Sherman, a 5-foot-4 backup wide receiver who served as the team’s primary kickoff returner last season, said he first learned his position with the team might be in jeopardy a little more than a week ago. His fears were confirmed Tuesday in a meeting with Spurrier.
“They just said they got better players over the last year,” Sherman said. “Everybody they recruited committed and that never happens. And then everybody qualified (academically) and that never happens.”
Holloway goes on to dispute South Carolina's claim that everyone has qualified, but regardless, the explanation that South Carolina gave Sherman sure sounds like the definition of oversigning, but without the real numbers it is hard to be 100% sure he was cut to make the numbers work.
Based on Sherman's comments in this article, which are slightly different than his comments to us regarding whether or not he knew his scholarship was a 1 year renewable deal, it sounds like he knew that his scholarship was year-to-year and that everyone on the knows they are competing for a spot.
Sherman confirmed that. He said he was aware that his scholarship was a year-to-year deal, not a four-year pact between school and student-athlete. He said players at South Carolina are also aware that they are competing for their roster spots.
”It is what it is,” Sherman said. “It’s a business. I don’t think it’s fair, but it’s not my call.”
An astute observation for a 21-year-old. It is a business and it’s not fair. Those are the realities of big-time college athletics. But need they be?
That’s a question the NCAA needs to answer for itself. Does it want to be an organization that allows its student-athletes to stand defenseless against the steamrolling, win-at-all-costs machinery? Currently constructed, it’s a system in which rising seniors can have their financial aid pulled out from under them, or freshmen who already enrolled in classes can be told they’re no longer part of the team, not because they failed a class or got in trouble, but because the coach at their school treats a scholarship like an expiring contract and there’s a hot new free agent he’s got to make room for.
This leaves us with the debate over whether or not scholarships should be long-term details (4-5 years) like they used to be before coaching salaries skyrocketed and media/TV coverage turned into a 24/7/365 circus, or should we allow coaches to treat players like free-agents? In the NFL, free-agents actually have an agent and the power to negotiate their best deal. Could you imagine that in college?