Daily Archives: January 31, 2012

Musical palate cleanser, pre-signing day edition

Click here to listen to “Horse Back”, a new 30-minute jam from Neil Young and Crazy Horse.  (If you’re a Zuma fan, you’ll thank me.)


Filed under Uncategorized

Is the SEC’s new 25-man cap having an impact?

Sometimes, the devil’s in the details, as Seth Emerson tells us.

… But programs also accept early enrollments — such as Georgia did with Keith Marshall and two other recruits earlier this month. Under the old rules, teams had back-counted early enrollments toward the previous signing class, as a way of signing more players. That is still allowed.

But the programs were also allowed to not count players who signed but failed to qualify academically or didn’t enroll for whatever reason. The SEC clarified Monday that the new rules prevent teams from doing that anymore.

“If a player signs, he counts without regard to whether or not he actually enrolls,” SEC spokesman Charles Bloom said in an e-mail Monday. “ ‘Back counting’ is only permitted for mid-year enrollees who are able to be included as an initial counter for the academic year in which they enroll. ‘Back counting’ is an artificial term for this discussion and not accurate as the question is about the signing limit.”

So essentially under the old rules, what mattered most was who actually enrolled. But the SEC’s new rules are directed at who signs.  [Emphasis added.]

If you’re a coach who takes chances with kids who haven’t qualified academically on signing day, that definitely makes the math trickier.  If you guess wrong, you don’t get a mulligan.  And even if you aren’t that aggressive, well… this stuff sorta sounds like rocket science:

The SEC rule — and the national rule next year — allows an annual exception for teams to sign more than 25. That is possible if one or more signees can be counted backward toward the previous year’s class. There must be spots available in the previous class to do so.

The maximum 25 new scholarship players who can enroll each academic year are called “initial counters.” Almost always, initial counters are players who were recruited to be put on scholarship upon enrolling for their first year.

How does counting backward work? If a team shows up in the fall and adds, for instance, 20 new initial counters to go with 65 returning players, it would be maxed out at the NCAA limit of 85 scholarships and there would be five initial counters the team didn’t use.

Come December and January, the team could add five mid-year enrollees who count back toward the previous class if there are at least five current players whose eligibility ended. The mid-year enrollees could be any combination of junior college and four-year college transfers or early graduates from high school.

If that team brought in a sixth mid-year enrollee, one of those six mid-year enrollees would have to be counted forward, reducing the size of the upcoming signing class from 25 to 24.

The new rule supposedly has its first poster child.

… Alabama’s handling of North Atlanta High School running back Justin Taylor, who committed to the Crimson Tide a year ago, is the most high-profile example of the signing cap working as intended. Taylor told reporters that Saban said he couldn’t sign with the 2012 class because of the new rule and Taylor’s torn ACL.

In the past, Taylor might have been a grayshirt who signed a National Letter of Intent and delayed enrollment. Alabama still has an offer to Taylor, who may eventually sign in 2013. But in the meantime, the SEC cap prevented Taylor from signing, which had he been able to do so would have taken away his leverage to still be recruited by other schools.

If Saban hasn’t figured an effective way to tap dance around the new cap, maybe it’s fair to say there’s something substantive to it.

As the article notes, this rule goes into effect nationally this August, so at least the conference won’t be at a competitive disadvantage with other conferences in the future.  There’s also another roster management rule from the NCAA coming down the turnpike:

… The NCAA also adopted the SEC’s proposal to count summer enrollees on financial aid toward a team’s scholarship numbers for the next academic year. That gives universities less freedom to remove a scholarship from a player after he attends summer school simply because a different recruit gains eligibility late. The SEC has not yet adopted the summer-school rule, which goes into effect next summer.

If it’s an SEC proposal, you’d have to think it’ll be adopted in time.  Grayshirting, while not prohibited, looks like it’s becoming more and more of a challenge.  We’ll see how the coaches adapt.



Filed under Recruiting, SEC Football

Pay the price.

Welcome to your SEC, where everything other than the air you breathe is monetized.  And that which is not expressly permitted is forbidden:

… It seems that the 40 or so videos of old Bulldog games I had posted on YouTube over the last one-and-a-half years and embedded into my blog posts were committing copyright infringement.  XOS Digital – a division of XOS Technologies, Inc., and the group behind the SEC Digital Network – has apparently been on a mission to rid the Internet of any video depicting members of the SEC.  They finally caught up to me a few days ago, and in the process, got rid of every last one of my 40+ freakin’ videos that I spent hours cutting up and preparing!

Suddenly, without any sort of notification or warning of my wrong doing, my blog was temporarily removed, all of my videos were wiped out, and my YouTube account was suspended.

Look, I get the need for some of this.  The conference doesn’t want entire games posted on YouTube when it derives some financial benefit from controlling distribution.

But Patrick Garbin is posting clips from games more than a decade ago on a fan blog.  He’s not trying to generate commercial competition; he’s simply encouraging interest from a (relatively) small number of folks with a passion for a football program.  Hell, if anything, should he manage to whet somebody’s appetite with a post, with a little effort, that’s something SEC Digital Networks ought to be able to make a buck off of, as Gawd and Mike Slive intended.

You’d think that fan interest is something precious and worth nurturing.  But this is the SEC, which has a hard time seeing past anyone’s wallet now.  I may be disappointed, but I can’t say I’m surprised.


Filed under It's Just Bidness, SEC Football

Chasing those stars

One of the more valuable services Matt Hinton provides is his annual reminder that, quite simply, “(t)he better your recruiting rankings by the gurus, the better your chances of winning games, against all classes.”

You want an illustration of what that means?  Okay, here’s a handy chart:

No, there are no guarantees in life.  There are plenty of five-star busts.  There are any number of unheralded recruits who turn out to be raging success stories.  But when your typical five-star player has a ten-times better chance of becoming an All-American than does your average three-star recruit (and a one hundred-times better shot than a two-star kid!), then you have to play the odds if you’ve got the opportunity to do so.  It’s simple math.


Filed under Recruiting

Hell hath no fury like a momma scorned

Landon Collins’ mom definitely ain’t happy with Nick Saban.  Her heart belongs to The Hat.

In an interview with a website called MomsTeam.com, Justin expounded on her distaste for the Tide as Collins’ choice, saying that “[Alabama] want[s] to redshirt – or greyshirt – him and they want him playing nickleback instead of safety. He is the top safety in the country and he will never play a game his freshman year.”  At the choice of school for her son, LSU, “coach Les Miles is offering to play him as safety during his freshman year.”

She also claims that her son’s girlfriend has been offered a job in Saban’s office, the implication being that his school loyalty is following his little head around.  (Shocking to think that could happen, I know.)

But for all that, you have to wonder if the woman is a little clueless when she says things like this:

“His (Nick Saban’s) goals don’t meet the criteria of the family; they meet the criteria of Alabama,” Justin added.

She has to be the only person in America who finds that to be a profound observation.  And if she thinks Saban is unique in that way, she’s even more clueless than I already think she is.


Filed under Nick Saban Rules, Recruiting