And so does ESPN's ACC blogger, Heather Dinich. They both agree that the oversigning loophole is an issue that needs to be addressed and that it primarily exists in the SEC.
"Some were quick to criticize Butch Davis’ class of 28 last year, but that’s nothing compared to how the SEC has recruited. The SEC has combined for 34 recruiting classes with more than 25 players each. Mississippi State did it each of the past five years. Alabama did it four of the past five, as have Arkansas and Auburn. Only one school in the SEC – Vanderbilt – has kept its classes at 25 or under."
"If you are good at math, you may note that 39, 30 and 28 all are more than 25, the NCAA-mandated limit that has applied to FBS schools since 1992. But a few years ago, some very shrewd coach (no one is sure whom) noticed that the rule says that no more than 25 signees may enter the university in the fall term. It says nothing about how many players may sign with the university in February.
It is a loophole that a coach can drive a championship through. National champion Alabama, for instance, has announced 29 signees on each of the last two signing days."
We really love this comment:
"We spent some time trying to analyze what happens in each signing class," SEC associate commissioner Greg Sankey said. "Folks got so concerned that it became an issue that crystallized last spring."
The SEC athletic directors suggested that the signing limit from signing day through May 31 be set at 30. The presidents agreed upon 28. The NCAA also adopted the 28-man limit, although few schools outside the SEC have signed more than 25.
"Spent some time trying to analyze what happens in each signing class" - what a joke. Oversigning has been an issue in the SEC for the better part of its existence. Any SEC official who can't see what is going on is either an idiot or understands exactly what is going on and doesn't have the balls to do anything about it. The rule that needs to come down from the SEC office is a rule that requires SEC coaches to report the number of returning scholarship players prior to national signing day, and with that number the SEC office can assign a max number to each school and not allow anyone to take more than they have room for, period. If a school reports 68 returning scholarship players, they get a budget of 17 scholarships to give out and the message to the coaches should be, "here's your number, make each commitment count."
The SEC implementing the "Houston Nutt Rule" limiting schools to signing 28 commitments to a single class has zero teeth and is a complete joke. Besides, the Big 10 has had that rule for years, so it's not like they came up with something new that no one else has been doing, plus oversigning has never been an issue in the Big 10 anyways.
Now that everyone is glued to recruiting class rankings on signing day (which wasn't the case before rivals.com and scout.com) it has put a spotlight on the number of kids each school signs; before then all of this was pretty much under the radar for the average fan. With both websites displaying numbers from 2002-2010 we finally have enough data in one place to analyze and see if there is a trend or not.
We're not going to say that we scooped ESPN on this one (they have mentioned it before in previous years)...but both of these articles did come out a few days after we put up our first recruiting chart on this website.
Let's hope it continues to come up in the mainstream media.