It's official, Robby Green has been suspended by the NCAA for an undisclosed reason, which many believe to be failing a drug test.
ROBBY GREEN TO MISS 2010 SEASON
University of Alabama junior defensive back Robby Green has been declared ineligible to participate for the 2010 season by the NCAA. Green will be eligible for practice and will remain on scholarship during the suspension.
“Even though we are very disappointed we will continue to support Robby in every way possible,” said Alabama Crimson Tide head football coach Nick Saban. “He’ll practice and do all the other things with our team in terms of classes and workouts, but just won’t be eligible to play in any games this fall. His attitude has been outstanding through this and his effort in practice has been very good as well. Even if he isn’t playing, he can still have a significant impact on our team by helping out the younger players in the secondary and competing against the offense to make them better. We look forward to having Robby back on the field next fall for his senior season.”
This definitely makes the March to 85 very interesting. First of all, the burning question we have is why is Saban keeping him on scholarship? Did the NCAA mandate that Green has to remain on scholarship when they handed down the suspension or is Saban and Alabama afraid of blacklash or APR penalties if they just cut him loose?
Obviously Green is an asset and was expected to step into the starting safety position in Saban's defense, but given the numbers crunch Saban and Alabama are in, they could not afford to lose a player and at the same time not free up a scholarship. Fortunately for Alabama, they have tons and tons of raw talent in the secondary, and just to make sure they have enough debth, which they do, they have been trying out WR Julio Jones at safety and corner. The bigger problem for them is the number 85.
The magic number is still 7. We are taking Robby Green off the watch list, leaving only Star Jackson. It's going to be interesting to see how the oversigned roster of 95 works it way out in the end.
As we predicted immediately after signing day and before spring practice, Saban is going to have to cut players, again, for the third year in a row, in order to get down to NCAA limit of 85. If you are new here go read this, then read this, and lastly read this.
For those of you too lazy to read all that, just read this: Alabama returned 66 scholarship players after last season, signed 29 new recruits to letters of intent, and now must shed 10 players between signing day and the first day of fall camp in order to stay under the mandated 85 scholarship limit. Terry Grant and Travis Spikes have already left the team.
To help track the 10 bodies that need to go we have created a table for them.
2010 The March to 85 - Alabama
|Player||Position||Reason for leaving after NSD|
|Terry Grant||Running Back||Scholarship not renewed|
|Travis Sikes||Wide Receiver||Scholarship not renewed|
|Rod Woodson||Safety||Scholarship not renewed|
|Star Jackson||Quarterback||Transfer, Georgia State Div 1AA.|
|Deion Belue||Defensive Back||Academically Ineligible; headed to JUCO|
|Alfy Hill||Linebacker||Academically Ineligible; future unknown|
|Taylor Pharr||Offensive Lineman||Medical Hardship|
|Milton Talbert||Linebacker||Medical Hardship|
|Darius McKeller||Offensive Lineman||Medical Hardship|
|Ronnie Carswell||Wide Receiver||Greyshirt|
|Wilson Love||Defensive End||Greyshirt|
The latest addition is Darius McKeller. Here is Saban's comment on Darius:
"Our medical staff thought that he would be at severe risk of injuring it again if he continued to play."
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If you haven't read the news, Michael over at Braves & Birds - The Atlanta Sports Blog has been reading our site and decided to write an essay on the topic of oversigning and the nature of our website. Michael is an Attorney from Atlanta, Georgia, we on the other had are not attorneys (we didn't even sleep at a Holiday Inn, but we're going to give this a go anyways), but we did we bounce emails back and forth with Michael and he seems like a personable guy, not to mention he has been blogging since we were in diapers.
So let's take a look at the article.
"I've been reading Oversigning.com over the past few weeks and enjoying the discussion. The authors there take a much harder line on oversigning than I would and at times, their writing devolves into unhinged attacks on the SEC from every angle. (Comparing endowments? Really?) In those instances, they come across as excuse-making Big Ten fans who want to justify the fact that SEC teams have won more national titles in the past four years than Big Ten teams have won in the last forty."
Yeah, we're pretty hardcore on the topic of oversigning. People write about it from time to time, especially during the off-season and around signing day, but we are the first and only website completely dedicated to the topic. Why? Two reasons: 1.) During the 2007 during the National Championship game, we saw a graphic that showed the number of players signed in each of LSU's and Ohio State's previous 5 recruiting classes: LSU 28, 26, 13, 26, and 26 = 119 and Ohio State 16, 24, 18, 20, and 15 = 93. A difference of 26 players, or essentially an entire recruiting class. That raised an eyebrow. It was the first time we could remember a broadcast ever showing those kind of numbers. 2.) A couple of months later we saw Nick Saban on ESPN battling it out with a local sports reporter over his recruiting numbers which led us to this link. That raised a second eyebrow. The thing that really got us going was Nick Saban saying:
"It's none of your business. Aiight? And don't give me this stuff about the fans need to know, because they don't need to know."
Something about that has always bothered us. It wreaks of someone having something to hide.
Unhinged attacks on the SEC. Have we attacked the SEC, probably so, has it been unhinged, no not really. If we were attacking the ACC for oversigning, then it would be considered unhinged, but to take the conference with the worst problem with oversigning to task is not unhinged attacking in our opinion. Calling out the SEC for running off Georgia Tech, Tulane, and Sawenee isn't really all that unhinged either, in our opinion, it's more like factual history. The post regarding endowments was a follow up on two fronts: 1.) Texas joining the Big 10, and 2.) The SEC running off academic universities because of disagreements on athletic competition, specifically football, and how that has left them poorly positioned in terms of adding a powerhouse like Texas who wouldn't consider joining the SEC back in the 90's because of the poor academic standards. Again, those are facts, not unhinged attacks.
Click the link to continue reading >>>
In an earlier post, we mentioned that there was no way on earth Texas would ever go to the SEC (not that the SEC is looking to expand, but our point was that the SEC, by virtue of running off 3 solid academic universities because they couldn't see eye to eye on how to handle recruiting players and competing in athletics, does not have the entire package to offer an institution like Texas; in contrast, the Big 10 by maintaining an emphasis on academics is now poised to possibly add another powerhouse program to the conference, Penn State being the first in 1990. The last two teams to join the SEC: Arkansas and South Carolina). To further reinforce our logic, here are some staggering numbers for you to ponder.
|SEC Schools||$$$||Big 10 Schools||$$$||Pac 10 Schools||$$$|
|Kentucky||831m||Penn State||1.6b||Wash State||678m|
|Ole Miss||495m||Illinois||1.5b||Oregon State||476m|
|South Carolina||438m||Michigan State||1.2b||Arizona State||407m|
TEXAS - $16.1 billion
Regardless of where Texas might go, if anywhere, they will be the big dog on the block (sans Stanford in the Pac10) when it comes to endowments, but as you can see, Texas would definitely be more at home with the schools of the Big 10 or Pac 10 when it comes to endowments.
And again, the point here is that the Big 10 and the Pac 10, by not selling their souls for football, appear to be in very strong positions when it comes to the topic of conference expansion and sustainability.
Texas also ranks 47th in the US News and World Report rankings, which puts them right at home with the Big 10.
We found that link we were talking about earlier where Texas had already looked at joining the SEC and decided they were not a good fit. Main article here. But we found the article reading The Rivalry, Esq. about the "Death of the Big 12 Conference."
The Longhorns next turned to the Big Ten.
Having added Penn State in 1990, the Big Ten was now made of universities that, in the view of UT officials, matched UT's profile — large state schools with strong academic reputations. Berdahl liked the fact that 10 conference members belonged to the American Association of Universities.
Yet, distance remained a disadvantage. Iowa, the closest Big Ten school to Austin, was 856 miles away — but the appeal of having 10 of 12 schools in the same time zone was seen as a plus.
But after adding Penn State in 1990, Big Ten officials had put a four-year moratorium on expansion. Although admitting interest, Big Ten bosses ultimately rejected UT's overtures.
That left the SEC as a possible relocation target for the Longhorns — until Berdahl let it be known that UT wasn't interested because of the league's undistinguished academic profile. Only two of 12 schools in the SEC were American Association of Universities members and UT officials saw admissions standards to SEC schools as too lenient.
"We were quite interested in raising academic standards," Berdahl says. "And the Southeastern Conference had absolutely no interest in that."
So that's three major categories: endowments, academic rankings, and recruiting numbers (we touched on that here), where it is crystal clear that Texas is a much better match for the Big 10 than they ever would be for the SEC. "Frank the Tank's Slant" has everything else covered.
They all have something in common, well actually several things in common. For starters, all three schools were, at one time, members of the SEC. In fact, not only were they members, they were all charter members of the SEC when the conference was created in 1932.
Sewanee (The University of the South) left in 1940.
Georgia Tech left in 1964.
Tulane left in 1966.
Note: (In a previous post, we documented one of the main reasons why Georgia Tech left the SEC - basically they were unhappy with the gross oversigning of recruits. Our reason for that post was to serve notice that oversigning is not a myth and not something we made up out of thin air. Oversigning is real, and its historical roots are located in the heart of the southeastern conference.)
Back to the similarities: All three schools also have very high academic standards (US New and World Report Rankings):
Sewanee - 36th
Georgia Tech - 38th
Tulane - 50th
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Do not fall out of your chair, that is unless you have been living in a cave lately and haven't heard the news about the possibility of Texas joining the Big 10. When the Big 10 announced that conference expansion is a topic on the table for discussion, the Internets went wild. In fact, Frank the Tank's Slant has devoted more time to it than we ever thought about devoting to the topic of oversigning. If you haven't been to his Blog, go there. It's a great read and Frank really does his homework.
Frank put together a Big 10 Conference Expansion Index, based on a scale of 1-100 with 100 being the highest possible score, in which he categorized and ranked potential candidates to join the Big 10.
In his index, Frank has Texas as the leader with an index score of 96; second in his index was Notre Dame at 91.
We're not going to go into all of the details of Big 10 expansion or whether or not we think Texas would consider joining the Big 10; Frank has more than covered all the bases and if you really want to know more about it you should check out his blog and read it.
We just want to add one thing to the discussion in terms of recruiting. In looking closely at Texas' recruiting numbers (which is an indication of how they run their program), they would fit right in with the Big Ten. Since 2002 Texas has a total of 192 commitments with an average of 21.33 per year. That would put them right in line with Michigan (195, 21.67), Penn State (183, 20.33), and Ohio State (180, 20.00), all of which rank towards the bottom of the Big 10 in terms of total numbers taken each year. In case you haven't noticed, we tend to like programs that keep their numbers in check. To see more of these numbers, click here.
Texas takes the lowest number of players in the entire Big 12 Conference; it's almost as if they are out of place with regards to where their numbers are in comparison to the rest of the conference. This tells us several things:
- They are not running players through their program; meaning they take very few risks on borderline academic players and they don't oversign players only to push out the lesser talented or injury-prone players to make room for new recruits.
- We believe that how you manage your roster is like a calling card for what kind of program you run. Texas has a pretty good calling card when you consider the success they have had on the field and the number of recruits they do it with. Compare Texas to Alabama for just a second: since 2006, Alabama has taken LOI's from 136 players to Texas' 110. Where did those other 26 players go? Did they ever make it into school at Alabama or were they cut from the team to make room for Saban's classes of 32 and 27?
- Strong academics. Texas has the best academics in the Big 12 (by a long shot) and they would fit right in with the Big 10. But how do low recruiting numbers = good academics? Maybe it's the other way around, good academics = lower recruiting numbers. Just look at our conference charts linked above. The schools with lowest recruiting numbers tend to have better, if not the best academics in their conferences. Here are some schools at the bottom of each of their conferences in terms of the number of recruits signed each year: Vanderbilt, Northwestern, Stanford, and Texas. Now compare that to the list of names at or near the top of the conferences: Auburn, West Virginia, Mississippi State, Kansas State, etc.
Missouri is another school that seems to be in the middle of the Big 10 expansion conversation. Not that a decision like this would depend on the number of recruits a school normally takes, but we did find it interesting that Missouri, if added to the Big 10, would be at the top of the board with the highest number of recruits per year. In fact, they would be tied dead even with Purdue at a 218 recruits since 2002 and a yearly average of 24.22.
Our hats off to Texas for running their program the right way and always making sure to stay within their recruiting budget. We think Texas would be an awesome addition to the Big 10, obviously they are match for each other in terms of academics, and we hope it happens. If the 3 games against Ohio State and the Rose bowl thriller against Michigan are any indication, Texas joining the Big 10 would really make things interesting.
Hook 'em Horns!