25, the hard way

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?

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31 Comments

Filed under Recruiting, SEC Football, The NCAA

31 responses to “25, the hard way

  1. 81Dog

    Long as everyone is playing by the same rules, fine by me. I guess that’s better than Alabama, or Ole Miss, or whoever, signing 130 people over 4 years (and running a lot of them off year to year) and us signing 100 over 4 years and losing whoever we lose to natural attrition.

    I’d rather make them play by our rules than play by their rules, because we’re never going to be as cutthroat at it as they are. And honestly, I’m not sure I want to be that cutthroat. I do want to win, so let’s even the playing field.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Macallanlover

      Agree, just keep a level field. Some schools were signing an entire “bonus” class every 3 years with the “sign and discard” games they played. I am not so much in the absolute 25 boat but I feel you should never have more than 85 on a team, including the signees; in other words, you can not sign more than you have openings for. This is the only “change” you need, and I think it was what the prior rules were intended to allow anyway.

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      • dawgtired

        “I feel you should never have more than 85 on a team, including the signees; in other words, you can not sign more than you have openings for. ”

        Agree. Because in this scenario, by the time the ‘over-signing’ team trims the fat, many of the kids have to settle for a less-than-desired school. The good spots would have already been taken. The over-signers won’t get to keep the kids but they hold onto them long enough to keep their competition from getting them.

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    • Russ

      I agree, especially your last part. I want to win, but I’d like to feel good about it, too.

      Still not sure how those Auburn people could cheer for Scam Newton.

      Like

      • Macallanlover

        +1 That was when the Auburn fan base when to 1st place among worst in the SEC to me, surpassing FU and TN fans in my ranking.

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      • sniffer

        Same way I cheered Jim Harrick. He was our guy, we knew he was dirty and didn’t care. He won and that’s what mattered.

        Take the high road if you want.
        Just don’t tell me winning isn’t fun.

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  2. The other Doug

    Saban used oversigning to give Bama an advantage years ago, but now everyone does it and it’s no longer an advantage.

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    • Mayor

      Correct. That is how Saban took a team that went 7-6 in 2007 to a 12-2 team that won the West in 2008. It wasn’t better coaching of the players who were already there.

      Like

  3. sniffer

    Why take options away from a player, knowing he is grayshirting, but believes that’s best for him? Why make policy that limits student-athletes options?

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    • I agree with you as far as that goes, but I suspect this legislation has more to do with coaches who aren’t honest with recruits about these practices than those who are.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Mayor

        Sniffer makes a good point though. A kid who is from Georgia and wants to go to Georgia but can’t get an offer in 2017 because there are too many other players to whom Georgia has already committed would be precluded from enrolling in UGA during the winter or summer and being on scholarship. My reading (perhaps incorrect) is that he also would be precluded unless he enrolled, walked on and paid his own way for 2 years. Is that correct? If so that is a little too much IMHO.

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      • Mayor

        Pardon my ignorance but I can’t remember the difference between grayshirting, blueshirting and greenshirting. Could someone please enlighten me?

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        • Macallanlover

          That seems an impossible task to untangle, requiring more bandwidth than WordPress has to work with.

          Like

  4. Daniel Simpson Day

    The SEC better shore up the transfer rule because Nick Saban will become the leading cause of disability among college football players in the league.

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  5. PTC DAWG

    You mentioned Richt…I think he would like the limit to be 16-17 a year. We were under 70 for a bit with him in charge. D, JD.

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    • The Georgia Way

      Looking at his 2018 recruiting numbers, The Georgia Way will have to disagree on that point.

      But Coach Richt did save us a lot more money back in those days

      That’s why we liked him so much.

      Good times.

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      • Bob's your Uncle

        Still early for 2018 recruiting class. I saw on BI were one of their writers said Georgia only had four 2017 signees committed before May 1st, 2016. The other 22 came between May and NSD.

        I think Alabama only 4 currently committed for 2017.

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    • Macallanlover

      You do realize the “under 70” had little to do with signing up to the 85 limit don’t you? Recall we may have actually signed 2-3 short that year as we held out some schollies hoping for some last minute decisions. Decision was to hold them to increase the next year’s class size with players having a better opportunity to contribute than just signing some leftovers. No one fell short by big numbers, attrition was the culprit for various reasons.

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      • PTCDAWG@COMCAST,NET

        Sure, keep defending his actions.

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        • Macallanlover

          Yeah, because emotions, not facts,should be the basis of comments/opinions. What a surprise you would continue to be irrational and emotional (again). Do you ned a crying couch or snuggle puppy now?

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        • Yea, that 2012 team really sucked and had no chance to compete with the great teams like Bama. Oh wait, we almost won the NC that year. CMR must be a great coach to compete with Bama when he was at such a disadvantage numbers wise. You guys crack me up.

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  6. To me, Nick Saban and the best coaches win the same amount even if these new rules are put in place.

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    • Mayor

      Since they already abused the process before–well yeah. It keeps the competition from doing the same and possibly catching up.

      Like

  7. Lrgk9

    The fix is in somehow someway somewho.

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  8. Sherlock

    I haven’t heard much of a peep from anyone in the SEC in response.

    The rule proposed is basically the exact same thing as the 25 signee limit that the SEC implemented starting 2012. I would not expect the SEC coaches to speak out as the proposal does not affect them.

    http://www.al.com/sports/index.ssf/2012/01/sec_learning_to_live_with_new.html

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    • From the piece you linked: “So last spring the SEC passed a rule limiting the number of signees between Dec. 1 and May 31 to 25.”

      From the piece linked in my post: “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.”

      Maybe that’s not a big deal. But it does affect the SEC coaches.

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      • Sherlock

        Now that I re-read the article, the new proposal would actually give the coaches even more flexibility that the current SEC rule. Currently, they can only back-count early enrollees to the previous class. This proposal would allow them to back-count kid that enroll in summer school as well as they could count toward the current, i.e. Fall enrollment, or the next class.

        I call dibs on naming the process of asking an early-enrollee to delay financial aid until summer semester so that a Graduate Transfer can still count toward the 85 limit in the Spring and graduate so as not to affect the teams ability to sign more graduate transfers – an Indigo-shirt.

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  9. Is it even possible, in the current SEC, to compete for championships and NOT be cut throat? I honestly don’t see how. The conference didn’t get where it is by playing by the same rules.

    No- what I see happening is the same thing that’s happened to any SEC program that’s had success. They’ve all dabbled in the gray and their fans have to adjust and learn how to rationalize and justify what really isn’t justifiable. Auburn people are a prime example with their “everyone deserves a 2nd chance”, “all in”, “family” and the ever famous “God forgives” BS. They really played the God card! I’ll never forget seeing both Cam Newton and Chizik claim God was on their side in the post game of the NC. WTF!

    Long story short…most will overlook nearly anything when you’re winning. I know we have a misplaced sense of righteousness but most Georgia fans would do the same. I don’t think it’s possible to compete and do it cleanly. Not today, not now.

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