I'm always disappointed when the discussions of oversigning and the impact on young men's lives turns into childish rants and character assassination. You all know that Joshua and I speak for ourselves and have differing opinions about many issues. However, we agree on the most important issue: the college sports machine should not chew up and spit out young men on athletic scholarships whose only failing is their ability (or inability) to compete on the field with the team that recruited him so aggressively.
We are not too concerned with kids who are gaming the system or who prove themselves to be thugs, criminals, or miscreants. And we're not too concerned with kids who have parents and families that are capable of helping their son survive and thrive in this pressure-packed environment. We're concerned about the kids in the middle. The ones who have done nothing wrong, are doing well in school, who are good teammates and good kids.
The NCAA's current rules about oversigning, scholarship terms, eligibility, and compensation for college expenses put these kids in an environment where coaches can and do exploit them for personal gain in salaries, bonuses, and new employment contracts.
I know that this exploitation goes on in every college football conference if not in every program. It doesn't matter to me if it happens every day or just once in a while. The problem is that the NCAA's rules allow it to happen at the discretion of the coaches.
Oversigning and "roster management" goes on everywhere and it's wrong. Nowhere else in our society could an employer 1)terminate an employee without cause and 2) retain the power over where that employee can get his next job, and 3) dictate that if the terminated employee chooses to work for a direct competitor the terminating coach can dictate the employee not work for an entire year!
Surely we can all agree that this very real situation is wrong and the NCAA's rules need to be changed to make this impossible. The loopholes (like offering more LOIs than the school has openings for new players under the 85 schollie rule) MUST be stopped.
- Create 2 types of schollie: a 5-year no-cut, no-trade deal with transfer limitations and a 1-year deal with no transfer limitations.
- Limit new signees to the exact number of openings being created by graduation/ineligibility/voluntary transfers/etc.
Yes, my suggestions put more burden on the coaches and will result in less than 85 scholarship kids on each roster each year. But if that's what it takes to stop the exploitation then so be it. Those coaches get paid plenty of bucks to win without doing it by exploiting kids.