imagine such a thing? Are you for real?

              • Yet the attrition rate I found in the B10 is actually a hair higher than that in the SEC. If SEC teams were cutting players left and right like you inferr, their attrition rates would be much higher – I would expect 15-20% higher, yet they are basically the same. I wonder why?

                I do think the Elliot Porter fiasco was a big deal. I don’t think that banning or capping oversigning is the answer. Miles didn’t think some of his players would qualify, and when they did, he had to grayshirt someone who he hadn’t discussed the possibility with. He screwed him over, no denying. Even still, Porter didn’t lose his scholarship. He still had one, they just needed him to delay his enrollment – which he didn’t want to do. The answer is in making sure that the teams are informing their recruits as to the status of their offer – whether they may be asked to grayshirt or not, not wholesale banning a practice that offers more opportunity to kids.

                • The attrition rates are not the same. The data SI collected shows differently.

                  How do you know Miles didn’t discuss the greyshirt possibility with Elliot porter? What if Miles informed him of the possibility of a greyshirt. You are basically saying Miles is justified in his actions if he told him he may have to greyshirt.

                  “they just needed him to delay his enrollment” All he had to do was put his life on hold for the sake of the school. Really? He should be punished because coach Miles messed up? Is that fair/ethical?

                  • Please link that data, I don’t think I’ve seen it.

                    How do I know? I guess I don’t, but Porter’s reaction was pretty telling. If Miles had discussed with Porter before he signed the possibility of him being grayshirted, and he agreed to it and signed, how is he wronged if what was told to him could happen, happened? That is obviously not what occurred as I think even Miles has admitted to bumbling the case.

                    I’ve said Porter was screwed, how else do I say that?

                    • Not to defend Miles’ screw up, but after that whole fiasco Porter is now…wait for it…back at LSU. As a walk on.

                    • Porter’s issue wasn’t a problem of greyshirting, it was a problem of him understanding that he may be greyshirted.

                      He either was mislead or plain didn’t understand… either way, the greyshirt was the problem… it offer was.

                      The SEC and the NCAA needs to seperate out greyshirt offers from current class offers. They need to be CLEARLY seperate offers. You cannont move a current year offer to greyshirt and you only have enough current years offers to fill your current openings (much like the Big 10 rule), but you can give all the greyshirts you want up the amount of athletes that will expire their eligabitly the next year. A greyshirt can move to current year IF an opeing comes up… but you cannot move a current year offer to a greyshirt.

                      You’ll never stop forced attrition with any rule… even if you say the scholarship is good for 4 years at signing day, you’ll still have coaches benching kids and trying to run them off…. just no way to stop it. With a Greyshirt offer being seperate from current year, at least each kid and family would fully understand what is being offered them and they could make a better informed decision on what is going to be best for them.

          • “a rule in place to prevent oversigning and cutting of a player”

            oversigning: yes.

            cutting: lol

    • Textbook misdirection. Learn that in the first or second grade?

    • In the Middle.

      Just comical. You’re nothing but a pro-oversigning, SEC hack.

      • That’s hilarious coming from you. WORST. TROLL. EVER.

        • Coming from me? Um, yeah. That makes no sense.

          I don’t claim to be in the middle. Only one idiot here does that.

      • If you find out I write for a small Southern regional paper, does that mean you have to apologize?

        I stipulate the problem. I think the solution should focus on the athletes in question, not institutional equality. If the solution’s more worried about Alabama getting an edge on Northwestern than the student getting a fair shake, then the solution’s flawed. You and Joshua think the B1G rule accomplishes both. I don’t. That makes you throw names and insults around as if you’re proving something.

        I’m not “in the middle” on you, TD. You’re not oversigning. I’ve been over this.

  3. wow, bring up the “That is THREE former players coming out and saying they believed the team used the medical hardships to clear roster space for better players” again.

    when yet again, that is not what the article says. Maybe if you read the article. They talked to 3 Bama players that took a medical redshirt, 2 said it was their choice and 1 player said that he felt pressured and that it was dont to clear roster space.

    • edit:again, 2 players DID NOT say it was done to clear roster space. yet state that they did. sort of sounds like libel, doesnt it? I dont see statements from the other 2 players stating that the team used medical redshirts to clear roster space.

  4. Just about everything in this write-up is twisted, taken out of context, or just bad opinion. For clarity, I will break up my response into multiple posts.

    Shouldn’t the situations like Elliott Porter, Chris Garrett, and Steven Wesley be the situations that everyone holds onto, not the positives?

    So, basically throw the baby out with the bathwater, yeah that’s usually acceptable as the best solution? Why not study the cause of these negatives and address them in a way that eliminates them while holding on to the positive? I’m not saying that the Slive proposal does that – I don’t think at this time that it does – but shouldn’t that be the best course of action, not a knee-jerk elimination of something that really doesn’t solve the problem?

    The stories of kids having their scholarship offers pulled the day before signing day by Spurrier … shouldn’t that be what we hold on to?

    Sure, but don’t pretend that eliminating oversigning would solve that one. Oversigning had nothing whatsoever to do with that, and you know it. That was caused by Spurrier having more kids accept verbals than he had anticipated, and getting caught by the SEC’s new 28 rule. Had that rule not been in place, those kids would have still had their offer. If you truly are concerned about that, then you should be against a cap on signees. These are the type of problems you are asking for by requesting caps on signees. Expect to see more of it, not less as teams learn to adapt to the new rules.

  5. The rules regarding selling personal memorabilia are in place to prevent a booster from buying a jersey from a player for $100K, not because they don’t want some kid selling his ring at a fraction of its value.

    No, if a player sells his jersey for $1, then he has profited from his status as an athlete. The amount is irrelevant from the NCAA point of view.

    What’s more harmful, a kid getting a few extra bucks or some poor kid losing his scholarship at the last minute because a coach oversigned his class to bring in better talent so that he can keep making his millions of dollars?

    Please cite one example of a kid who lost his scholarship. Don’t give me Porter. While everyone will acknowledge that he was wronged, he did not lose his scholarship. His scholarship was still there, they were just asking him to delay his enrollment. I’m not defending Miles here – he was wrong, flat out in his actions here – but stop portraying it as his scholarship being taken away. That is misleading at best.

    • Out of curiosity, do you think there should be rules in place to prevent a situation like Elliot Porter?

      • Absolutely! What Bathel, myself, Vesper, and others have been promoting for some time is sepeeate LOIs. One for a standard offer for the current class (limited to the number of spots open) and another for grayshirts. The grayshirt could be upgraded if a position comes available, but not the other way around. Thiks would solve the issues like Porter – the B10 rule would not.

  6. By oversigning, coaches can bring in a few extra guys and work them through the spring while at the same time working the 5th year guys that have eligibility remaining, and then after spring training is over coaches can make a decision as to whether or not they want to renew a 5th year guy who may or may not have graduated yet, knowing all along they have an ace in the hole and will end up with the best 85. The coaches want their cake and eat it too.

    First, you just quoted Nick Saban talking about this very thing, so we are led to believe that your accusation is against him in particular – even though the quote you used had him specifically stating that the player makes the decision on whether or not to return. You can take it with a grain of salt if you want, but your accusations are empty, pure speculation.
    Secondly, if a player is participating in spring practice, they aren’t competing for a roster spot, they already have one. You can’t enroll early, go through spring practice, then get cut or even go to a grayshirt. What you are describing doesn’t happen.

    Why is it that 5th year guys can’t make a decision as to whether or not they want to come back in January…Just recently Alabama had a 5th year RB Demetrius Goode participate in spring practice, indicating he hadn’t given up on football, but then after spring practice decided he wanted to go to UNA instead. Perhaps he wanted playing time, fine. But can’t that decision be made in January…

    So are we concerned with the student or you rival’s competitive advantage? Which is more important to you? I think your stance here is telling. Your example of Goode is a good one. Goode is a good RB, he was slowed by injuries earlier in his career, and later was buried behind Coffee, Ingram, and Richardson. He competed pretty evenly with Eddie Lacy, but Lacy has won out. Lacy had fumbling issues last year as the 3rd back, and there was probably the possibility that Goode could pass him and be Bama’s 2nd back. But through spring practice, it seems that Lacy has cleared that issue up, meaning that Goode would be the 3rd back – and then enter Demetrius Hart, a true freshman who really impressed everybody much more than expected. Going into spring, Goode had a reasonable chance at the #2 spot, exiting spring he is likely the #4 guy. Had he been forced to decide in January he would be making a decision without the best information. After spring, he has a better feel for what his options are. Is that not better for the student? Or maybe the student is not our main concern here afterall?

  7. On the other side of the battle line you have Florida and Georgia who have both been very outspoken about the abuses of oversigning and greyshirting

    Like when Richt says the following, “Not that we haven’t grayshirted, or talked to guys about grayshirting. If you tell five of those guys ‘Hey we’ve got 20 spaces. I can sign 25. There’s a good chance that by school starts there’ll be room for you, because of the attrition that happens every year everywhere you go. If there’s space for you, you come in with your class. If there’s not space for you, are you willing to come in in January?” Yea, that’s a real condemnation for oversigning right there. It’s not like I pulled a quote from 10 years ago either, that is from the same article where you pulled your other quotes.
    And the kicker is that I agree with him. Anyone doing what he describes is doing it wrong, and I’d like to see legislation brought up that would fix it – but it is not an oversigning problem, it is problems relating to being up-front and honest with the kids.

    there is nothing wrong with selling your jersey for a few bucks, so long as you don’t sell it to a booster for $100K, right?

    No, as an ameture athlete, selling anything gained through the status of being that athlete for $1 would be against the rules. I thought you were against making these kids semi-pro. At least you seem to be when the SEC is compared to such. Surely the recent articles about OSU players has nothing to do with these comments does it?

    It has become extremely clear that the coaches that want to continue oversigning all want you to believe that there is nothing wrong with the practice as long as it is done the right way.

    You are correct. Why isn’t it?

  8. At the end of the day it all comes back to the competitive advantage aspect of the argument and the pressure on these coaches to win

    And there we have it. That really is the crux of the argument for you isn’t it? Well, this has nothing to do with what’s best for the players, this is all about some teams acquiring better talent than your team (within the rules). You must find a way to put an end to it. Your interest isn’t with kids getting screwed over. If it were, you would focus on solutions that would solve that problem. You rail on and on about how oversigners are exploiting kids to make their millions of dollars, yet you propose nothing that would actually protect the ones being exploited. Your goal seems to be reducing the talent level of the SEC, and while you highlight kids being cut or put on medical scholarships, nothing you have proposed will end those practices. And why should they? That is not your goal.

  9. As the Wall Street Journal pointed out, Nick Saban’s medical hardship numbers are way above the norm,

    This again? Yes, the WSJ insinuated that Bama was much higher than everyone else, though they didn’t actually say that. Here is the quote:

    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

    Notice that little “at least”? That means they don’t know how many, and evidently didn’t try too hard to find out. From the 2008 signing classes that I looked at, there were 10 medicals from SEC schools apart from Bama (who had 1 at the time of the writing). Are we to believe that only 2 came from the other years from these 11 teams? That was a very misleading statement, and regardless of how many times I’ve pointed it out, you continue to use it.
    You also continue to misrepresent what the 3 players actually said, but I’ll try not to go there again.

    In one breath Saban says, “I medical them so they can stay in school,” and in the next breath he says, “I don’t make those decisions, either.

    I think it is fairly obvious that the first “I” he uses is meant at the leader of the organization, where the second one is himself personally. Perfectly reasonable uses that you take out of context to fit your criticisms.

    We have a couple of suggestions: 1. many of these medical hardships are the result of a numbers crunch because of oversigning, eliminate the oversigning and you would see a drastic decline in the number of medical hardships issued by schools that oversign, 2. have the NCAA conduct an exit interview with the kids placed on medical hardship

    1. How do you know this? I’ve shown where oversigning teams really don’t have any higher attrition than the B10, so does this mean that the B10 is simply cutting the players they don’t want instead of offering them medicals? Even if we granted that this is happening, which is better for the kid?

    2. I don’t have a problem with this. I really don’t think it is necessary, but if an interview with a kid who has signed a letter saying that he agrees with the findings of the medical staff and has accepted a medical scholarship would make you happier, then I don’t see where it hurts anybody and wouldn’t be against it.

    • You have not “shown” that there is equal attrition. You have made the claim, then claimed certain “justified” exceptions. Not the same. The signing numbers don’t back you up.

      • I have not proven it over time, no. But I have shown that the 2008 classes are essentially equal between the conferences. You have disagreed (the only one to do so) with the standard for which I counted against attrition. If you can show me a reasonable way that a player who never participated with the team can be considered cut from that team, then I’ll adjust the numbers accordingly. The signing numbers are not what I looked at, and explained that so in my origional post. The signing numbers are misleading and do not represent bodies on the field – that takes a little time and effort to find.

    • “Nick Saban’s medical hardship numbers are way above the norm”. And what is the norm, Josh? I don’t see how you can accuse someone of being over the norm without knowing what constitutes the norm. Of course, I pointed this out to Josh several months ago, but it hasn’t stopped him from making this same baseless claim.

      I really wish someone would do the research to determine the average number of medicals per team per year. I think most people would be very surprised at how many there actually are. It would be difficult to do based on internet searches because schools/coaches often do not provide enough details about departing players to determine the cause. “Left the team” or “retired from football” could mean any number of things including medical disqualification.

      Be that as it may, I did pick 3 schools known for not oversigning, and here is what I found:

      FLORIDA – 3 medical hardships since the end of the ’10 season (Steven Wilks, Desmond Parks, TJ Pridemore)

      GEORGIA – 6 medical hardships in the last 2 years (Neland Ball, Tony Wilson, Bryce Ros, Quinten Banks, Jonathan Owens, Jeremy Longo) plus another player who quit the team with eligibility remaining due to injuries (Tanner Strickland)

      NEBRASKA – 5 medical harships in the last 2 years (Blake Lawrence, Matt Holt, Ryan Hill, Jesse Coffee, Kody Spano) plus at least one more who may have gone on medical (Jaivorio Burkes)

      So, I ask again, what is the norm? If Ohio State chooses to not put players on medical no matter what so that they can still be officially on the team, then that’s great for them. The policy that works best for one team isn’t necessarily the policy that works best for every team. But that’s not the way that Josh’s mind works. If Ohio State doesn’t believe in granting medical hardships than no team should. That’s why he decided to highlight the exceptional case of Michigan State cancer survivor Arthor Ray. One little problem; it turns out that Arthor Ray actually was placed on medical hardship – not that Josh has ever retracted his comments or even admitted that he was wrong. By the way, right about the time that Ray was coming off medical hardship Michigan State placed David Barrent on medical due to chronic lower back problems. Wasn’t Michigan State +4 in the cup standings on NSD?

      But it’s like I said. Josh simply can’t grasp the concept that different programs might have different ways of doing things. That’s why he asks why Houston Nutt can’t sign 17 players per class like Pat Fitzgerald. As if the 2 coaches are in identical situations. Somehow, I doubt that Fitzgerald would be signing 17 per class if he were coaching at Ole Miss.

      Josh, here are some words of advice from your friend Chad Hawley, associate commissioner of the Big Ten:

      “Just because something makes sense philosophically to us, it doesn’t exactly translate to an expectation that everyone else thinks the way that we do. That’s part of it. We look at it not just as a football issue but an issue in all sports. For this past year’s NCAA legislative cycle, we actually did submit a proposal that would have imposed signing limits in the sport of baseball, and that proposal went down in flames a couple of weeks ago. It didn’t get any national support. Part of it’s looking at whether something would be adopted nationally. The other part of it is just because something makes sense philosophically to you doesn’t necessarily mean it’s right for everybody else

      http://espn.go.com/blog/bigten/post/_/id/23032/the-big-tens-take-on-oversigning-part-i

  10. what it comes down to is ,saban is doing the same thing bryant did..hes taking in as much talent as he can and keeping another school from getting them..back when bryant did it it was no rule on limits,but now it is..i think if saban and bama nation wanna claim that he is the best coach in the world,then he should stop using talent and let it get passed around ,dont be afraid to play a team..iv noticed that he will play a over rated penn st team that lost everybody from the last class…and iv noticed that since shulas boys are gone,that he doesnt play the atlanta game anymore to start the season…its the same old story..he comes to a team where all the schools are down he wins rite quick and when the other teams catch up,he runs off..lsu,and bama..look for him to be on espn talking after this iron bowl loss..hes got 30 million from bama hes 60 years old,and he cant beat auburn with 2#1 classes at home after a nat champ season at home withe 24 point lead..look for him and myer to try and see whos the best talker..which would be myer,cause saban uses sign languague..looks like hes swatting flies,could be from the smell of the load he dropped for being treated like a bitch in the ironbowl..war dam eagle..he oversigns and still loses…lol hes an old ass joke…

    • Does Bama play with more than 85 kids on scholarship….? How do the keep talent from other schools if they have never gone above the 85 scholarship rule?

      and iv noticed that since shulas boys are gone,that he doesnt play the atlanta game anymore to start the season…its the same old story..he comes to a team where all the schools are down he wins rite quick and when the other teams catch up,he runs off..

      I think you forget that Bama was coming off probation and scholarship restrictions when Saban came in. I don’t think he had a very full stock of talent to pull from. He’s done a very good job in getting talent to come to Alabama since he’s come in… Now, how long he stays… who knows… He’ll be the coach for as long as he wants, or as long as the Alumni want him… either way, sooner or later there will be a new coach. I hope it’s much later…

      You AU fan’s just need to enjoy your once in a life time National Championship… I really don’t understand all the hate you spew… Auburn is a good program and Bama losing to them isn’t the end of the world, just as Auburn losing to Bama isn’t the end of the world.

  11. all of you people keep saying that this is not a problem,but think about this,you have a kid,he gets a scholly from bama,you take him for the visit,saban says we want him to come in and play for us bad..he may have to redshirt his first seasondue to the fact that we have 6 players in front of him and 2 are seniors.. you and your kid goes thru the process.you say dam son glad you got a free ride thru school,that helps us out for your brother or sister….1 year passes the redshirt year..everything is going good..the 2nd year comes around and saban says you should take a medical hardship..cause we got a guy we want but dont have room..so your kid wants to play football.so he says i dont want to i was told you wanted me bad,and i wanna play, so saban drops your sons scholly,since they are 1 year at a time,so now your kid is not in school or playing football,after all you went thru,you have to go thru the same shit..and if no other school wants him, you have to pay his way,,when all this could have been avoided by just saying no saban,you have to many players at my sons position,so we goona go to where he atleast has a chance of seeing the field in year 2..see the problem is the coaches make all the choices,where as if my son was a 4 star and saban wanted him,id say are you gonna make sure my sons here all 4 years..the people pay the coach but let the coach do what he wants,,thats where the bullshit comes in at..and if saban told me it dont work like that then ill take my son somewhere else..if he wanted him as bad as he claimed at first,then he should make sure that he stays 4 years..why replace a 4 star with a 4 star..if hes not coach enough to make a 4 star better,then why does he want another one..seems to me as he wants the kids to make his job easier,,for 6 million a year,nothing about his job should be easy..if the kids are the ones making the school the money,and not getting paid,then the coach should not be able to cut his time short..if thats the case then saban needs to check his recruits before they commit..if he dont want them dont offer..he needs to show proof on how many schollys he has ,if he refuses to show it,then the ncaa needs to cut off his recruiting list and say noone signs with bama till he shows his list..i know people thinks he looks good and acts professional when the cameras are rolling,but he is by far the biggest cheat in football..

    • first seasondue to the fact that we have 6 players in front of him and 2 are seniors.. you and your kid goes thru the process.you say dam son glad you got a free ride thru school,that helps us out for your brother or sister….1 year passes the redshirt year..everything is going good..the 2nd year comes around and saban says you should take a medical hardship..cause we got a guy we want but dont have room..so your kid wants to play football.so he says i dont want to i was told you wanted me bad,and i wanna play, so saban drops your sons scholly,since they are 1 year at a time,so now your kid is not in school or playing football,after all you went thru,you have to go thru the same shit..

      In what distorted world has this every happened at Bama? Please point to an example…

      As for the rest of your post, it’s utter nonsense. It’s hard as hell to read and even harder to take serious. I know it’s an internet blog site, but please use some punctuation and maybe a paragraph break from time to time. I can’t imagine that those AU alumni aren’t cringing when they read your post and know that you are the shinning example for AU…

    • he needs to show proof on how many schollys he has

      You do know that all schools, including Alabama, provide this to the NCAA in complience with the 85 scholarship rule…

  12. Too many seperate threads of people trying the same old argument. I’ll try to summarize them up.

    usual quote: The B1G rule just moves up the date which players are cut.
    Think about it – If a coach cuts a player, but the player he’s intending to give a scholarship to doesn’t sign, he is now down a scholarship slot. He has to watch his players more, determine which are worth, and if he cuts a player, he risks screwing himself. He also has to account/document for each player with the team, give an explanation for why each student left, etcetera.

    Compare that with how oversigning works: A coach can go out “offering scholarships like candy”. His goal is to suck up as many 4-5 star recruits. After signing day, he can go out and “encourage” players to transfer or take a medical schollie.

    In one case, a coach has multiple disincentives to oversign and cut players: he has to document his process, and if he does cut and the player doesn’t sign, he’s screwing his team over. On the other side, a coach is encouraged to try to sign like crazy, and clean up the mess afterwords. If a player refuses to leave, just greyshirt an incoming student. Who cares what the student wants. Which situation does more to prevent players getting cut?

    • I assure you that no no B1G coach will ever be lacking in recruits anxious to fill a scholarship. Same can be said of any BCS conference coach. I doubt that particular disincentive is all that powerful.

    • Think about it – If a coach cuts a player, but the player he’s intending to give a scholarship to doesn’t sign, he is now down a scholarship slot.

      The idea is that the coach is forcing out a kid that isn’t performing… if he isn’t performing, he isn’t going to see the field… so it wouldn’t matter if you played that year with 85 scholarships or 80…. those 5 you are down wouldn’t matter… So if you cut them early or later, would be the same. Cut them early and you can replace them current year, cut them late and you replace then next year. Either way, the Big 10 rule doesn’t stop it.

      He also has to account/document for each player with the team, give an explanation for why each student left, etcetera.

      Is there any player that has left Alabama that hasn’t been documented in the media? Would the Big 10 have “dissallowed” and of the transfers that Bama has had? How does getting it cleared by the conference do anything… Yes, Mr. Big 10 Commisioner… Player Smith wants to transfer to a different school and we have granted that transfer…

      Compare that with how oversigning works: A coach can go out “offering scholarships like candy”. His goal is to suck up as many 4-5 star recruits. After signing day, he can go out and “encourage” players to transfer or take a medical schollie.

      Sure, you can say as a coach… Smith, you haven’t really performed well and I don’t see where you are going to make the field. I think you should consider a transfer to a different school if you want to see any real playing time. Look at our depth chart and the talent we have coming in…. The player still is the one that HAS to sign the transfer request…. The coach CANNOT force any kid to transfer. Granted, he can reason with them and let them know that there isn’t much of a chance for him to get playing time, but I would see this a more of a good thing than bad. A coach is being honest with a player and giving him the reality of his situation. If he’s fine riding pine, he can do so… but I think you’ll find a lot of players will opt to transfer to get playing time.

      On the other side, a coach is encouraged to try to sign like crazy, and clean up the mess afterwords. If a player refuses to leave, just greyshirt an incoming student. Who cares what the student wants. Which situation does more to prevent players getting cut?

      The heart of that is the misleading recruiting and not the “oversigning”. If you put rules into place that seperate out greyshirt offers from current year offers, then the athlete’s know what is being offered to them. They can decide if they want to risk waiting a year to play, or take an offer from a different school that is offering a current year scholarship. As has been said here many many times. There is nothing unethical about greyshirting a player. There is nothing bad about it.. nothing evil.

      • The thing is, sometimes the kids are performing. He just may not be as good as some other talent prospects. You fail to account that scenario. A lot of the people on scholarship are 3 star athletes, especially for your big well known institutions.

        Explanations as to why a student have left do help out. Think about it – if you have to document WHY a player left, its a lot harder to cut him. Wouldn’t you agree? You can’t just put on there “Coach had three 5 star prospects incoming, so we decided to let him go”. It also documents who initiated it, whether there was a hearing, etc.

        I agree that students should be allowed to transfer. And if there is a lot of depth coming in, especially at the athletes position, then he may opt to do that. But you do realize that since scholarships are a 1 year deal, a coach can refuse to renew the scholarship. A coach should not have an incentive to encourage a player to leave. Thats what you get with oversigning.

        We actually do agree on the last part. I’m fine if the student knowlingly signs a document that says “you will greyshirt”/ come in in the spring, as long as its a written contract. a verbal “you may have to greyshirt” is not really acceptable and prone to abuse. It IS unethical, to do what LSU did to elliot porter. Wouldn’t you agree? Shouldn’t there be rules to prevent situations like Elliot Porters?

        • Explanations as to why a student have left do help out. Think about it – if you have to document WHY a player left, its a lot harder to cut him. Wouldn’t you agree? You can’t just put on there “Coach had three 5 star prospects incoming, so we decided to let him go”. It also documents who initiated it, whether there was a hearing, etc.

          What Alabama transfer hasn’t been documented… if you want to inact a rule to get the SEC’s signoff on transfer… so be it. I don’t think it would/will do anything.

          I agree that students should be allowed to transfer. And if there is a lot of depth coming in, especially at the athletes position, then he may opt to do that. But you do realize that since scholarships are a 1 year deal, a coach can refuse to renew the scholarship. A coach should not have an incentive to encourage a player to leave. Thats what you get with oversigning.

          Give 4 year deals then… I have no issue with that. Oversigning and 1 year deals are different issues, and I’m all for revising the 1 year deal. BTW, offically… the coach doesn’t cancel the scholarship, at least at Alabama they don’t. There is a committy that normally listen to what the coach says and follows his suggestion, but it’s the commities decision and a player is allowed to appeal the decision. Now, I don’t see how that would help him… but that’s the way it is set at least at Bama. Again, I’m all for a 4 year deal.

          It IS unethical, to do what LSU did to elliot porter. Wouldn’t you agree? Shouldn’t there be rules to prevent situations like Elliot Porters?

          I don’t think anyone of the pro-oversigning posters on this site have said anything other than that. I don’t fully know what Porter was told and understood, but from the outside looking in I would say it wasn’t on the up and up. That is why I would love to see seperate offers so the families and kids know what is being offered.

          Listen, the Big 10 rule limits the offers that are given out to players you know will accept. You can’t waste too many offers if any on guys that are questionable qualifiers or guys that may choose to go to a different school. Greyshirt offers helps smooth that over. It allows the school to make extra offers to cover guys that change their decision, don’t qualify or to cover guys that transfer or leave the team for other reasons. Where Josh is wrong, is that the Greyshirt offer is the root of the evil. The misleading information and lies in recruiting are what is wrong. Killing greyshirt doesn’t do anything.

          A coach that is running players off the team to fill new spots with talent will still do that with the Big 10 rule. Why would you or Josh think that an “unethical” coach wouldn’t take advantage of the fact that the Big 10 rule doesn’t do anything to stop running kids off to make room for new talent? All the Big 10 rule does is kill greyshirts.

        • Luke,

          I’m not sure how long you’ve been reading the site, but I think I can say that all the “Pro-Oversinging” posters would all agree that the misleading of any recruite or the forcing of attrition to make room for new talent is wrong. I don’t know of any poster that is supporting that. Josh has for some reason decided that the SEC is evil and that Nick Saban is the Devil. He looks at information with blinders on. He tries to spin the information to support his bias. It’s his site and he’s free to do that…

          I personally don’t care about pointing fingers at the Big 10 or Ohio State. No school is going to be perfect and all are going to have issues from time to time. The school and the conference will have to deal with these issues as the come up the best they can. So, I’m not going to go down the road of slamming the Big 10 or Ohio State…

          Oversigning isn’t a bad thing. There is nothing wrong with it as long as both sides are in full understanding of what is going on and agree to it. If a kid is willing to wait to get on the team, then he should be free to do it and the school should be bound to that scholarship offer the following year… a binding “greyshirt” offer. They way the NLI is written today, that is not the case IF the school ask the player to “greyshirt”. The only way the NLI is binding is if the player decides to “greyshirt”. I don’t know how they would be able to determine one from the other… but that is the way the NLI is written. The issue is, there is no seperate offer of greyshirt. They all sign the same NLI. This is where the confusion or misleading comes in. The coaches can gloss over that and the player may not fully understand it. They sign the NLI and think it’s all good… when in fact it isn’t. If they had to sign a Greyshirt offer OR as Current Year Offer, they would know what kind of offer they had and therefore be able to decide what was best for them. Then if you oversign by 10, who cares. Those 10 kids KNEW they were being offered for the next year. Now, you have to be able to bind that offer, so you’d only be able to oversign by the amount of expiring eligability for that next year. Now, you’d need to buffer that some how to reduce it from that number as you’d have to make room for any medical redshirts… so maybe you’d have to hold back 3 or 5 or whatever smarter thinking people than me would deteremin….

          Bottom line, I think you’ll find that we “Pro-Oversingers” are all for and support rule changes to help infom the recruits and are not for misleading or running kids off…

  13. OSU not being very transparent….The gold standard for all colleges…

    http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5ipB70eVFBx5yk87b4_A-hs4bDpPg?docId=f33b2881ec2d4f33a049cfa48be61355

    In an email on Friday, Ohio State’s Office of Legal Affairs declined to release the records because it said doing so would mean giving up information without the student’s consent.
    “The university is prohibited from releasing information that can be reasonably linked to an individual,” the office said in the statement.
    Privacy law protects certain records of students at schools receiving federal money. It usually covers personal information such as race, religion, grades, courses taken, attendance, disciplinary and health records.

    • They are doing what they have to per FERPA. If you are a student, you are protected from the school releasing personal info even to your parents without your permission.

      • I posted this because this site, and the guy behind this site, constantly accuses Alabama of doing something wrong by not releasing the names of it’s SAs who are on scholarship. Alabama cited federal privacy laws as the reason it does not release the names of it’s SAs on scholarship. Now that OSU is in trouble where is the transparency and demand for transparency from OSU? Or does Alabama have a legitimate reason not to release the names of it’s SAs on scholarship now? What is it going to be? Will there be a consistent response from this site regarding transparency? I already know the answer….not.

  14. If the Big 10 rules prevent oversigning, then why is Ohio State oversigned?

  15. Luke,

    Perhaps you can help me out with something. I’m having difficulty resolving what appears to be a discrepancy. According to Josh, the Big Ten office claims that only one member institution oversigned. But according to Josh’s oversigning cup standings Michigan State, Penn State, Ohio State, and Michigan were oversigned on NSD. Josh included links to support all of these except Michigan State. Additionaly, various sources indicate that Wisconsin, Purdue, and Indiana oversigned. Some of these sources even have a tally of all the scholarship players by name.

    So either all these blogs, articles, scholarship charts, etc… are wrong or there’s something in the Big Ten’s rules that prevent schools from being categorized as oversigners as defined by Josh. I’m sure you’ll argue it’s the former, but let me remind you once again that none of us have actually read the Big Ten rule. Hawley gave us the framework but the devil is in the details.

    One last thing to consider. Illinois is not mentioned above but I have pretty good reason to suspect that they oversigned. Over the last 4 signing classes they have signed 101 LOIs; that’s 1 less than LSU. In the most recent class they brought in 28 (27 on NSD plus one in April). But that’s not even the interesting part. In addition to those 28, there were 5 other players committed to Illinois on NSD but did not sign LOIs. One is greyshirting (Isaiah Stallings). Two are blueshirting (Hayden Daniels, Chase Haslett) which is where they walk-on in the fall so they won’t count against the 25 or 85 limits, but they’ve been promised scholarships in the spring. Two others were committed since summer (Hunter Wells, Daniel Rhodes) but did not sign LOIs on NSD and no one seems to know why. Are they greyshirting too or was Illinois forced to take away their offers because of the 28 limit as South Carolina was forced to do with Mauldin and Montgomery? Illinois didn’t have any early enrollees to backcount, so they really were up against the 28 LOI limit.

    Here’s what Illinois coach, Ron Zook, had to say about the numbers at his NSD press conference:

    “There’s 27 guys, and we’ve signed more than that in years going past. But you know we’ll just have to wait and see how it all works out. Everybody knows exactly where they are and what they have to do. We’ll see how it all falls out.”

    If that wasn’t enough, it was announced yesterday that Brandon Clear is transferring from Clemson to Illinois this summer. So, 27 LOIs on NSD, one late commitment in April, 3-5 grayshirts/blueshirts, and 1 transfer. Did I mention that Illinois only had 14 seniors on the roster last season (3 juniors turned pro)? Are you still convinced that the Big Ten rule doesn’t have loopholes?

    • These standings are not perfect and up to date/and get updated frequently. There is a major difference between being off by one or two, and being off by 7-10. We don’t always have all the information about everyone who has left/has announced their intentions to transfer.

      Are you arguing that Chad Hawley lied? He laid out the terms in pretty simple verbage. Its pretty simple, the B1G rule kicks in whenever a team offers a scholarship, they can’t have more than 3 offers over their scholarship limit and a time, and they must document everyone who was on scholarship from the previous year. That doesn’t seem too hard to follow.

      As for illinois, are you aware they’ve gone through multiple position coaching changes, and Ron Zook is on the hot seat? You’re bound to see more players leaving/tranferring during transitions. So yes, I doubt the B1G rule doesn’t have loopholes. Still have seen any evidence to the contrary.

      • The interesting thing about that last bit about the relationship between transitions and attrition is that you and vesper are probably in complete agreement. In fact, I’ve seen pretty much the entirety of the “pro-oversigning” crowd cite transition attrition as a reason for oversigning and it’s necessity. (Seems like there’s a lot more common ground between the two sides than one might first assume, eh?)

        Anyway, I think the point vesper is actually trying to make here, though, is that if a B1G team (or just about any other) is going through transition-related attrition, it gets excused and no one makes a peep about it. And, indeed, no stories on Illinois’ situation have appeared on this website, to the best of my knowledge. However, no such latitude seems to be afforded to SEC teams. Regardless of if attrition could be linked to coaching transition, the moment one of the big, sexy SEC teams starts losing players, you can bet a story insinuating the worst will be up in an instant.

        I believe that’s the argument, anyway.

      • The numbers shouldn’t be that difficult to figure out. Weren’t OSU and the Big 10 being lauded for transparency?

        If oversigning is unethical, it is unethical to oversign by one or two or three. This forum exposes Michigan State, Penn State, Ohio State, and Michigan. They have oversigned as of NSD. Yes… the rules are simple; Big 10 schools can oversign.

      • We don’t always have all the information about everyone who has left/has announced their intentions to transfer.

        Thank you. That’s something I’ve been trying to get Josh to acknowledge for the past year, and that’s what I was getting at when I was asking you those questions about how the Big Ten rule deals with potential transfers and 5th year seniors. But if we’re to assume the numbers are correct for every other team in the standings, don’t see how we can just throw out the numbers for the Big Ten schools because we don’t like the results.

        Are you arguing that Chad Hawley lied?

        I’m arguing that there’s a good possibility that he is wrong about the number of Big Ten schools that oversigned. That’s not the same as arguing that he’s lying.

        Its pretty simple, the B1G rule kicks in whenever a team offers a scholarship, they can’t have more than 3 offers over their scholarship limit and a time, and they must document everyone who was on scholarship from the previous year. That doesn’t seem too hard to follow.

        Your understanding of the rule is incorrect. A school only has to document what happens to each player on the roster if it oversigns, not if it overoffers as you stated. So if a school is able to avoid being labeled as an oversigner in the eyes of the Big Ten, then it’s free to clear roster space without reporting anything to the Big Ten office. How would a school oversign and avoid being labeled an oversigner by the Big Ten? One obvious way is to not allow 5 of your commitments to sign LOIs.

        As for Illinois, you may be right. Maybe they had room under the 85 limit for the 30+ new players. But their willingness to have commitments not sign LOI’s and blueshirt/grayshirt as a way to get around the new 28 signing limit shows that Big Ten teams aren’t above using loopholes to maximize their numbers. And if there are loopholes in the Big Ten rule, I don’t doubt that they are being expoited as well.

        • You say “we don’t have all the information”, but usually we have enough. There is a big difference between not having 1 or 2 pieces of information, and not having 6-7. Wouldn’t you agree? Not being able to account for 1 or two athletes is understandable for a public sight without much depth into the process, but 6 or 7? What if it was 20? Thats Josh’s point. You can allow some wiggle room in the results. But not 1/4 of a class. Thats not “wiggle room”. Can you agree there is a difference between not being able to account for one athlete versus 5?

          My understanding of the rule is incorrect? Umm, that comes directly from the Chad Hawley site. Feel free to revisit it if you want but the item clearly references offering, not signing. Its also stated multiple times in that post that the B1G rule also prevents over-offering. The school always has to account for every player on scholarship, whether they have oversigned or not.

          quote:
          An institution that ultimately oversigned has to account for every signed prospect–did they enroll, and if not, why? In addition, the institution has to account for every student-athlete who received a scholarship the previous year…

          This is pretty cut and dry – first off, account for all your signed prospects. Secondly, you can only overoffer by 3. Thats a direct quote. Third, all B1G schools report their scholarship information to the B1G office, accounting for everyone.

          As for illinois, you state “not let 5 commitments to sign LOIs”. I am not sure what you mean. How do you prevent a student from signing an LOI? You can say to a student, hey, we have a spot for you next year. The student hasn’t signed an LOI so he can still be recruited by other schools. In that case though, both the student and the school know well beforehand what his deal is. Its not like he’s signed an agreement.

          • Did you even read what you quoted?

            An institution that ultimately oversigned has to account for every signed prospect–did they enroll, and if not, why? In addition, the institution has to account for every student-athlete who received a scholarship the previous year…

            Like I said, if a school can avoid being labeled an oversigner, then they also avoid having to account for everyone on their roster.

            My point wasn’t that Illinois was doing anything wrong, just that they were exploiting loopholes particularly as it relates to signing/roster limits. They are blueshirting, which unlike greyshirting, exists for no other reason than to get around scholarship limits:

            http://www.presnapread.com/whats-a-blue-shirt-anyway/

  16. My favorite part about the writeup is Joshua’s defense of what is going on at OSU. Earlier on this site he refused to discuss it because it had nothing to do with oversigning, but I love now how he tries to defend it with plugs that it is not as bad as oversigning or it is really not against the rules. Remember any concerns addressed on this site regarding roster management like oversigning is not against any NCAA rules. But the reason the NCAA is investigating OSU is because they did break the NCAA rules. Huge difference no matter how you try to defend it or justify it.

    OSU got caught and their fans need to accept it.

    I also like how OSU fans here on, among some others, like to preach how dirty the SEC is but yesterday a list was released that showed the top 10 corrupt programs in college athletics. Guess what only Auburn made that list for the SEC, but 2 Big 10 schools made it Wisconsin and Minnesota. Remember before pointing the finger you may want to look in the mirror first.

    http://www.ncaagridirongab.com/2011/03/09/10-most-corrupt-ncaa-athletic-programs/

    • Yeah… I definitely have trouble with Big 10 apologists lambasting the SEC for corruption. This forum is teeming with hypocrisy.

      Next year’s list should probably include OSU… because of the lying and cheating and paying players thing.

      • I’ve yet to see where any part of OSU’s staff or department has paid players. In fact, all of the issues were self reported. The reason Tressel is in trouble is precisely because the compliance department audited tressel after the item in december, and found out a discrepancy. They dutifully reported that information to the NCAA. So yes, Tressel will get fined and punished(and deservedly so).

        Compare that with the Cam Newton issue. 180,000 grand for a player? Sure! Miss St found out in January, and they didn’t do anything about it til November. But hey, maybe you believe that Cam Newton had NO IDEA his father was shopping him around.

        • First:
          180,000 grand = 180,000 x 1,000 = 180,000,000 = 180 million. I’m pretty sure that you didn’t mean that.

          Second:
          Perhaps Cam knew he was being shopped; perhaps he didn’t. Perhaps Cam and/or Cecil received money. There is no evidence that they received money. OSU’s 5 DID receive money for sure… MAYBE not from the coaches, but from boosters for sure. They monetarily benefited as a result of participation in OSU football. They got paid; it is against NCAA rules.

          Corruption from the pulpit! OSU, please clean up your own act… you have enough problems of your own.

          • And marcell dareus was just trying to shop for cookies at his Miami party?

            • The party he left as soon as he realized that agents were there? You are referring to the event that, while he was suspended for a couple of games, Dareus was actually praised by the NCAA for his honesty and forthcomingness. I don’t think this is the example you are going for.

              Yes, Bama has plenty you can point at in the past (more recent past than I would prefer) but since Saban’s arrival, thing have certainly been done the right way. Hopefully this will continue.

      • I’m an SEC graduate that believes the SEC is incredibly corrupt and that most of its schools are embarrassingly poor academically and ethically. I have zero ties to the Big 10 but realize its schools are much better on average than are SEC schools.

        Are you the graduate of an SEC school? Are ANY of the oversigning defenders here?

        • Both UNC and OSU exceed Georgia academically. Didn’t spare my Heels or Joshua’s Buckeyes on the corruption front, did it?

          Then again, had Logan Young not been busted by the Feds, Butch would have ended up at Bama, and maybe UNC would have landed Saban. I’d gladly trade an oversigning “scandal” for John Blake and an academic tutor to be named later.

          Oh well.

        • I’m a Vandy grad, but I don’t follow Vandy football. Vandy beats all the Big 10 schools.

        • I am a grad from Auburn and Alabama… Was a scholarship athlete at Alabama and an athletic trainer at Auburn…

      • It seems that the author is going to continue to rely on the “oversigning has nothing to do with the scores of problems that my alma mater has” schtick. This is a little like Charlie Manson writing a blog protesting how drug possession is not punished severely enough. OrBruce Pearl crying that other coaches have done far worse than he has.

    • The University of Alabama has been on major NCAA probation for its football program for 19 of the past 20 years, does that make a “list’ of corrupt programs?

      • UA has had its shares of troubles in the past and most fans agree and why most are happy with Saban. See the difference is to many fans on this site(OSU) like to point to Saban for UA’s past issues but Saban has gotten in no major trouble or his program while at UA. The last issue for UA football was the textbook issue that involved more athletes other than football and it started before Saban got there.

        But yet OSU fans like to equate all of UAs past problems with Saban, but yet yet like to defend Tressel who may be running the dirtiest program in the NCAA currently behind Auburn. It is funny that so many like to defend him for his transgressions.

  17. Oversigning is just an excuse for loser coaches that can’t get it done on the feild and are grasping straws trying to save their own butts. Saban follows the rules. If the rules were changed, he’d still kick everybodies fanny because he’s just better.

    Richt has recently said this.

    “Not that we haven’t greyshirted, or talked to guys about greyshirting,” Richt said. “If you tell five of those guys ‘Hey we’ve got 20 spaces. I can sign 25. There’s a good chance that by school starts there’ll be room for you, because of the attrition that happens every year everywhere you go. If there’s space for you, you come in with your class. If there’s not space for you, are you willing to come in in January?

    “If you tell them on the front end and they know that, everyone understands that, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. And that’s how we go about it if we’re going to talk to a guy about greyshirting.” Link

    He’s leading the charge against something that he himself practices. If you have 20 spots and sign 25, how is that NOT the definition of ‘oversigning’?

      • Yes. Extraordinarily convoluted. No one seems to agree on a definition, other than, “Well, it’s what the other guy does.”

        • Which is why I said Many Many moons ago on this site… There is NO such thing as OVERSIGNING…. EVERY NLI is bound to a scholarship offer so you either have an offer to back count to the Prior year, an offer for the Current Year or an offer to the Next year… No school has ever gone over the 85 scholarship limits to my knowledge.

          For ease of discussion, I have accepted what this site calls oversigning… as oversigning. Really, it’s more greyshirting than anything else, but so be it.


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