Marching through Sherman

Gamecock Man has the details on Steve Spurrier’s latest oversigning move.  It ain’t pretty, but it’s clear the OBC doesn’t give a rat’s ass anymore what anyone else thinks about it.

I assume this means the school’s administration is all in, too.  That’s the culmination of a trend that started a while ago.  No doubt it’s even easier to buy in when you’ve got that first division title winking at you in some trophy case in Columbia.


Filed under SEC Football, The Evil Genius

26 responses to “Marching through Sherman

  1. TennesseeDawg

    No doubt it’s even easier to buy in when you’ve got that first division title winking at you in some trophy case in Columbia.
    Right next to all those preseason National Championship trophies.

  2. Gravidy

    I might get flamed for this, but here goes…

    I’m always looking for an excuse to criticize Spurrier. I don’t like him, and I probably never will. And when I clicked on that link, I thought I would be ready to post something snarky about it. But I was wrong. After I read that, all I could think of was the countless students who have lost academic scholarships because they didn’t perform sufficiently in the classroom. I don’t ever remember reading a sob story about how unfairly any of those kids were treated. How is an athletic scholarship different?

    Of course, there is the completely separate issue of competitive advantage. I have certainly been angry at Saban, Spurrier, and others in the past for such culling substandard players, because I knew Richt wouldn’t do it. Therefore, UGA is at a competitive disadvantage to those other schools. I don’t know how that problem should be solved. Maybe athletic scholarships should be treated differently. Maybe they should be four or five year commitments. If that would solve the problem, then I might be in favor of it. But as the rules are currently written, I’m finding it harder and harder to blame a rival coach for doing this sort of thing.

    • I see what you’re saying here, but how do we establish the standard for keeping an athletics scholarship? For an academic scholarship, you generally don’t have to maintain the kinds of academic credentials that get you into Harvard Law. The standards, as I recall, are actually fairly low. By that token, for athletics scholarships, you shouldn’t have to be a star. Sherman was, by all accounts, a hard worker who was doing everything he could to contribute. I think that was enough.

      • Gravidy

        First of all, let me say that we are coming at this from strange angles. You are criticising Spurrier, and I am (sort of) defending him.

        Having said that…there are countless academic scholarships at countless schools from countless organizations. And they all have different requirements. Personally, I had two different academic scholarships in college. One was a partial scholarship from the school, and the other was a partial scholarship from a veterans’ organization. They both had different requirements for renewal. Thankfully, I was never in any danger of losing either. But I knew lots of kids who goofed off and lost their scholarships.

        So, with all of that in mind, I’m not really concerned with what each coach’s requirements are to retain the scholarship, as long as the players understand them up front.

        I don’t want my larger point to get caught up in the details. That larger point is simply asking if athletic scholarships should be treated any differently than academic ones. If the answer is “yes” in order to help cure the competitive advantage issues, then I could get behind that. But as it is, I’m of the opinion that players losing scholarships due to lack of performance get a lot more attention and sympathy than other students do when they lose their academic scholarships.

        I really didn’t mean to make a mountain out of a mole hill in this case, and I probably did. But I’m beginning to rethink some of my opinions on oversigning – at least in this sort of a situation.

        • I don’t think you made a mountain out of a molehill. I think these are good points and that this is an interesting issue.

          I really don’t think athletics scholarships should be treated any differently than other academic scholarships. I think that in both cases it makes sense to make the money contingent on good standing. However, in academics, good standing means maintaining a certain grade-point average. In football, it now seems to mean being better than whoever else the coaches have found and would like to bring in. The player has little control. He can work his butt off and perform to the best of his ability, but if the coach finds someone better in the next recruiting class, he’s out. I’d like to see that come more in line with what you see with academic scholarships, were you’re guaranteed a long-term commitment as long as you hold up your end of the bargain.

          As far as competitive advantage goes, I don’t really see it as being the issue here. If oversigning regulations are to be enacted, they need to be enacted to protect student-athlete welfare, not to remedy competitive advantage issues. They wouldn’t be “remedying” anything in that sense, actually, considering that UGA and UF have just as much right to oversign as anyone else does. What they’d really be doing is giving UGA and UF competitive advantage, because the beneficiaries in such a scheme would be schools located in states where talented, qualifying players are readily available. We all know that UGA and UF don’t oversign as much because they don’t have to in order to pad their rosters as for any other, more ethical reason; Richt has admitted as much. That said, it’s fine with me for some of the have-nots to sacrifice a little competitive advantage if it’s beneficial to the players.

          • BTW, we are coming at this from strange angles. That said, I’m sure we’ll get our chances to come at it from more traditional ones before too long. September is coming soon, folks.

          • Gravidy

            You make good points about enforcement of a meritocracy in deciding who gets to stay on scholarship. In college football, it would be a virtually impossible task. But I think I might differ from you a little bit on who we might think deserves to retain a scholarship. You seem to think that as long as a guy does his best, he should be allowed to remain on scholarship. I might be a little more harsh than that. Sometimes a player’s honest best effort isn’t good enough. I had a friend in college that studied hard every night – harder than I did in most cases – but he still couldn’t make the grades, and he lost his scholarship. He was a good guy. He tried his best. But, in the end, it wasn’t enough to retain his scholarship, and he understood.

            Oversigning is a many-headed monster. There are student welfare angles and competitive advantage angles among others. Everyone has his own definition of it, and I’m against it in most of its forms. Because of all of that, it is a tricky thing to discuss in this format. I wish we could get it all solved today, but I suspect we won’t. 🙂

            • Marmot

              What’s this? An intelligent discussion about oversigning? Hopefully Texas_Dawg (or Dawg-n-Texas or whatever his tag is) doesn’t show up and ruin this.

              I’ve made the academic scholarship comparison before and no one ever addresses it or can articulate why athletes should be treated differently than other students when it comes to scholarships. If I wanted to argue that there is a difference I might point out that in the current culture of college football recruiting it seems that an athlete is choosing a team and it’s coaches more than he is choosing a school. So when his scholarship is taken away it’s like his entire college experience has been taken from him. Sure, he’s still a student like everyone else, but that wasn’t why he chose that school (possibly). To him, it’s like getting kicked out of a Fraternity that recruited him from high school. That’s probably a really good comparison, and since it wouldn’t bother me for a kid to get kicked out of a Fraternity it still doesn’t compel me to be against oversigning.

              Lots of other good points in your discussion. I agree, if the kids are being mistreated then something needs to be done. But I really don’t think that is happening, even at Bama.

              • Gravidy

                I don’t know how intelligent it has been, but at least we haven’t called each other morons yet. 🙂

    • gatorhater27

      How do you know Sherman didn’t perform sufficiently?

      • Gravidy

        The short answer is this: because Spurrier cut him in favor of another player he wanted more. So he obviously didn’t perform sufficiently in Spurrier’s opinion. And his opinion is the only one that counted in this case.

        Of course, the longer answer is a lot more complicated. We have to consider whether we think this sort of thing is fair or appropriate. But even more than that, my comments weren’t meant to be directed at this case specifically. The truth is that I have no idea how Sherman performed or even what my definition of “sufficiently” is. My comments were directed at the bigger picture. I was wondering if coaches should be allowed to pull scholarships for lack of performance on the field – in general – the same way someone in academics at the university is allowed to pull an academic scholarship for lack of performance in the classroom.

        In my opinion, I think coaches should be able to pull scholarships for lack of performance on the field as long as the students know the terms of the deal upfront. I freely admit that creating and administering such a system would be very difficult, but administering all the current rules is just as difficult (or maybe I should say impossible).

        • I know this is simply the details of the big picture here, but since gatorhater asked, Sherman’s was our main kick returner last year. He also saw the field occasionally at WR and RB, but he was mainly a special teams guy, a former track star who could burn. We have three apparently superior return men joining the team in the fall. Those are Gamecocks hoopster Bruce Ellington and incoming frosh Damiere Byrd and Shon Carson. Byrd was reputed to be one of the fastest prep players in the country last year and a good football player to boot, and I expect he’s going to be our return man for the next few years. Sherman wasn’t getting the job done at KR, and Spurrier expects one of these three to take his place.

        • gatorhater27

          “In my opinion, I think coaches should be able to pull scholarships for lack of performance on the field as long as the students know the terms of the deal upfront. I freely admit that creating and administering such a system would be very difficult, but administering all the current rules is just as difficult (or maybe I should say impossible).”

          I think that is a terrible idea and does more to make the college game like pro ball than anything else. If a kid is getting in trouble with the law or is failing academically, then sure, he can be run off. Aren’t these colleges, not semi-pro football teams?

          • Yeah, this is what I worry. I think these scholarships are being used like free agent contracts. The worst part is that unlike the pros, these college players don’t have time to figure out something for the next year.

            • gatorhater27

              Exactly. And ultimately, the college is there for the student to get an education. Football (or whatever else) is an extracurricular activity.

          • Gravidy

            That’s fine. I can see where you’re coming from and respect your opinion. It is very possible that I would agree with you in many specific cases. Remember…we haven’t exactly defined “sufficiently” yet.

            But what about the normal student who’s on an academic scholarship? Do we not pull theirs if they fail to perform in the classroom?

  3. TimRankine

    Nothing to see here

  4. Thanks for the link, Senator.

  5. Dog in Fla

    Wait until Adam learns about this. He’ll have to revise his manifesto set for release on July 16, 2011

  6. Cojones

    gamecock man- Always a pleasure to see you cited here. Know you don’t get pleasure out of the negative side of your Coach, but we know that you will also be yellin’ and screamin’ in Athens this year. Your honesty and insightfulness is not lost on most of us here at UGA.

    Until you limit the number of players/greyshirts/scholly offers, there’s nothing you can do about a coach who will overrecruit “because it’s better to have them off the boards instead of them playing against us next year” (or words to that effect). It finally will catch up with him, but not before naive players fall victim without counting. If you don’t have it in your heart, you certainly can’t legislate it in without a shoehorn and a search warrant for a conscience.

  7. David

    From what I read, this kid was a walk on that was granted a scholarship. IMO walk on schollys are a bit different from kids recruited out of HS. Correct me if I’m wrong, but if a scholarship opens up and the coach can reward a hard-working walk-on for the year that’s great, but by no means does that mean you’re still on scholarship the following seasons. Perhaps the foul smell from this is the timing?

    • Yeah, I def. think that’s the understanding with walk-on schollys. I guess my thing is that I feel that shouldn’t be the case. Of course, as several commenters on my site point out, the problem with forcing coaches to make walk-on schollys long-term commitments is that it would make it less likely that a coach would ever offer one in the first place.

      Sherman’s case is a bit different because he came to school under the auspices of a track scholarship but then decided to try his hand at football, although surely he understood going into this thing that he would be treated the same way as other walk-ons.

      And I agree, the timing is part of what stinks about this whole thing. From what I understand, Sherman thought he’s have his scholarship going into the fall. His hands are a bit tied now because he’s going to lose it. He’s essentially forced to stick around and pay his way, as opposed to having time to figure out another option like picking up a scholly at a lower-tier school.

  8. Cojones

    Could he slide back to a track scholly until he graduates?