One more thing about NCAA Proposal No. 2016-116 — while the part affecting hiring high school coaches has gotten a fair amount of howling from SEC coaches, including Kirby Smart, there is another provision that doesn’t seem to have drawn much of a reaction, somewhat to my surprise.
Limitation of annual scholarships to 25
If passed: Effective Aug. 1, 2017, affecting newcomers in 2018.
Need to know: This is a move to do away with oversigning and to reduce the practice of grayshirting, blueshirting and greenshirting. If you’re color-blind to these practices, don’t worry, it likely won’t matter much after this year.
The legislation would limit to 25 the number of prospects whose aid is initially offered in the fall term of an academic year. Current rules limit to 25 the number of prospects allowed to sign from Dec. 1 through May 31.
Central to the proposed changes, walk-ons who have not been enrolled for two years and transfers will both count against the 25-player limit. A walk-on awarded a scholarship after two or more years enrolled will not count against the limit.
A prospect whose scholarship paperwork specifies that he’ll be offered aid in the second or third term of an academic year may count toward the current academic year or the next year.
The SEC has proposed an amendment that would allow a newcomer who, before participating in competition, is injured or ill — to the point that he will apparently never again be able to play — to not count against any limit.
That strikes me as a pretty radical change to the way many Southern schools have gone about their business. (Mark Richt, no doubt, is thinking, “about damned time”.) Other than the amendment mentioned in the last paragraph in the quoted passage, though, I haven’t heard much of a peep from anyone in the SEC in response. Is Nick Saban really that comfortable with the change?