National Rule Discussion Thread

Now that the SEC has acknowledged that A.) they have a problem with oversigning and it needs to be addressed, and B.) they want to see national signing rules implemented so that they don't lose a competitive advantage to schools that currently have less restrictive rules (such as the B12), let's discuss a new set of national rules.  What is the best solution for a new set of national rules that address the three main components of scholarship signing legislation, in order of importance:

1. Student-Athlete welfare.  Prohibiting exploitation of the student-athlete.  This needs to protect student-athletes both at the front-end (guys being recruited and signed) and at the back-end (guys already on the roster from being pushed out).

2. Utilization of scholarship opportunities.  Ensures that educational opportunities are maximized and not wasted.  Giving someone a scholarship who could care less about the education they are receiving is not maximizing scholarship opportunities, it is wasting them.  The hard fact of the matter is that only a very, very small percentage (roughly 3%) of college football players will ever realize a career in the NFL.  The scholarships that are given out to kids who only care about football, yet never make it to a meaningful career in the NFL are a complete waste of the scholarship opportunity.  It would be like giving someone a scholarship to become a chemical engineer yet they never become a chemical engineer, what's the point?  There is no debate on that.  Giving scholarships to kids that can play at the college level, but are just as interested, if not more, in the education they are receiving and life after football is how you maximize a scholarship opportunity.  Not on someone majoring in eligibility in hopes of striking it rich in the NFL.  Tto be frank, that is wasting a scholarship opportunity and gaming the system by the student-athlete.  

3. Competitive equality amongst conferences.  Regulating the number of players that can be signed so that all conferences are signing the same number of recruits.  There is currently a massive gap between what the SEC signs and what other conferences sign, especially the Big 10.

The current NCAA national rule ("The 28 Rule") is completely ineffective.  The SEC's proposal of a new "soft cap" of 25 per year is also ineffective, primarily because it still does not prevent a school with 16 openings from signing 25 and going over by 9.  If student-athlete welfare is the number 1 priority then this loophole must be closed, period.  There is no need in allowing it to happen at all because it opens the door for abuse.

Summary of proposal:

1. Set January 15th as the deadline for coaches to report their recruiting budget.  Have players leaving for the NFL, transfers, and non-renewals by the coaching staff all declared on January 15th.  Make the number of openings public and approved by a national clearinghouse (see 2).

2. Create a clearinghouse for transfers and non-renewals that provides due process to the student-athlete to ensure that the student athlete was not pushed into the decision to transfer and provide the student-athlete a review hearing for non-renewals.  There is plenty of room for reform in this area, such as eliminating lack of living up to perceived recruiting potential as a cause for termination or changing the sit out rules.  Have a national panel establish the guidelines for non-renewal and have them in writing so that the SA knows exactly what can cause him to lose his scholarship.   Terminating a scholarship without cause should be eliminated.

3. Eliminate a hard cap on annual signing numbers.  On National Signing Day, whatever room the school is cleared to have via the clearinghouse, by way of declaring early departures to the NFL, transfers, and non-renewals by January 15th, is the room they get to fill with new recruits.  This number would be based on 85 as the max number of current scholarship players and signed letters of intent.  If that number is 29 and the openings come based on natural matriculation and attrition that is cleared through a national clearinghouse, then so be it, the school can sign 29 in order to get to 85.  If necessary, you could put a hard cap of 35 on the annual limit if you felt you just had to have one as a safety net, but we believe a school should be able to sign whatever they naturally have room for so long as they stay under the 85 limit at all times and so long as the number of recruits they can sign is cleared through a national clearinghouse.

4. Eliminate back counting.  Every year each school should have a full 85 man roster of scholarship players and there should be no need to try and squeeze guys in by back counting and getting them to enroll early.  

5. Limit and standardize greyshirting.  Allow a maximum of 2 greyshirt signees per year.  Standardize the greyshirt offer and have it as a separate offer with specific terms in writing that the SA understands and agrees to in writing in February.  This will eliminate last minute greyshirts after a kid has been on campus in the summer working out with the team.  Those only come because of oversigning and space issues.  Greyshirts should be for injured players or guys that need a year to develop or grow and are willing to wait until the next year when there is space under the 85 limit.  Those offers should be guaranteed spots in the next class and factor into the budget number created on January 15th.  

6.  Maximize scholarship opportunities by giving any shortfall to walk-on players.  By giving coaches the ability to sign as many players as they have room for under the 85 limit gives them ample opportunity to fill every roster spot and at no time would they have to tell a kid, "we'd love to have you, we have room under the 85 limit, but we can only take 25 a year."  It's on the coaches to make the most of those opportunities.  Any remaining openings that occur out of the ordinary, say a kid gets arrested in late July and his spot can't be filled through recruiting, coaches can give those scholarships to worthy walk-on players who would truly maximize the educational opportunity they would be receiving.  Those guys are headed on to life after football and a free year of education as a send off after 4-5 years of dedication is the perfect use of a scholarship some knucklehead lost because he was arrested.

Final thought:

You could drill into each one of these points and tweak things here and there, but at the end of the day, you have to base the number of kids you can sign on the number of openings under the 85 roster limit.  You have to eliminate the possibility of a school singing 25 guys when they only have 16 openings under the 85 limit.  This leads to the opportunity for abuse and exploitation by forcing kids into bogus medical hardships, late greyshirts, and transfers to FCS, Juco, or CC.  You also have to make sure the school can fill all of its scholarship spots under the 85 limit so that they don't have to turn kids away because they don't have room under the 25 limit.  Lastly, you have to make sure the attrition is cleared through a clearinghouse process which includes an opportunity for a review hearing and an exit interview so that the kids that feel they are being pushed out have somewhere to turn before they just accept transferring down to Juco, etc.

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  1. Josh – I have long thought your motivation was something other than what is in the best interest of the athlete but now I am sure. But what is most disturbing is the elitist attitude you have displayed.

    Who are you to decide what is a waste of time, who are you to determine what dreams a SA has, who are you to determine which SA is worthy of scholarship. Most of the players I knew/know wanted a shot at the next level, and most knew that it was indeed a long shot. But many of them that may not have been able to go to college otherwise got a shot at an education. They tool advantage of that opportunity and are now productive citizens. Some run their own businesses and others work with foundations and have never seen a NFL field. Not only what they learned in the classroom but the people they met and lessons learned in competition have fueled many of them.

    This post has nothing to do with defending any particular team or conference, this post is about the frustration of seeing someone like yourself take a stance that could damage so many who do have the desire to have careers beyond the NFL (even if they have dreams of making it there as well). It also has to do with the outrage of seeing someone so arrogant to presume they new what was a waste of other people’s ‘s time and money.

    I attempted to defend you in a previous post, but I am beginning to think the person was correct. You have some serious issues with athletes and want to do as much as you can to see them suffer.

    • Bingo! Just what America needs — more red tape and regulation overseen by an self appointed elitist snob who takes it upon himself to decide who is worthy and who is not.

    • Right, so let’s eliminate any limits what-so-ever. Allow schools to have 200-man rosters; make scholarships available on a week-to-week basis. Let boosters offer no-show jobs; re-instate “recruiting hostesses”, etc.

      As for being productive citizens, the bankruptcy rates for former professional athletes is absurd. And while a college degree may not reduce that risk, it does offer the SA something to fall back on.

  2. I still think the idea someone suggested a few weeks ago of an annual limit of signees (22-24?) rather than an overall cap of 85 is the best solution. Coaches would have no incentive to push players out and in fact would fight to keep players in school as opposed to needing to push them out to remain competitive. Any rule that has a cap on the total roster (like the current limit of 85) will inevitably mean coaches will push players out to make room for better players.

    I also think the NCAA should allow programs to allow coaches the opportunity to reward players with a scholarship if they have paid their own way for 3 years. This would be totally voluntary by the school but if a player makes a 3 year commitment it would be nice if coach’s had a way to reward them without burning a scholarship that could be used by an incoming freshman.

    These changes are simple and I think would actually give more players an opportunity at school. I can’t see a downside to this idea and hope it’s something the NCAA would consider.

  3. None of this removes pressure to clear space for an incoming class. If anything, it increases that pressure, but at best, the core motivation remains unaddressed. More regulated, but fundamentally unaddressed.

    Keep an annual signing limit, make it iron-clad, and eliminate the 85. That also removes almost all of the downsides to a 4 year GIA that people like to fret about. Main drawback – $$$, which isn’t a problem at the BCS level. I don’t care how much many schools actually “made money” last year. Conferences signing billion-doollar TV deals can afford this easily. If San Jose State and North Texas can’t keep up — sorry. I don’t think we should be defining the S-A experience at a BCS school – where the pressure seems most intense – by such lowest common economic denominators.

    This alternative also eliminates competitive equality issues, because everyone gets to sign the same number, period. The proposal above still has plenty of room for some significant discrepancies over time.

    There’s no drawback for the S-As in this approach at all. Any issues will arise on the competitive equality front, and I’d love to hear them.

    • You’re never going to get rid of pressure. Nothing you ever do will change that. You can put safegaurds in place to account for that, such as the clearinghouse, hearings, etc.

      Fundamentally unadressed? How does a national clearinghouse not prevent against fraud and abuse?

      • Just to follow up. As part of the clearinghouse idea, I would like to see the NCAA create a recruiting education program for recruits so they can teach these kids what coaches can and can not say to them. Teach them about oversigning, greyshirting, etc. if it is not already addressed, teach them about the 1 year renewable scholarship.

        I’d like to see each kid that signs be required to be NCAA certified before he signs, heck before he is recruited. In other words, before a coach can have contact with a kid that kid needs to be certified by the NCAA so that he at least has a basic understanding of the recruiting process and what to expect. Be nice if that could be expanded to include academic certification by the NCAA…deep topic though.

      • I know we’ve been butting heads, Luke, but let’s talk about this one.

        In J’s plan, the size of the incoming class remains completely contingent to the number of departures by a certain date. So, the incentive to create room in that incoming class remains as strong as ever. J thinks more watchdogs and regulations will hold that incentive in check.

        The NCAA’s watchdog system for extra benefits is about as vigorous as an organization like the NCAA (please note the modifier) can make it. It fails frequently. Some would maintain it doesn’t work at all. I really don’t see how more committees and clearinghouses will solve anything. It will make things marginally better and eliminate the most obvious abuses, but that seems a tepid solution to me.

        In Buckskin’s plan, on the other hand, the size of the incoming class has nothing to do with the number of departures. In fact, a program with fewer departures will by definition have more scholarship players than one that doesn’t. The pressure to win remains unabated, but the incentive to create room in next year’s class has been removed entirely. If anything, the incentive to retain and develop players increases.

        It seems pretty simply to me. If six kids transfer, then (A) those losses either create six more spots in next year’s class, or (B) they don’t. I think the S-A benefits across the board far more with B than A.

        • I would agree that aspects of this idea are positive steps IF players are in fact currently being forced off current rosters – something I am not at this time willing to concede. By offering no replacable roster spot, you create an environment against the students wanting to transfer where now, even if the coach isn’t pushing it, the team gets a little something in return for helping a recruit find a better fit.

          • Not willing to concede that yet, despite the Alabama players going on record that they felt they were pushed into medical hardships to clear numbers. That is amazing. Not willing to conceded despite the ESPN OTL piece on Chris Garrett and Steven Wesley who claim they were pushed out to make room for new players.

            • Who besides Chuck Kirschman said they from Alabama had been pushed out unfairly? I would appreciate some links to that information as I am unable to locate it.

              • Correction typo:
                Who from Alabama, besides Chuck Kirschman, said they had been pushed out unfairly? I would appreciate some links to that information as I am unable to locate it.

            • I’m not saying it cannot or doesn’t happen at all, the Miami recruitment of Sentrel Henderson stinks to high heaven. What I don’t concede is that it happens to the extent you accuse. I went back and read the WSJ article again – and the poor journalism in that piece stands out more and more each time I’ve done it. I expect some of the tactics they used in a blog like this, but the WSJ should know better.

              So my criticism stands, and my questions remain unanswered. You can’t simply declare that one team’s attrition is forced simply because they oversigned. You must be able to show that their behavior is different than the norm. That takes time and effort. Perhaps someone more notable than me will perform an accurate attrition study that will show this, or maybe there is a different way to show it that we haven’t thought of, but so far there is no real evidence that players are being cut at alarming rates from oversigning schools. The one caveat to this is unless B10 schools are doing it at the same rate – at which point we can declare that oversigning doesn’t keep it from happening, right?

          • Players are pushed out at every college. Some ways are more subtle and can be as simple as recruiting additional players at a position. A more overt method is telling a player they are low on the depth chart with little likelihood of ever seeing playing time. Few schools actually go to the step of publicly announcing they are cutting players but if you need an example just look the players that left Arkansas this year. In some ways I respect Petrino for it — at least he’s not hiding it.


    • Very interesting. So we agree that the number of players to be signed each year should be a fixed number, in your case fixed at 22 or 24, and in my case fixed to whatever number of openings exist under the 85 limit. This is progress. This means we are eliminating the argument that coaches need wiggle room to try and take risks on borderline kids. That is a step in the right direction.

      My proposal does provide schools with an opportunity to catch up should there be legitimate situations where signing a larger than normal class be warranted. With your proposal, Houston Nutt might want to just quit coaching, after 3 years he won’t have enough guys to field a team…lol.

      Although we have argued in the past, I think we have come to an agreement on two things:

      1. The current signing rules are not adequate, nor are the proposed rules by the SEC.

      2. Coaches don’t need wiggle room to try and squeeze in borderline kids, but if we give it to them they have to stick with it for the long term.

      • Nice to at least see you admit that some aspects of your proposal will screw over some recruits (the academic borderlice ones)

  4. (Plagiarism Alert – I’m stealing this paragraph): The NFL has an extraordinarily sophisticated system to evaluate football players. They have a much more relevant body of work to evaluate, and for the most part they get to evaluate young men whose bodies have finished growing. Plus, they don’t have to worry about the classroom. So – they have better evaluation tools, a smaller pool to evaluate, and less issues to evaluate. And they still miss, a lot and spectacularly. (End alert)

    So we’re miles apart on the “borderline/wiggle room” issue in some respects. Coaches do need some room, as do the players. The 85-cap constricts that space artificially, creating real tension between the coach’s responsibility to the kid and to the program’s competitive success. By definition, coaches who side with kids usually find themselves looking for work. By definition, coaches who defer to competitive success walk away with 7-figure annual compensation.

    So, in defense of the 85-cap, we’ve got Marc agitating for an entirely different breed of athletic director and you arguing for an entirely new arena of NCAA oversight. How about we just eliminate the 85-cap? And if that puts Houston Nutt out of business, that’s just icing on the cake.

    I’ve always argued that the current rules – including the B1G program – do not address the basic problem. And I absolutely agree that the system should reward programs for sticking with kids for long-term.

    • Meant to post this as a reply to J above.

    • Really good thoughts ITM, perhaps the 85 cap should go. I would agree that scholarship athletics in general are the problem. Sewanee saw this coming 60 years ago and got out of the SEC and the business of scholarship athletics. I would have no problem doing away with the only enterprise to be honest. It’s all a sham. It’s my opinion, with regardless to the current NCAA scholarship limits, 85/25, that the B1G model does the best job of addressing the loopholes of oversigning, but it too still has its flaws.

      • When I was at UNC, the faculty senate voted every year to eliminate scholarship athletics and return to club sports. The student newspaper would write a snide editorial, and even most of the undergraduate professors would roll their eyes in class when asked about it. That ship had sailed long ago.

        I spent this morning walking around campus with my kid, getting ready for basketball camp. The old quads remain unchanged, but they’re now entirely surrounded by a state-of-the-art medical complex stretching for blocks on end on one side and state of the art athletic arenas – basketball, football, baseball, soccer, etc. – on the other. Public-private research and fund-raising centers stretch along Highway 54 all the way to I-40.

        Somewhere along the way, UNC just became a monster of an economic engine. But honestly, I think they do a much better job of educating today than they did 25 years ago. When I was there, it was all about research, to the extent that professors who “taught well” were almost looked down upon. It would be a mistake to look at all that progress, admittedly external to the core liberal arts undergraduate experience, and assume that something vital is being lost in the shuffle.

        I really can’t speak for the athletic programs today, but I can say I saw Harrison Barnes and Kendall Marshall giving some pre-teens a lifetime memory on the Smith Center floor while their parents were waiting in line to check them into camp. After the football fiasco last year, it was nice to see college kids being college kids and 12 year olds dreaming of being college kids.

        This can be done right.

  5. The regulation should be written in totaly unambiguous language: at no time may a member institution have more than 85 football SA’s “under contract”, which is the sum of renewed grants-in-aid plus signed Letters of Intent. How the SEC can be so blatanly disingenuous is laughable.

    Oh wait, how can Alabama/LSU/Ole Miss/So Car/Auburn run their tryout camps if that were the case? Better to have the kids they don’t want forced into the FCS or Juco than having them end up at Vandy, Georgia, or Kentucky. They would actually have to line up against a whole slew of still-decent and hyper-motivated players, and they may actually suffer a few more L’s in the process. We just can’t have this in ol’ Dixie!

    • “We just can’t have this in ol’ Dixie!”

      Are you really just trying to attack the whole southern section of the United States. What a stereotype! You have failed to mention any school outside of the South that practices oversigning, and you specifically call out the SEC. The Big 10, the Big 12, and every other conference oversigns to some degree. If it’s immoral, no one should do it… AT ALL.

      • I love how the argument to abolish oversigning frequently shows itself to be driven by elitists and bigots. The high and mighty are performing a noble deed by stooping from thrones to help the poor, common, ignorant man learn the right way to do things. What’s disgusting is that they really think that they are helping… they don’t see the hypocrisy. They say oversigning is wrong and point their fingers EVERY SINGLE YEAR toward the SEC, yet there are countless examples elsewhere… even in their own backyards (i.e. OSU oversigning THIS YEAR!).

        Vesper, Catch 5, In the Middle, and other posters present factual evidence, real numbers, and wonderful counterarguments… another stunning display of hypocrisy as their efforts are wasted on the real zealots, those who refuse to open their minds to truth.

        “I deplore the SEC and their immoral practices. I throw support to the ethical, honest team that I love, OSU.”

      • I acknowledge that Josh et al believe that they’re doing something helpful; I urge them to look deep into the facts. Try to extinguish the burning hatred toward the SEC for long enough to make an honest evaluation. This is NOT an SEC issue; the fact that the SEC constantly shows up is evidence that hatred, jealousy, greed are subconsciously framing this debate.

        • The overall issue of roster pressure do to the increased pressure to win and the money involved is a national problem, but the exploitation of the oversigning loophole is exclusively an SEC issue with sporadic instances nationwide. Does a Big 10 school oversign every once in a while, sure, since 2002 when the Big 10 relaxed the rules to allow oversigning by 3 a few schools have used the exemption, but if you are trying to lump everyone else in with the SEC in the oversigning category you are dead wrong. Oversigning has been a part of the fabric of the SEC since the day scholarship limits went into affect and no one else in the country as a conference has abused it more over the years. Does it happen elsewhere on occasion, sure, is it wrong no matter where it happens, absolutely.

          I’m just glad many of you have given up the notion that oversigning is something that doesn’t exist — many here thought it was something I made up out of thin air.

          What I hear you saying is that oversigning is wrong, and yes the SEC does, but don’t just pick on us others do it too. How about saying, the SEC does it, we do it the most, and regardless of what others do we have to remove it entirely, it’s the right thing to do and we need to just take our medicine on this.

          • “What I hear you saying is that oversigning is wrong…”

            NO, NO, NO! I have stated that I find nothing immoral about oversigning in and of itself. I have been consistent in my stance. My point is this: if you find oversigning wrong, then you shouldn’t do it… and you should throw your support to a team that you can get behind ethically. BUT, you give support to a dirty, dirty program who also oversigns while attacking other schools for their “unethical” oversigning behavior. Check a mirror; check the facts. You have admitted before that oversigning of itself, in itself is not unethical.

          • The overall issue of roster pressure do to the increased pressure to win and the money involved is a national problem, but the exploitation of the oversigning loophole is exclusively an SEC issue with sporadic instances nationwide

            Is that a fact or opinion? How much have you actually looked into oversigning in other conferences? I get the feeling that I’ve looked into more than you have. You’ve dismissed claims that Iowa State and Kansas State oversign by stating that they sign a lot of Jucos. While it’s true that they sign a lot of Jucos, have you actually looked into whether or not they also oversign or did you just use the number of Jucos signees as a reason to not look into it?

            Does a Big 10 school oversign every once in a while, sure, since 2002 when the Big 10 relaxed the rules to allow oversigning by 3 a few schools have used the exemption

            So you’re going to keep blindly making that claim when 6 or more Big Ten schools oversigned this year alone?

            • We cannot be sure how many oversigned to he honest. Based on what Josh wrote about Big Ten rules, it is oversigning even if the school makes a SA an offer over the number of available slots below 85. Since they cannot comment of offers then we have no real idea how many they oversigned by using their own rules. If we follow the precedent set by Josh and this site of assuming the worst with little or no evidence, could we say cheating is rampant in the Big Ten?

              What we do know is since 2002 at least 19 different classes exceed 25. Two exceeded 30. So much for the plus 3. Now that does not account for how many signed more than they had space for under 85 but still 25 or less.

              Even without knowing how many over offered, and without doing the math on how many LOI’s were oversigned, that is 1 on six classes oversigned. Two exceeded the plus 3 as well.

              So what does that say about the Big Ten?

  6. Simple question! Could someone please explain to me how limiting scholarships is a good thing?

    Let me see if I understand. Josh’s idea “helping” means that some poor kid is not going to get a scholarship because in the name of “helping” we’re eliminating scholarships. Is that about it? And this is what y’all call protecting kids? Wow! That sounds like the kind of help kids don’t need from the likes of an elitist snob like Josh. How can giving a marginal kid a scholarship be a bad thing — even if it’s only for a year?

    In past generations, did not 18 year olds go off to fight wars on foreign soil, and those that lived came home and picked up their lives, went to college on the GI bill, had families and lived productive lives, and some of them are probably your parents and grandparents? But in Josh’s twisted mind, an 18 year old going off to a year or two of free college is the worst evil ever fostered on 18 year olds and must be stopped because the evil university might be exploiting the kid. God forbid the kid gets a year or two of college.

    Never mind that any amount of college might be the impetus that spurs a marginal kid on to success in life. Someone tell me what am I missing here? Don’t we as a society want more marginal kids getting at least some college experience? I would think being recruited by a major program to play football would be the kind of life accomplishment that one could build a successful life on — even if the kid doesn’t finish at the chosen school, but somehow in Josh’s warped thinking, this is something that needs to be stopped. Why? Someone please explain to me how limiting scholarships can possible be good for the kids you profess to want to help? It appears to me that Josh’s crazy notion of “help” is exactly what we need to avoid in all areas of life — not just in college sports.

    Josh, I’ll be standing by waiting for the explanation of how limiting scholarships is good for the poor kids you profess to care about.

    • Limiting scholarships has always been about protecting the smaller schools… it’s never been about the SA’s.

      • Limiting scholarships also reduces the program’s athletic budget, so athletic directors have a motive for limiting scholarships (if they can all agree so that no one gets a competitive advantage) that has nothing to do with the student athlete. Josh’s push to limit scholarships has the exact opposite effect that he thinks it does. It reduces life enhancing opportunities for poor kids while helping the rich, corporate university.

        • If all of the opportunities were going to poor, education starved kids who only care about football because it’s their ticket to an education and new life then you might have a point, but you have to admit that an equal or more amount of kids in the game are only in it for the ball and a shot at NFL millions, they major in eligibility, and theyd don’t give a damn about the educational opportunity they are being given.

          • You actually didn’t counter his argument at all. You just essentially said, “Yeah… but some of them don’t care about the education anyway.” So increasing the number of scholarships would ONLY go to those who don’t care? Ridiculous argument! I call shenanigans!

          • Josh – Have you ever been a student athlete? How many do you know? How many have you interviewed? I know a large number, some went on to professional careers and most did not. What you are saying about athletes is the exception not the rule, even among football players.

            You consistently speak about subjects you clearly have no direct knowledge of, give false or misleading information and apply your own warped ethics too. Now, after spouting that this site is about treating athletes fairly you tell everyone “scholarship athletics in general are the problem.” So it is not really about the kids after all.

            Besides the majority of athletes do graduate, and do so at a rate higher than the rest of the student body. In fact a the percentage of scholarship athletes that graduate is higher then that of non-scholarship athletes.

            Marc, is your silence on the matter tacit approval of this view point? Do you out right approve of this position? Your position at POPA would seem to be completely counter to this. How do you expect parents to trust you to assist them if you believe scholarship athletics is the problem? How can you honestly look a kids in the face and tell him you have his best interest at heart when you believe that he or she having a scholarship to play athletics is the problem?

            I have not had much if any respect for the way Josh has fought his case, but I felt you at least, did have the kids best interest at heart. Please tell my I was not wrong.

          • As Charlie has stated, your argument is a straw man and deeply flawed just like the rest of your reasoning. You never got around to saying how fewer scholarships is somehow a good thing. The reason you didn’t is because the bottom line is this — what you are pushing will reduce the total number of poor kids who will be given an opportunity to experience a life changing event — attending a major college. No amount of muddled rationalization on your part can change that fact. Fewer scholarships mean fewer kids in college, plain and simple, but in your twisted world, that seems to be OK .

            The argument that some of them “don’t care anyway, so it doesn’t matter,” is irrelevant, outright wrong and quite frankly, sickening. If there was any doubt, this attitude betrays your elitist mentality and twisted logic. How do you know that a kid who professes not to care won’t change that attitude when he experiences college and academics? Didn’t your parents tell you to try your vegetables because you can’t know you don’t like them until you try them?

            That’s exactly how it happened for me. I never intended to attend college but got a partial scholarship for one year and fell in love with learning and worked the rest of my way through a BA and then a BS. I’m forever grateful that someone didn’t prejudge me like you are prejudging all the minority kids that you hope to keep out of college for the sake of your misguided crusade. But you set yourself up as judge and jury and executioner based on what, your psychic abilities? I guess I should start calling you as Jostradamus.

            Your attitude is elitist, negative, judgmental and possibly racist. Your proposal will inordinately affect minorities and your attitude is that “they don’t care anyway.” The race card is played entirely too much in our society, but your attitude could certainly be construed as outright racism, but I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt. In any case, your obsession with “the evil of oversigning” has blinded you to the fact that your cure is worse than the disease you are trying to stamp out. In the name of protecting kids from oversigning, you are willing to block those same poor kids from an opportunity that could change their lives forever. Is it just me, or does that not make sense to anyone else?

            • I’m surprised the conferences don’t say Josh’s name when they discuss the oversigning issue. Oh, that’s right. They can’t do that because he won’t publish it, even though he wants his ideas to be implemented nationally. Maybe they’ll call it the “That Elitist Guy” Proposal.

          • If this is how you truly feel, Josh, then why would you even care if players are being cut for underperforming? According to you, at least half of them didn’t give a damn about their education anyway.

            When it comes to the alleged victims of oversigning, you would have us believe that it is a crime because student athletes are being treated like pros and are being denied the opportunity to continue their education. But when it comes to the high school students who will be the victims of stricter signing limits, that’s ok because they probably weren’t going to take their education seriously anyway.

    • I’m sure Ohio State, Alabama, and Texas would love to go back to the old days of massive scholarship budgets. The issue as someone else said is that they put in scholarship limits to try to minimize costs and let smaller colleges compete. There’s no way the small schools would allow a change at this point which is why I’m not sure it makes sense to argue this point.

      Here’s a counter question for you – Are you saying that giving 4 players 1 year of college is better than giving 1 player 4 years of college? I can’t say I agree but I concede it is a point.

      Everyone knows that if the fair market were at play the payroll costs at the bigger schools would be measured in the 10s of millions. If they are going to start treating the players like employees do they risk players being able to form a union? I guarantee you there are people in Congress and in player support groups that would love to see the NCAA formalize something that allows the cutting of players. They are looking for a pretext to file a lawsuit and if they treat the players like employees too much and they might get to formalize that arrangement.

      • “Here’s a counter question for you – Are you saying that giving 4 players 1 year of college is better than giving 1 player 4 years of college? I can’t say I agree but I concede it is a point.”

        It’s an interesting philosophical question, but in reality, you can’t guarantee either which is the whole problem with trying to regulate scholarships with hard numbers for 18 — 22 year olds. If you’re old enough to have had kids away at college (which I would bet good money that Jostradamus is not) you know what I’m talking about. After insisting that she wanted to attend Central Florida in Orlando (10 hours from home) I had to bring my daughter home after one semester. She was miserable that far away, and it happens to many of these kids. Besides home sickness, disciplinary problems, academics, girl friends and all sorts of issues can end a football scholarship, but the question is not which is better — the question before the huose is do you want more kids to have exposure to college or fewer? Josh’s proposals will definitely result in fewer. I want more. The more kids that get some exposure to college, the greater chance they have for success in life and I tend to think that’s a good thing. For whatever reason, Josh does not. Does that make sense to you because it doesn’t to me.

      • Personally, I think the BCS conferences are heading for their own division with their own rules. Once that’s accomplished, they’ll pull the trigger on a post-season tournament for college football, as well as making the basketball tournament exclusive to the BCS conferences.

        I think there was a time when the feeling was that feeding the smaller schools and the smaller conferences a piece of the pie was good for the game. No longer. I am not defending their position, just observing the trajectory of events and reading between the lines on the sorts of initiatives we’re seeing at the conference level.

        And if they have to break ranks with the NCAA, they will. That organization can’t survive without the revenues the BCS schools bring to the table. Whatever replaces it will be constructed to withstand political and judicial interference from Washington.

        • Only problem I see with that is the break away group is not guaranteed the same benefits the NCAA has with its limited monopoly treatment. Given congresses current disposition towards college athletics it might be difficult. Logically, with two major college groups, you would think they would be clear of the monopoly issues, but the break away will have a dominant position out of the gate, so they may be seen as the ones as the threat.

          I think they well may test the waters but I am not sure how much of it will be flexing and how much of it will be serious.

        • I expect concessions before separation. The remaining institutions realize that the vast majority of revenue for the NCAA comes from March Madness and funds all other playoffs in all other sports in all other divisions. They would cease to exist.

          I expect the smaller schools to allow the BCS conferences pretty much anything they want in football. They can’t really stop them and can’t afford to lose them.

          • Bingo.

            • The fear, with all the network money coming into the schools, is the power to influence that comes with it. Forget the idiot talking heads, they don’t count. The power brokers of network executives and conference commissioners who do not have individual school mission as their chief responsibility, against college presidents who do (should if you include Gee). At what point does this influence cause cracks in the conference alignments (i.e. when do Vandy and Northwestern threaten to leave) over the changes the larger, more profitable programs allow?

              What happens to the Big East? There is already discussion of separation for the football schools (‘Cuse, sPitt, WVU, etc.) from the non (Georgetown, Seton Hall, etc.). They won’t get the TV $ of the Big 5 conferences by any stretch. They just don’t have the viewership or alumni base to justify it.

    • Title IX requires equal participation between men’s and women’s athletic teams. (Not the actual law, just the current interpretation put into action) If there are 120 scholarships for men, there must be 120 scholarships for women. Having some limitation is a necessity to prevent an arms race. If Mississippi State wanted to have 150 for football alone, everyone else would have to do the same to keep up.

      It’s not just to protect the smaller schools, 85 is a number to level the playing field for all schools, arbitrary though it might be. Those schools with highly profitable athletic departments (OSU, Texas, PSU, Bama, etc.) could easily add scholarships for football (and the resultant scholarships for women’s sports). Schools in the Big East couldn’t do it. Not all schools in the B1G, SEC or other big conferences could compete.

      • The Big East doesn’t have its new TV deal in place yet, and it may not reach the same 9-figure foundation that the other leagues enjoy. But you could drop another 50 scholarships (25M/25F) on every athletic department in the SEC, Pac-12, Big 12, ACC, and Big 10 tomorrow and make it work. It wouldn’t be without some modifications to long-term facilities development and the like, and you’d probably have to pass the hat among the boosters again.

        They can afford it if they want to. Those last 4 words are the key.

        • In 2004-05, if you take out the subsidies, the average profit for a college athletic program was -$6.67M. Those are the latest real numbers (not the ones produced by the NCAA) I can find. While TV money certainly has increased over the period since those numbers, I don’t believe that all but the well healed would find it easy to put those additions in scholarships into their budget even if they wanted to.

          Yes, the net per school profit wasn’t. It was a loss. It did include all 118 schools in the numbers and it would be closer to break even or a real profit for BCS conference teams. These athletic programs aren’t rolling in cash. The one I went to is as is yours. Take a look at sPitt or Northwestern, Indiana, Minnesota, Washington State, Maryland, Wake, etc. Few, if any showed any real profit.

          • I agree that Penn State and UNC would be “haves,” and I understand that a great deal of D-1 programs show a net loss. I understand exactly where you’re coming from.

            But these things are relative. Maryland, for example, just hired a new football coach for $1,300,000 and paid the old one to go away. They just completed a $51 million stadium expansion, including 64 luxury suites. While most BCS schools do not show a profit, most also are not operating on a shoe-string, either. That’s prior to the new TV deal, which vastly boosts their revenue stream.

            UM will find ways to spend the money to benefit the program, and they will show a net loss at the end of the day. Otherwise, they can’t justify the student fees dedicated to the athletic department and other forms of state financial support. Did you notice no school has yet announced the removal of those fees with the new TV contract money rolling in? In fact, they keep going up.

            So, in a sense, many of these BCS-level departments are designed to operate at a target net loss. If you and I sat down and reviewed their budgets, we could easily find enough line items to strike to compensate for the additional scholarships. Again — it’s a matter of “want to,” not “can do.”

            But there will also be some shaking out. I doubt NW or Vandy will be caught up in it, but there’s no doubt in my mind the conferences will be raising the cost of admission to D-1 football substantially over the next 10 years.

            Again — I am not advocating it, welcoming it, or condemning it. Just noting it.

    • Scholarships aren’t made to help poor people. If they were, they would be means tested.

      Academic scholarships aren’t means tested either.

      There are other scholarships/avenues out there for poor people. Since when has football been about helping the poor?

      How does the wealth of a kid/his parents have anything to do with a scholarship? How do you know those extra scholarships will go to poor? It could very well go to a kid who parent is rich. Don’t try to mix the issues.

  7. I just wonder what in the world Josh thinks he is going to do for the next year. That is the SOONEST that anything else is going to happen. If anything, he is only giving people more time to tear his flimsy arguments to shreds. He ought to hang this tired schtick up until the NCAA or one of the conferences is going to sound off on it. This will force him to recycle the same tired Saban crap over and over ad nauseum.

  8. useful addition to the conversation. Not.

    • Some of us understood OSU was rotten to the core for years before Saint Jim arrived on the scene. The new head of the family, Fickell will do nothing to change the culture of corruption at OSU. Neither will Urban should he arrive on the scene a year from now.

      Accepted as true or false, it has nothing to do with oversigning. The fact that Josh created this site for the sole purpose of discussing and debating undersigning events and actions is commendable. The fact that he has preconceived notions about what is right and wrong with oversigning and who the “bad guys” are is his opinion. He is entitled to be wrong.

      Make all the comments about OSU getting rid of athletes prior to signing day to make the number, as they are required, that you want to. They are a legitimate part of the oversigning discussion. If you want to discuss TP’s tats or his car getting towed, or his idiot agent, or Saint Jim and how he can talk with TP 4-5 times a day and not have a clue, there are plenty of other sites to do so.


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