Michael Carvell reports that the SEC won its appeal of the NCAA’s restrictive interpretation of the rule about high school seniors who qualify to enroll early and sign financial aid agreements with more than one program. He sees this as a game-changer, leading to a return of an era when coaches camped out on the doorsteps of the most sought after recruits.
Me, I’m not so sure it’s as big a deal as he hopes.
Because there’s a big caveat in the very first paragraph of the NCAA’s official announcement:
As a part of its April meeting, Division I Legislative Council members decided that schools may continue to recruit prospects who sign financial aid agreements for mid-year enrollment. But if that prospect does not enroll at the school, the school will be considered in violation of recruiting rules. [Emphasis added.]
What it looks like the NCAA has done is to shift the risk from the unknown…
The change created an unintended scenario in which prospects (most often mid-year enrollees) signed multiple offers of financial aid and coaches were incentivized to recruit prospects to sign so they could recruit without restrictions. The act of signing the agreements then lifted recruiting restrictions for that prospect with more than one school and created what some termed an unhealthy recruiting environment surrounding mid-year enrollees.
The official interpretation said that only the first school to sign a prospect to a financial aid agreement was allowed the unlimited recruiting access, but many schools indicated a concern about inadvertent violations. Schools often aren’t aware when prospects sign financial aid agreements with multiple schools and in what order.
… to the known. If you’re a head coach who agrees to let a recruit sign a financial aid agreement, you no longer have to worry about how many other agreements he’s signed. You now have to worry about making sure he’s part of your next class. That strikes me as a tough gamble to take, unless you’re awfully sure about the kid and your chances to sign him.
Go get a plate and dig in.
- Keith Marshall makes a funny about Bubba Watson.
- It’s springtime, and you know what that means: this year, the Florida offense is going to be good.
- The SEC’s appeal of the NCAA’s interpretation of the rule permitting recruits to sign early multiple financial aid offers is being heard today.
- A student task force at the University of Michigan found that Brady Hoke likely lied about a player who was alleged to have been involved in a sexual assault? Whoa. We’ll see if the rule about the coverup being a bigger problem than the original incident plays out in Ann Arbor.
- Brice Ramsey, on his G-Day performance: “I was picking up blitzes, making the right reads. I just need to put the ball on. I had a bad day throwing.”
- ”In theory, it could give the private universities a recruiting advantage.”
- John Pennington argues for a rule that would prevent SEC teams from signing kids who had been kicked out of other SEC programs for violations. One rationale for that: “The fact that a booted player could come back to haunt a coach down the road might lead some to hang onto players a bit longer even if they’ve proven to be bad news.” That’s never been a concern at Georgia, obviously.
- And Seth Emerson says the NCAA can’t find a middle ground. Wouldn’t it have to be looking for one first?
Trust me, this is the most epic thing you’ll read all day.
As many of you continue to bask in the warmth of amateurism, here’s reality in a couple of sentences:
“If I told you right now the [team] would win the SEC this fall and go to the Playoff, but only if you gave me 10 grand, would you do it?”
“Shit, man … will you take a check?,” the bartender asks. “But if you could really do that, I’d probably get the cash together in a day or two.”
An early signing day proposal that “… gives football coaches a bit of a break from the worry that their top prospects will not be poached. It does so with the caveat that if circumstances change, the prospect will be free to choose a different institution. It offers an incentive to prospects to resist signing in the early period, and to wait until April to pick a university.”?
Seriously, there’s no way schools and coaches would give kids that kind of flexibility. Too bad, that.
Remember the days when Mark Richt was cautious and deliberative in offering scholarships, often to the point of being accused of waiting too long to jump in? Okay, forget that.
UGA was the first school to offer a football scholarship to MJ Webb, one of the state’s top high school freshmen.
… What was MJ’s reaction to the UGA offer “My mind was blown,” Webb said.
The real mindblower is that Webb isn’t even the first member of the class of 2017 to hold a Georgia offer. He’s the fourth.
Over at MrSEC.com, Josh Ward professes not to understand why Malik McDowell went through the NLI signing ritual at this late date.
In the end, McDowell got what he wanted. He signed with Michigan State and will be able to play for the Spartans this fall.
It’s confusing why McDowell wanted to sign at all. The letter of intent isn’t required for McDowell to be able to receive a scholarship to play at Michigan State. With McDowell being so close to enrolling in school, the letter of intent really offers McDowell no advantage.
But if McDowell gets to campus and decides he made a mistake, he’s bound to Michigan State for a year because he’s signed the letter of intent. More heavily-recruited prospects should think twice in the future before they sign a letter of intent and make such a strong commitment to one school.
In many cases, I can see the wisdom in Josh’s point. But maybe Malik signed the LOI so he’d have an excuse to keep mom off his back. “Mama, even if I wanted to leave, which I don’t, but even if I did, I can’t, because I signed the letter.” Hell hath no fury, and all.
That being said, if that day ever comes when McDowell wants to transfer, I hope Dantonio’s got enough of a sense of humor to let him go anywhere he wants, as long as it’s not on mama’s list.
If this doesn’t immediately bring this to mind…
… somethin’ be wrong with you.
By the way, does it seem like Thompson’s coach is enjoying the visitation process even more than Thompson is?
Georgia’s getting a lot of favorable publicity over sending some recruits hand-drawn portraits signed by Coach Richt. (Although you might want to get your facts straight about Alvin Kamara’s present whereabouts, ESPN dudes.) My favorite bit from that piece:
One rival SEC assistant coach said he wished he thought of the portraits and immediately sent his recruiting staff to come up with something “better.”
Sculpture comes to mind.
One thing, though. John Infante’s got a little cold water to toss on the effort.
If that turns out to be a real problem, I hope it’s nothing worse than one of those “it was worth it” secondary violations.
Grab a plate.
- Tracy Rocker sounds pretty no-nonsense about his charges: “You produce, you stay,” Rocker said. “You don’t produce, next. It’s all about playing with the right combination and to get guys to produce with full-speed effort. That’s the most important thing. That’s what I’m working on up front is effort. Try to eliminate the MA’s (missed assignments) and go forward.”
- Bill Connelly looks at how the 2013 FBS teams ranked in order of their per-game difference between projection and reality as to offensive and defensive scoring efficiency. Georgia ranks 116th. He didn’t speculate how much of that to chalk up to luck, randomness or something else, but perhaps I need to dust off the ol’ “regression to the mean, bitchez!” meme.
- Another day in paradise on Finebaum. (Do any of his listeners actually care about basketball?)
- Athlon ranks the SEC head coaches. I don’t get how you can put Malzahn ahead of Miles, but that’s just me, I guess.
- Kirby Smart is coaching defensive backs again, drawing upon his experience at Georgia: “He just coaches us at a different level, trying to get us to understand it from his point of view because he played the position and he knows what’s going on…” They should be awesome in run support this year, if that’s the case.
- Today, Quayvon Hicks is Georgia’s only healthy scholarship tight end.
- One reason CAPA is going to Washington: “One obstacle in securing some of the protections we want is the NCAA is colluding and excluding opportunities for trust funds. To solidify an antitrust exemption would be to the detriment of player protections.”
- Malik McDowell has outlasted his momma.
- I missed this when it came out, but Pete Fiutak’s April Fools’ story about Herschel finding a loophole in the NCAA eligibility rules and announcing a return to Georgia is a fun read. Richt then joked, “If you can find an extra year of eligibility for Champ Bailey and Richard Seymour, we’d find a spot for them, too. ”
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