Baseball Oversigning

You've been warned.  Oversigning in College Baseball is just as bad if not worse than it is in Football.  Here is just a small taste from Arkansas' Baseball Coach, Dave Van Horn:

Q: In your opinion, what does it take for a Big Ten school to get up to par with SEC schools and the nation's elite?

A: They need to commit to it. They need to commit to it 100 percent and put some money into it. They need to let them oversign a little bit because they know they'll lose kids in the draft. I know they can't, and to me that's ridiculous. If a kid in your program is a junior and projected to go in the first round, you should be able to recruit a guy to replace him. If he comes back, it works out. It's crazy that they don't do that. They need to straighten that out.

Q: Your program has been hit hard by the draft in the last two years. Is oversigning a more critical factor than people realize?

A: Yes. It's ridiculous. We signed 16 kids this year, and 13 of them got drafted. It's just the way it is. We should have the freedom to do what we need to do, and we do. The Big Ten doesn't. If they only have so much money available for seniors, that's all they get. You're never going to be able to compete with southern schools if you don't let them oversign. They have good players, but they don't have enough depth.


Stay tuned!

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Tracy Smith – This is for You

When this site was created the sole focus at the time was analyzing college football recruiting numbers and investigating whether or not oversigning really existed and to what degree.  Now that our site has received some exposure, we are receiving a lot of emails and a lot of links to articles and other sites that are talking about oversigning. 

Today we received a link to a baseball blog and an interview with Indiana Head Coach Tracy Smith.  Before we go into the interview with Coach Smith and his comments regarding oversigning, we want to point out that we know very little about baseball recruiting rules and simply haven't had time to expand our research into other sports.  To be quite honest, we really had no idea that oversigning was such a big issue in football until we really started talking to people about it and investigating the numbers, and we didn't realize it even existed in baseball.  

At least now there is a place where people all over the country can funnel information regarding oversigning, regardless of where it takes place and in what sports, and it can be collected and read in one place here at oversigning.com.  In the end, our hope is that we are able to help coaches like Tracy Smith who recognize the issue with oversigning.

Thus far, we have been able to identify that oversigning affects college athletics in the following ways:

1. When abused, oversigning does a disservice to players by enabling coaches to discard unwanted players or players from a previous coach's program.

2. It contributes to the professionalization of college athletics (we received an email today to an article where Boise State's President speaks about the professionalization of college athletics - hope to have something up on that soon as well).

3.  It creates a competitive advantage against schools that are not allowed to oversign.

Coach Smith speaks directly to item number 3 in his interview below:

However, what gets little discussion, and is probably this biggest reason the conference struggles to compete on a national level consistently is the fact that other conferences can over-sign. Teams in the Big Ten that recruit a significant number of high level talent have to lay back and wait to see how the draft plays out on how many guys they are going to lose.

Coach Smith goes on to mention that his conference has acknowledged that their teams are at a disadvantage and will now allow teams to oversign by 1 scholarship spread out over 2 players.  Smith continues...

It does help, but when other schools are over signing by 6-8 scholarships, the playing field is not even close to being even. The part that drives me nuts is nobody talks about this issue. Everyone wants to talk about weather, and huge stadiums, etc., as being the things the hold our conference back, but it’s not. The issue of over-signing is the real problem.

My friends who coach at southern schools laugh when I tell them that we can’t over-sign kids until our underclassmen physically sign a contact. They are like, “how in the heck do you guys recruit?” I have my response down to a science now, I put my hands behind my back and say, “like this.”

That said, I am not saying I agree with over-signing to the level most southern do it, because it can create some ugly scenarios where kids are “run off.” Again, too many reasons and not enough time to respond. But what I would like to see is some consistency with regard to the issue of over-signing.

Here Coach Smith echoes something we believe needs to happen in college football:

I like the limits our conference has put on over-signing. Now, if we could get the rest of the country to buy into the Big Ten Conference’s rules, wouldn’t it be great?  However, I say again, why would they? They are at too much of a competitive advantage under the current system to want to change.

As someone who is trying win every game I play, I guess I understand their position. But if the NCAA wants to do what is “right,” it will address the issue of over-signing, and adopt legislation that truly benefits our student-athletes all the while creating a more competitive environment for all of college baseball, not just some of it.


It really doesn't get any more cut and dry than this.  These are comments from a Division 1 Head Coach, not an opinion from a blogger or some guy on a message board.  Oversigning is a real issue and it is just a matter of time until the NCAA is forced to do something to close the loophole so many coaches and schools are exploiting.

There you go Coach Smith, this post was for you.  Hope it helps and thanks for sharing your thoughts and opinions on oversigning so openly, college athletics needs more coaches like yourself.

Thanks again to the reader who sent us this link - good stuff!!

Filed under: Baseball 6 Comments