I saw it on the Internet, so it must be binding.

Andy Staples has a suggestion to fix college football recruiting.  No, not this one:  I still believe that eliminating signing day entirely and allowing schools to sign players at any point in high school…”

This one:

Allow schools to publicize when they’ve offered a player a scholarship.

He offers several rationales for doing so which range from possibly relevant (“Some of them [schools] wouldn’t offer so many players”) to irrelevant (“No recruit would lie about getting an offer, either”).

There’s a third one that’s certainly well meaning, but I’m not sure how much real world effect it would have.

• It would turn up the heat on coaches who pull offers.

Go back and look at the Clemson offer that receiver Justyn Ross posted (and ultimately accepted). It’s full of disclaimers. He must qualify academically. He must continue to demonstrate good character. He must “continue to display the athletic characteristics consistent with a Clemson Tiger.” In other words, he must keep being good at football. Most scholarship offer letters—though not all social media offer graphics—contain this sort of language. And it’s perfectly understandable if a coach pulls an offer because a player is flunking classes or balloons to 400 pounds or knocks over a liquor store or waits to commit until the team has filled its allotment at the player’s position. What isn’t so understandable is when a player has an offer and commits months before signing day and then gets told there is no room for him in the class shortly before signing day. If the coach liked the player enough to post the scholarship and the player didn’t do anything that ran afoul of the disclaimers, the coach had better have a really good explanation for why he has no scholarship for the player. This could keep players from getting squeezed at the end of the process.  [Emphasis added.]

In response to the highlighted portion of that, so what?  Does anyone really think Bobby Petrino would care?  What about any coach on the proverbial hot seat who has a chance to displace a three-star for a better option at the last minute?

Every once in a while, we hear about high school coaches who get ticked off at a college coach for ditching one of his kids at the last moment — Spurrier did it a few seasons ago and Smart did it a couple of years ago.  I’m not sure how a school posting a scholarship offer publicly is going to shame a coach into sticking with it.  Most coaches are pretty shameless when it comes to recruiting.

What are y’all’s thoughts?


Filed under Recruiting, Social Media Is The Devil's Playground

16 responses to “I saw it on the Internet, so it must be binding.

  1. The only positive would be knowing who the bad actors really are.

    Allowing prospects to sign at anytime and forcing schools to offer 5 year binding scholarships would end this foolishness on both sides.


  2. chopdawg

    Shameful, IMO, for a school to pull a scholly if the recruit keeps his grades up and stays out of trouble.


  3. ChiliDawg

    I don’t see why it matters. Just like anything else in life – if you don’t have an agreement signed on paper, you don’t have anything.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Doug

    Allowing schools to publicize when they offer scholarships wouldn’t make much of a difference, but forcing them to might. Don’t know what the legalities surrounding that would be though.


  5. Derek

    Since the coaches can’t/won’t say anything about a kid whether he robs a bank or they get a better player at the spot, I don’t see how it changes much. They just won’t comment either way.

    Some coaches give a damn about their word and some don’t. We know who they are and it doesn’t seem to have much impact in the W-L column. At most being a good guy might get you a little more rope when things are bad. That’s about it.


  6. Biggus Rickus

    My thoughts remain the same. If you want to fix recruiting and college athletics in general, get rid of athletic scholarships.


  7. Harold Miller

    So in essence was he is talking about it turning recruiting into the EAS NCAA Football version of recruiting. Once your recruit commits you’re locked with that kid.


    • They can’t do that because “Verbal commitments” are not binding on either side – the kid could still flip, so there is no way the schools will be locked down either. He’s just talking about publicizing every offer a school makes. So if a school tells a QB “You’re the only QB I’m recruiting” the recruit could just go and check if they have given out other offers.


  8. South FL Dawg

    The best idea I’ve read was to get rid of the 85 scholarship limit. Just make it an annual limit whether it’s 25 or something else. It still doesn’t guarantee a recruit won’t get bumped prior to signing with his class, but afterwards his coach would gain nothing from cutting him.

    Maybe there should be a floor for total scholarships. For example assume the floor is 65…..on the official counting date a school that has already signed the yearly limit but is below 65 total scholarships could offer a few more scholarships to get to 65. Don’t forget there are walkons so nobody is grossly shorthanded.



    With free agency, what does it matter? The kid can change his mind as well


    • Otto

      Agreed, and further kids can flip at any time before signing day. It isn’t a job interview where you offer one position and if the 1st choice declines, you offer your next available choice after that decision is made. You offer several people who can say they’re going to sign for you and then flip without telling you when the offer letter is put in front of them. You have to be able to back fill and pull offers at the last moment.


  10. Jack Klompus

    With all of the recruiting outlets and focus on recruiting, it’s pretty well known these days who’s going where, at least at the big schools.


  11. section Z alum

    It’s so adorable when columnists assume that shame functions as a deterrent in recruiting.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Couple this with a public posting of who is on Scholarship for each team and you will have something.


  13. Tony Barnfart

    It’s one reason we now have the early signing day. Have an “offer” from Georgia ? Don’t get the papers you need to make it official on December 20th ? Well, you now have 45 days at a minimum to initiate your backup plan. If you were even on the radar for a fake offer from Georgia, that means at least 60ish FBS schools would walk on glass to actually get you.


  14. Cojones

    Wish you hadn’t published Petrino’s name because the mind’s image continues to go to the high neck brace and the skinned-up face and head. All any recruiter in competition with him has to do is show a photo and explain to the kid how he got that way. His dues for those shenanigans will never get paid before he retires from football.