The sole purpose of this site has been to expose the oversigning loophole in the NCAA rule book to the masses, identify the coaches that abuse it the most, and follow the stories of the kids that get screwed in the process. As we near 3 million hits since this site was created in February, it is pretty clear to anyone who can type the word "oversigning" into a google search box that we have delivered on those three objectives.
For the last several months, we have closely followed Alabama and LSU as they were both identified as teams guilty of gross oversigning of their rosters. During that time we were able to predict with a reasonable amount of certainty the number of players LSU and Alabama would have to lose in order to remain under the 85 scholarship limit by the August 1st deadline. The main problem we have with LSU and Alabama oversigning is that nearly all of the attrition and roster movement below took place after they already accepted over 25 signed letters of intent from new recruits. When schools accept those signed letters of intent the recruits that sign them are bound to the school but the school is not bound to the recruit. As we saw with Elliott Porter, LSU screwed up the signing process so badly that they had to just pull the rug out from underneath Porter, who was already on campus, and send him packing because they didn't have scholarship room for him. Simply put when you accept more signed letters of intent than you have room for when you accept them it's inevitable that someone is going to get screwed.
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|
With Alfy Hill's departure it opens a scholarship spot for Harrison Jones who just a couple of weeks ago was on the short end of the stick with regards to the scholarship numbers. Jones was going to accept being greyshirted until January because due to Nick Saban's oversigning and the unknown status of so many of the players on Alabama's roster it appeared that there wasn't going to be room for Jones. We'll have more on Alfy Hill in a minute.
The March to 85 - LSU
|Player||Position||Reason for Leaving|
|Akiem Hicks||Defensive Tackle||Removed from the team - was involved in NCAA investigation|
|Jhyryn Taylor||Wide Receiver||Transfer|
|Thomas Parsons||Fullback||Medical Hardship Scholarship|
|John Williams||Wide Receiver||Medical Hardship Scholarship|
|Clay Spencer||Offensive Lineman||Medical Hardship Scholarship|
|Chris Garrett||QB||Cut - Scholarship Not Renewed|
|Houston Bates||Defensive End||Released from LOI in April; refused Greyshirt|
|Elliott Porter||Offensive Lineman||Asked to Greyshirt in AUGUST; refused Greyshirt; released|
This is in sharp contrast to how a lot of other schools manage their scholarship numbers and the signing process. As we have mentioned several times, the Big 10 Conference does not allow oversigning, even by 1, much less 8-10 every year. The practice has not been banned by the ACC but in looking at their numbers it is clear that the coaches and schools in the ACC exercise constraint with the regards to the signing process and outside of North Carolina (Butch Davis) and Miami (Randy Shannon), the ACC has some of the lowest number of signed players in the country. Same with the Pac 10+2, their numbers are consistently low.
Outside of looking to get a competitive advantage by moving out lesser players for new recruits, fans of schools that oversign often site that one of the reasons for oversigning is that coaches often don't know who is going to be eligible and they use oversigning as a way to hedge their bets against the NCAA clearinghouse, after all the loophole in the NCAA rule book allows them to do so.
Case and point, Alfy Hill. Hill was part of Alabama's oversigned class of 2010. He was cleared by the NCAA clearinghouse, admitted onto campus, completed 3 courses of work, and is now being told that he is not eligible because after reviewing his high school transcript a second time, the NCAA has determined that a couple of his high school courses did not meet their requirements for eligibility. Hill has now been released from his scholarship at Alabama and will have to go to JUCO or pay his own way.
This is one of the most bizarre situations we have seen since we really started following oversigning. Alfy Hill is getting screwed, as is Alabama, and it is completely the NCAA's fault. The level of ineptitude and the lackadaisical nature of the NCAA is sickening. The entire signing and scholarship management process that is under the care of the NCAA needs to be thrown out the window and there needs to be drastic reform in order to prevent more kids like Elliott Porter and Alfy Hill from getting screwed over. The NCAA has managed to create a system so flawed and screwed up that potential student-athletes can get screwed from either side of the equation (Porter by LSU and Les Miles and Alfy Hill by the NCAA clearinghouse).
Between coaches like Les Miles and the NCAA does anyone know what the **** they are doing? You have coaches signing more players than they have room for and then having to cut players in order to make room and you have a governing body who cannot accurately determine if a player is academically eligible in a timely manner and leaves a loophole in their bylaws that allows coaches to hedge their bets against their ineptitude. It is almost like the NCAA is telling coaches, "since we are not efficient enough to tell you who is academically eligible in a timely manner so you know exactly how many players to sign or who to sign, just go ahead and sign as many as you want and sort it out later." WTF???
The combination of coaches willing to oversign and ineptitude of the NCAA is a lethal combination that results in guys like Porter and Hill getting screwed.
This by no means excuses coaches that oversign. They know the deal and they should at least keep their side of the street clean and some do - shame on the others that don't (Les Miles, Nick Saban, Houston Nutt, Randy Shannon, Butch Davis). After all, it is these coaches and not the NCAA that are in the living rooms of recruits promising them and their parents that they will take care of them for the next 4 years.
The bottom line is that the entire recruiting and signing process needs to be thrown out the window and replaced with a system that permanently closes the oversigning loophole and determines academic eligibility in an accurate and timely manner. The new system should provide coaches with the exact number of players they can sign without going over their limit (which means the number for each team will be different every year based on who each team has graduating and leaving for the NFL early) and it should provide them with a list of players cleared to be signed. They also need to make the letter of intent a two-way binding agreement, not a one-way agreement that only binds the recruit to the school.