Take a shot at filling in the blanks on this quote:
“They had an oversigning issue,” Jackson said. “They had to free up a few scholarships, and coach [coach’s name] told me I probably wouldn’t play and maybe [school’s name] wasn’t the place for me.”
So who are you thinking about here? Saban? Miles? Spurrier? Nutt? Nuh uh. Here’s the complete quote:
“They had an oversigning issue,” Jackson said. “They had to free up a few scholarships, and coach [Jim] Tressel told me I probably wouldn’t play and maybe Ohio State wasn’t the place for me.”
As much as I’d like to take a moment here to mock some people for believing in the Big Ten Doesn’t Oversign Fairy, I have to admit there’s a part of me that isn’t sure Jackson’s complaint passes the smell test. There are a lot of sins which can be laid at Jim Tressel’s feet, but serial oversigning isn’t one of them. I digress, though.
What’s more interesting about the story is how it takes what happened to Jackson as the jumping point to praise of the new legislation coming out of Connecticut and California which requires schools to post information about their policies on athletic scholarships on their websites for recruits and their families to check. I’ve already noted my skepticism about the real merits of the new law, but don’t take my word for how little effect it’s likely to have, take this man’s.
… Quinnipiac University basketball coach Tom Moore said he doesn’t believe the law will lead to many changes in the recruiting process. His school, and all others that he knows of, already make the details of scholarships available to recruits and their families, he said. And most families, he said, are savvy enough to ask the right questions anyhow.
He said while there is a perception that schools sometimes run off athletes to give a scholarship to a better player, more often the decision to transfer is initiated by the player, not the coach.
“With each passing generation of kids, you are getting kids who are less driven to work through things,” Moore said. “You get a lot of kids who come in expecting success, without realizing the work you have to put in to achieve success. That’s sometimes where the conflict comes in.”
Perhaps some of that is reflected in Jackson’s take on how things went down for him.
“My main goal coming out of high school was to get a degree from a Division I program,” said Jackson, who now attends Wayne State, a Division II school in Michigan. “If I had known they wouldn’t keep me in school for four to five years, no matter what, I would have gone somewhere else.
“I don’t necessarily feel used, and maybe coach Tressel was right, maybe Ohio State wasn’t right for me,” he said. “But this would have helped me out by maybe knowing that before.”
Except who’s to say that he wouldn’t have gone to some other program with the same approach?
Generally speaking, I’m a fan of disclosure. It’s just that I’d like it to be meaningful disclosure. And I’m not sure this helps much. If these laws aren’t going to mandate that coaches lay out their retention policies on a face to face basis, maybe they ought to at least require schools to keep up a database for recruits to access of student-athletes who left their respective programs without making use of four years’ worth of scholarships. Yeah, right… who am I kidding here? That’s gonna happen.