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.
Or at least that is what it sounds like here:
No one said the fight would be easy. We'll have more on this later when our head is finished exploding and we figure out how to blame this on Nick Saban. One thing is for sure, they named that damn blog right "The Chopping Block."
It's a small step in the right direction.
It is very interesting to read that Susan Peal, administrator of the NLI program, does not support grayshirting.
Attention all recruits that have been told by coaches that you might have to take a grayshirt if the numbers aren't there, the coaches telling you this are doing something that is not supported by the NLI program!!! Be very cautious of any coach that is selling you on the POSSIBILITY of having to take a grayshirt, especially if they are oversigning, you could get screwed. Educate yourself on this before signing anything!
Listen live to The Paul Finebaum Show - Andy Staples will be on to talk about oversigning today.
Stop what you are doing and read this piece by Tony Gerdeman on Saban and Oversigning. Solid work from someone who really gets it on this topic.
Also, Stewart Mandel doesn't believe a word Nick Saban said at his signing day press conference; no one does.
Nick Saban had every opportunity to put this to bed on Signing Day. All he had to do was come clean on his numbers - instead he tried to keep them a secret.
We found a really, really cool website called the www.thesportsdebates.com and thought that we would pass along a couple of links to some really well thought out articles on both sides of the oversigning argument.
First, the Dirty, Unfair Business Targets Naïve Student Athletes article (yes it is posted first because we are bias).
Next, the Do Homework Before Signing article.
Finally, The Verdict article.
We'll let you read the articles to see who wins the debate. The one thing we do want to point out about the Do Homework Before Signing article is that part of the problem has been that oversigning has remained a mystery for a long time and not everyone understands what it is (insert joke about Les Miles not even knowing what oversigning is and how to avoid it here).
That is why this site is here - to help raise awareness. We cannot tell you how many emails we have received from people telling us they had no idea what oversigning was until the started reading this site; we see the same thing in message boards where fans who have been following the sport for a long time don't fully understand oversigning. Honestly, it's not rocket science, it's just that there are so many terms and by-laws involved and so many variables that it is really hard to understand at first. We do agree that everyone needs to do their homework and be responsible, but we also acknowledge that college coaches and recruiting coordinators who are paid hundreds of thousands of dollars are going to say almost anything to get a kid to commit, so it wouldn't surprise us if oversigning is never mentioned during the recruiting process.
Have a great weekend and thanks for visiting the site.
Every website or forum has to have a troll; it's just a fundemental rule of the internet. Of course we have one and he goes by the moniker of DeepSthBoy or to us "DSB." Those of you who follow this site are well aware of DSB, the poster child advocate for allowing oversigning. But who knew he was a regular on the Ohio State scout forum racking up 428 posts over there.
Didn't expect to be down for so long...sorry everyone. We're back online now.
We had no idea that Stewart Mandel was so powerful...lol.
In all seriousness, the traffic to this site has exploded. In checking the logs this site has been linked to over 400 other websites in the last 3 weeks alone. Many of those sites are message boards that require logins, some are to web-based email sites, and some are to tweets or facebook, but the point is that word is getting around and people are talking about oversigning.
From time to time, we manually update the site hit count note on the right for the total number of hits since the site was created. Here is a look at what caused the site to go down on the 26th. Now that we are on unlimited bandwidth we don't have to worry about this happening again.
Another really quick post here; just wanted to get word out that the anti-trust division of the US Justice Department is now investigating the NCAA 1 year renewable scholarship rule. Here is a great article that was just published regarding the details. We'll go over this in more detail when we have more time, but in skimming over the article it appears that it speaks to the very reason this site exists.
Everyone that visits this site needs to go read this article.
Hopefully change is on the way. What's the famous saying, "abuse breeds control."
Update: SportsByBrooks has a piece up on the article above...plus a funny picture that we had nothing to do with.
Just so everyone knows that we are not pulling numbers out of our ass and we are not making things up as we go along, here is the longest and most detailed account of Alabama's current numbers situation, from an actual Alabama website. We stumbled on it just shortly after our last post while looking for more information on this medical hardship scholarship thing...and as expected, our numbers are dead on the money.
Side Note: we can only chuckle at comments such as these from Alabama fans:
"Great breakdown of the numbers! I was just talking to my Pops the other day about the necessary attrition number moving from 9 to 7 since your last article. Still seems like a long ways to go. Three or four greyshirts from the 18 to enroll in the summer would help, but I get the feeling that Saban and Co want to be able to take as many as possible for 2011 class. Either way I know that the numbers in the senior and junior class suggest we will only take 18-20 at the most. Considering your laundry list of things that can effect the numbers by August 2011, is there any way you see us signing a full 25, or even 28 next February?"
After classes of 25, 32, 27, and 29, why not sign a 28 next year...ugh
Back to the task at hand; we did see something in the article above that adds more fuel to the medical hardship scholarship fire thing.
"After that, though, is when we will start seeing the numbers change. At the close of the spring the writing will be on the wall for several guys, and we'll likely see a transfer or two. There are a few players who have struggled to stay healthy during their career who are also struggling to stay healthy this spring. If things don't improve by the A-Day, we will likely see those guys moved to a medical hardship scholarship. With the spring semester nearing an end just a few weeks after the close of spring practice, this is when the rumors will run the most rampant."
Again, how many frigging guys can you move to a medical hardship scholarship to free up football scholarships????
It appears that this is nothing new to Saban, this is from back in 2007.
"Alabama football players reported to campus Thursday for the beginning of preseason practice, and the Crimson Tide already has lost two with local ties from its roster.
Alabama coach Nick Saban announced that former West Morgan High standout Byron Walton's career could be finished because of a health issue. In addition, Saban said former R.A. Hubbard player Michael Ricks of Courtland is academically ineligible.
Ricks spent the past two years at Northeast Mississippi Community College.
Saban put Walton on medical hardship because of a recurring issue that has plaguing the 6-foot-3, 299-pound defensive lineman throughout the summer. Saban said he has been told that it is a heat-related issue.
"When he exerted himself at the level to do the things you need to do here, he put himself at tremendous risk," Saban said. "It has something to do with how your muscles break down and how your body dissipates that and how it affects your kidneys and liver. It is a serious issue."
Walton will continue to receive his athletic scholarship, but he will not count against the NCAA limit of 85 scholarship players that Alabama has. Saban said three receivers also will receive medical hardships for this season — Tyrone Prothro (leg), Aaron McDaniel (knee)and Jake Jones (leg)."
Does anyone else see the pattern here??? Oversign by 10, send as many as needed to medical hardship scholarships and then transfer the rest, and magically sidestep any APR issues.
We admit it, we like Mark Richt, a lot.
"Georgia coach Mark Richt refuses to oversign for two reasons. First, he wouldn't want to run out of scholarships for qualified players. Second, he would not want to run off current players who have eligibility remaining to keep the Bulldogs under the 85-scholarship limit. "We could always get into a situation where we oversign, but there's no way I could look at a kid and his parents and say, 'We had some room, but now we really don't.' I just think you have to be careful," Richt told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Signing Day. "I don't want to oversign, then tell one of the kids we've already got, 'You've got no value to us' and toss him aside. I'm not going to do that."
One of our goals here at oversigning.com is to create a collection of recruiting tables such as this one:
SEC Recruiting Numbers 2002 - 2010
We would like to have 1 master table that contains data for all schools and 1 table for each conference. We have started this effort, but still have a long way to go. Check out what we have thus far here.
These numbers come from Rivals.com's website.
Welcome to oversigning.com! We are still in the process of putting together our new digs, but we have migrated some of the content that we posted on our initial site. Important: we are learning as we go here, so please bear with us as we get our bloglegs. Feel free to browse around and get familiar with the site. The links above will help give you a little bit of background information while we get the rest of our ducks in a row.
The Recruiting Budgets link is a good primer for understanding the difference between signing too many players and staying within your limits.
The Definitions link still needs work; if you have keywords that you think we should add, please send them to us.
Ideas and comments go here: "comments @ oversigning dot com"
If you're looking for the recruiting chart that shows all of the numbers from 2002 - 2010, click the Recruiting Numbers link above.