When concern is really about gaming the system

Five bucks on which SEC coaches said this to Greg Sankey:

This week’s portal discussion transitioned into SEC football coaches bemoaning how the added challenge increased transfers — especially those in the spring and summer after a team has finalized its incoming signing class — severely impact a team’s ability to maintain its 85-scholarship limit.

Among the suggestions was possibly creating opportunity to expand the NCAA’s 25-player initial counter or new scholarship-player signing limit per recruiting class.

“The (signing) number 25 was established at a time when the transfer frequency was lower, … and the declarations in pursuit of the NFL draft after the third year were lower, and I think we’ve seen (both) those numbers increase,” SEC commissioner Greg Sankey said Wednesday. “So I think our coaches appropriately raised the question of how we evaluate the signing limit number, and what does that mean for graduate transfers as well. There are some roster number issues where the concern … is (when) you struggle to get back to 85, and if we’re not at 80-85 consistently, then we’re not offering opportunities for young people.”

The key word in that last sentence is “we’re”, although I’m sure Sankey would prefer you focus on the last eight instead.  The reason those young people are entering the portal is because they already feel like they’re no longer being offered an opportunity at their current SEC place of residence.

In any event, can you imagine what certain coaches — let’s call them masters of roster management — could do with a rule that let them sign extra recruits to make up for kids who are… um, encouraged to seek out new opportunities?



Filed under SEC Football, Transfers Are For Coaches.

5 responses to “When concern is really about gaming the system

  1. Gaskilldawg

    I guess Dan Mullen is the coach. I have zero, nada, sympathy for coaches having to figure out how to manage rosters.


  2. Macallanlover

    Could also interpret that to mean that shortfall would deny 4-5 more HS students the opportunities at a scholarship. Of course those aren’t valued much by some, but some athletes and their families might appreciate the chance to get exploited.

    And it isn’t like the ones entering the portal didn’t have an opportunity, they just may not like the result of their effort. I have no issue with them transferring, just concerned about the impact of immediate play waivers for undergrad, D1 to D1 athletes. There could certainly be legitimate exceptions, but the “gaming the system” examples we have seen recently is troubling.


    • Could also interpret that to mean that shortfall would deny 4-5 more HS students the opportunities at a scholarship.

      Are you saying that a kid who’s good enough to earn an SEC offer couldn’t play at any other P5 program?


      • Macallanlover

        No, I am just saying there would be unused schollies somewhere if the full 85 were not given out. It is a shortfall in the cumulative total of HS athletes, unless I am missing something.


  3. GruvenDawg

    It’s not just the SEC that wants the rule changed because of the transfer portal. The ACC and Big 10 both had teams with a high number of kids entering the transfer portal. Due to the 25 initial counter rule the kids in the transfer portal are struggling to find a school with open spots to take them and will most likely lose their scholarship at the school they are leaving when they enter their name in the portal. It may not be this year but the 25 yearly cap will be amended in some form or fashion to allow teams to get back to 85 scholarships. When that happens I expect to see some teams take more of the transfer portal students to get competitive quickly and I also expect to see some schools have kids “move along” to open up additional signing spots on the roster. We took three transfers this year and due to the 25 initial counter rule I think our max signing class is 22-23. Teams that take 10-12 transfers put themselves at a disadvantage ala Kansas trying to get back to 85 under Beatty because of Weiss ($$ https://theathletic.com/438107/2018/07/20/kansas-jayhawks-football-coach-david-beaty-scholarships-debt/).

    The idea of a streamlined transfer process is great for the student athletes. My biggest gripe with the transfer portal is I had zero confidence the NCAA had any idea of the possible ramifications of the new rule or how they would implement intentionally vague requirements. Today we have kids going in the transfer portal, they can’t find a school P5/G5 with an available initial counter spot and are going to lose their current scholarship because they entered the portal seeking an opportunity elsewhere as explained in your article and here https://www.si.com/college-football/2019/02/18/transfer-portal-scholarship-limits-initial-counter-rule. On top of that there are still cases getting denied by the NCAA (Luke Ford pre lawyer and VT kid with parent medical issue). Sucks for the kids honestly. I don’t think this was the intention of the rule and the implementation has been lackluster at best. Either way a rule adjustment is a slippery slope. I am pretty sure there would be quite a few players that were told they are not going to play and they should find a new home if the initial counters rule was amended.