Working the angles on oversigning

Part of the difficulty I have with the oversigning debate is that even those who are hawks on the subject don’t necessarily agree on the terms.

Greg McGarity, for example, is focused on the 85-scholarship rule.

McGarity also said that Georgia football will not allow oversigning — a practice that some programs participate in and is garnering more attention by both media and regulating bodies. “We will not sign more than 85 scholarship football players,” he noted.

Florida president Bernie Machen, however, objects to his peers failing to honor the spirit of the SEC’s 28-signee restriction.

“Every (SEC) president sat at the table when we had that discussion,” says Machen, referring to the 28-player rule. “For some reason, some of them are not stepping up and stopping it. Imagine what would happen if in the general student body admission process, the same thing happened. If you admit a student in early February then you tell them in early July that we’re not going to have a spot for you. The public wouldn’t stand for it, and I don’t believe, if we put enough sunshine on this, the public will allow this to happen, in intercollegiate athletics.”

Now, I like his “we’re not going to have a spot for you” standard.  It’s easy to observe and it highlights the truly egregious aspect of oversigning.  But I think McGarity’s focus does more to honor that than the SEC’s 28-player rule does.  Especially when you see the SEC taking the lead on ways to avoid tripping over that annual limit.

… In essence, if a school fails to use the full initial counter limit in a recruiting class and graduates a few players early, they can maximize the number of players they can bring in.  Oversigning though, is not the term one uses when talking about 2010-78.

“It’s actually tied to not oversigning,” Sankey said. “You would have to have someone on your 85-man limit leave for graduation. I think we all agree that’s a positive. And then you have to have room in your current initial counters to bring someone new in. You’re not, in any way, disenfranchising someone.”

Indeed, the new rule should provide a competitive advantage to schools that graduate players early. Many would consider this a good thing. It could also mean some players are pushed to graduate early in order to get them out and bring new players in. Given the time constraints already placed on some student-athletes, it could be something schools use to push their athletes academically to their detriment and the school’s benefit.

Once this kicks in, I can see Alabama setting the conference standard in player graduation rates.

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11 Comments

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11 responses to “Working the angles on oversigning

  1. Bulldog Joe

    It would be much simpler if these schools would offer a degree in football.

  2. Stoopnagle

    Bulldog Joe isn’t far off the mark. If the league clamps down on “oversigning” with provisions protecting those institutions which graduate players early, then we’ll simply see more student-athletes funneled into certain majors/degree programs.

  3. Bulldog Joe

    If a scholarship player performs poorly on the field or in the weight room, do you curve his grades down to flunk him out or do you curve his grades up to graduate him early?

    Do you load him up with self study “hours” to flunk him out or do you load him up with self study “hours” to graduate him early?

    See? It is not as easy in the SEC as you think.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2006/07/14/sports/ncaafootball/14auburn.html

  4. On a related note, I believe just last year… maybe two years ago in the application process, UGA admitted too many people through early admission and had to temporarily revoke acceptance (essentially defer actual acceptance until the later acceptance period) for several students. So, that never happens in academia.

    • Regular Guy

      Also, our football team isn’t without blemish……about 5 or 6 years back when we signed several JUCO linemen, we ended up having to try to grayshirt one of them because a player we thought was going to graduate didn’t, and we got caught short on available numbers. Can’t remember the recruit’s name, but he was an offensive lineman, and he ended up going to Iowa State instead of taking a grayshirt with us. That’s the only time I can remember it happening, and it was an honest mistake by Richt and company, but it still happened.

      • Macallanlover

        Fair to bring that up since it is technically correct, but let’s face it: UGA is standout on this topic and acting like a leader. No ink would have ever been spent on this issue had schools conducted themselves as CMR and UGA has.

        Sad that the SEC is sucking hind teet on this issue to the Big 10/11/12. Delany setting the pace, how embarrassing. Slime needs to pick it up in sooo many ways.

        • Regular Guy

          Oh I agree. And at least we didn’t have the guy already in classes on campus when we told him about the grayshirt.

    • Texas_Dawg

      And if it happened, Georgia should apologize for it, admit that it was a bad mistake, and promise to work to fix the institutional problems that may have led to the bad behavior.

      They shouldn’t deny that it was wrong, point to the bad behaviors of others, and persist in doing the wrong thing.

  5. Scorpio Jones, III

    Nobody is prouder than I am of our moral high ground stance on this issue and others, but I would be less than candid if I did not admit I have wondered how I would feel about oversigning if I was, for instance, a Bama fan.

    And, despite all the conversation tot he contrary, Ole Miss led the known world in oversigning, yet…….

    So I guess I am coming down in the more Blutarsky-like camp…I know in theory it is bad, and I hope we don’t do it because oversigning is also bad for long-term recruiting in addition to being bad for the individual kids.

    But I don’t think oversigning is the reason Bama has come back so strong.

    Machen is right….the more talk about it, the better.

  6. Texas_Dawg

    Could you be any more misleading in how you presented those excerpts?

    Nothing there shows they “can’t agree on the terms.” They simply chose to address different aspects of the problem.

    What you are doing at this point, Senator, is simply spinning and obfuscating. It is a very dishonest approach to the topic.

    You dug yourself a huge “S-E-C!” hole and are too proud to stop digging now. That’s too bad.