The Oversigning Bowl

By Ramzy Nasrallah on October 24, 2011 at 2:00p
184 Comments
CONGRATULATIONS TO US FOR HAVING TEAMS THAT WILL ALWAYS BE LOADEDOn NLOI Day 2011, these two combined were 19 players above the limit. (Getty)

While you're suddenly re-engaged in Ohio State's conference championship possibilities (thank you, Sparty) the most anticipated game that you'll be hearing about this week isn't even being played until next weekend.

LSU and Alabama are ranked atop the polls and both have this coming weekend off before playing each other on Nov 5, so the rare 1 vs. 2 matchup gets an additional rarity in that it will receive a two-week buildup without the threat of vaporizing by way of an upset.

Sure, you'll consume plenty of thoughts about Ohio State's unexpected B1G reprieve throughout this week, but nationally - aside from requisite lip service - this is the big game.

You're guaranteed to hear about LSU and Alabama during every broadcast this coming Saturday, and rightfully so: It will be the first regular season 1 vs. 2 since Ohio State and Michigan met to end of the 2006 season.

So the oddity of this organically happening outside of the annually-manufactured BCS finale will surely grab the marquee storyline. The "Saban Bowl" element to this matchup - Les Miles took over at LSU for Nick Saban, who now coaches at Alabama - will be the subheader.

The storyline that probably won't make it anywhere near the national discussion is that Saban and Miles each play the recruiting game with a stacked deck: For every four players that almost every other program in the country admits to school, Alabama and LSU each take in five.

While it won't happen, the discussion of oversigning should be one of the storylines for this particular game. LSU and Alabama should be ranked at or near the top of the polls, and every year - not just in 2011.

Both programs have top-tier head coaches and both schools - unlike the one in Columbus - are at or above the Southeastern Conference's pay grade for proven assistant coaches and coordinators. Baton Rouge and Tuscaloosa are practically required to be on every elite high school recruit's list of possibilities.

But what ensures that LSU and Alabama should be among the elite of the elite is that both have installed a system that gives them significantly less recruiting risk than most of their competitors in recruiting.

Oversigning recruits every year has given both schools built-in second and third-chances where talent acquisition is concerned. They get refunds on their bad bets, and their depth charts are proof that it works.

If you're somehow unfamiliar with how oversigning works, here's the one-sentence summary: Oversigning programs like Alabama and LSU purge their 85-man rosters of underperforming players by either citing medical hardship, issuing grayshirts, encouraging transfers, natural attrition or - when the summer is over and the season is about to start with still too many scholarship players on the roster - abruptly pulling enough scholarships to get down to 85.

There's an entire web site devoted to shedding light on this practice, but it is angled more toward the ethics behind operating on the premise of a renewable one-year scholarship that can expire, rather than a four-year commitment to a kid who accepts a scholarship offer.

The latter group of collegians, which includes recruiting misses, occupies valuable spaces in the rosters of most football programs in the country.

At LSU and Alabama, nothing is guaranteed: The players that pan out stay on campus. The ones that aren't good enough might find out over the summer that they need to find another school.

How much competitive advantage is gained? Alabama's closest game this year was a 16-point laugher at State College. LSU has cruised past five ranked teams by an aggregate score of 192-75. And it's not just this year - at least one of these two teams has been ranked in the top five in six of the past seven meetings.

Neither seems to ever have significant holes or weaknesses, largely because they can be addressed very quickly through oversigning.

Steve Spurrier has used oversigning to elevate South Carolina's overall talentOBC: The SEC East's answer to the entire SEC West.

Every four years LSU, Alabama and the rest of the SEC West sign what amounts to five recruiting classes. That gives them an entire bad year's worth of mulligans for players who end up being lousier than their high school tapes might have indicated. With those second chances, oversigning schools like LSU and Alabama often find their difference makers.

It only takes a couple of extra guys to make the leap to championship contention. Look at Cam Newton, who was booted from Florida for both academic fraud and property theft.

He ended up signing at Auburn as part of 32-man class. Those seven extra signees above the 25-man limit that is allowed to enroll were insurance policies for players - potentially, like Newton - that are likely to flake, flunk or get kicked out of school.

Newton was a gamble that paid off. Auburn, like Arkansas, Ole Miss and the SEC West as a whole sign more players to choose from when it comes to determining the two-deep.

Look at Duron Carter, Ohio State legacy who was kicked out of school for, among his other hallmarks of laziness and entitlement, flunking survey courses. Alabama could afford to give him a second chance last April, well after National Signing Day - in part because of the unnatural attrition that happens in Tuscaloosa every summer.

What this means is that one Crimson Tide player who was on the Alabama roster last April suddenly found himself out of school before September to make room for Carter, who predictably isn't academically eligible to play this season because he's still Duron Carter.

If you don't think an extra player or five doesn't make much of a difference, look at Ohio State 110th-ranked offense without Terrelle Pryor's natural physical ability keeping Nick Siciliano anonymous. Oversigning at Ohio State could mean curbing Jim Bollman's failed lineman experiments that end up playing both sides of the line on the scout team for five years.

As long as players are clearly informed up front that scholarships are a one-year deal and not a four-year commitment by the school, it shouldn't be a matter of ethics. However, the Big Ten has eliminated that course of roster management entirely by placing a hard cap on the number of players that can be signed annually.

The SEC just pays the topic lip service, and that's its prerogative: That conference is about winning national championships and being the best football conference in the country.

It has the best head coaches, the highest-paid assistants, the most passionate, unwashed fan base in America and most of its teams possess a mathematical, almost insurmountable competitive advantage when it comes to roster management.

Since 2006 when Ohio State and Michigan were ranked 1 and 2 respectively, SEC schools have averaged 18 more signees in that span over their Big Ten counterparts. When Ohio State played Arkansas in last year's Sugar Bowl, the Razorbacks had signed 36 more players than Ohio State had during the same four-year timeframe.

Sure, there were five tattooed Buckeyes that probably shouldn't have played that night, but really, who had the competitive advantage?

The conference's commitment to winning means that the intersectional post-game S-E-C chants that the rest of America loves so much are not going anywhere anytime soon. It also means that the streak of Alabama vs. LSU matchups where both teams are highly-ranked isn't likely to end as long as each school's roster is culled and refilled in the superfluous manner that they are.

Oversigning shouldn't necessarily be eliminated outright, just altered for fairness to these athletes. Matchups like LSU and Alabama in two weeks are what we all want to see, and these teams have armed themselves to the teeth in part because of how they exploit recruiting loopholes.

Instead of banning oversigning, change the rules for recruiting to openly reflect the rest of the meat market mentality and operation that FBS college football has been for decades. That isn't ever going to change, so the NCAA might as well embrace it.

Implement a National Cutdown Day the last week of January - prior to National Letter of Intent Day - to give the players who would normally be ushered out the back door, given bogus medical hardships or grayshirted over the summer the chance to transfer anywhere else that's willing to take them.

Allow them to play for their new school that fall instead of sitting out for a year. Install the SEC's 28-man signing day limit across the country. Level the playing field without screwing the players by sending them to directional Alabama schools at the last minute.

Simply pull oversigning out of the shadows and make it an open, timely, equitable and fair process for the players involved. The result would be a level playing field that provides second chances not just for programs, but for players as well. It will also make college football's third season that much more interesting.

Until the rules around oversigning are changed, Alabama and LSU will continue to be uniquely wonderful to watch. The idea of two loaded teams like this playing each other is the hallmark of great college football, but this colossal matchup didn't exactly occur by chance.

At some point during the buildup to the game over the next two weeks, some analyst - probably Kirk Herbstreit, because he always does this - will fawn over the immense depth and sheer volume of athletes that both LSU and Alabama possess on both sides of the ball.

And he'll be absolutely right. But he won't tell you how it really happened.

184 Comments

Comments

Denny's picture

Agree re: pulling away the veil of 'fairness' w/r/t the recruiting laws. Your idea of a January cutdown day would be fair but would have significant trickle-down effects with incoming recruits. That said, there's no truly 'fair' way to make changes, but this is the place for the NCAA to set a standard across the sport - otherwise the pseduo-federalistic conference system that's currently in place ends up failing because some ostensibly have 'better ethics/values' that others.

We can keep bringing up the spectre of oversigning and complain, but for the most part it's just sour grapes on our part. It's a shitty thing to put student-athletes through (especially for the more studenty student-athletes who end up being cut), but if it were treated as a year-to-year scholarship system across the board the system would at least be less disingenuous.

Taquitos.

Ramzy Nasrallah's picture

It's definitely challenging to write about the subject on an Ohio State blog without seeming sour grapesy. You have to remove your allegiance from the discussion and make it a story about simple math.

I would argue with anyone who thinks that Ohio State lost a single bowl game to an SEC team because of oversigning, but it is impossible to ignore the impact that it's had on the the success of the teams that use it. Acknowledge it, make it more equitable for the players and watch what happens to a more-informed, national recruiting base.

Jason Priestas's picture

The Gators don't oversign, so that was just an ass-kicking in '07. The following year, an argument could be made that LSU's team was bolstered by oversigning, but that LSU team would have stomped that Buckeye team at 85 or 105.

Going back, I'm not sure how long oversigning has taken place in the SEC-W, as I'm not sure if it's a recent thing b/c of the recent exposure or a recent thing b/c it just began to occur on a regular basis. Doubtful the Manning UT team or the Garrison Hearst UGA squad oversigned, though I can't say I'm certain the Auburn team from the '90 Outback Bowl didn't carry a few extra players. Auburn being Auburn, after all.

btalbert25's picture

It's probably come to the forefront now because they have won the last 5 BCS titles and people are trying to come up with reasons why no one else can beat the best team from that conference. 

Kalamazoo Steve's picture

Gators don't oversign and they aren't on top every year. They go in spurts like the rest of us. Georgia as well. So let's keep focus on hundred dollar time clock malfunctions and selling of personal property, not life changing 'rules' of kids getting kicked to the curb. Stop being lazy Ramzy (end sarcasm).

theDuke's picture

I thought this was going to be about "student-atheletes"... instead, you're just purvaying more institutional bias' and a corporation's (hehhhmmm NCAA/SEC) use of free/interchangeable labor.

marvelous Ramzy. you are going to make a lot of people very angry. but, oversigning is definitely an issue and maybe not only for SEC schools.

theDuke

Denny's picture

Absolutely - I wasn't trying to refute your points at all. At this point it's probably best to acknowledge the elephant in the room for what it is rather than making it into a convenient strawman that we as a fanbase use to deflect questions about why we're not performing better on a national stage.

Taquitos.

Bruce's picture

Great article Ramzy. This subject needs to get more attention. Being in the rust belt is hard enough to entice recruits, they have every advantage down here (I live in Florida) they don't need this as well.

From the 2007 HBO special ---->http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iI7x_DDPcLo

BucksfanXC's picture

The January cutdown seems to me like it would just be another thing that someone else could amorally exploit. Same can be said for any rule or rule change I guess.

“Any time you give a man something he doesn't earn, you cheapen him. Our kids earn what they get, and that includes respect.”  - Woody

Buckeyejason's picture

Ramzy you're writing is a thing of beauty.

BUCKEYES BABY!

Maestro's picture

Yes, these teams SHOULD be the best.

That being said I have noticed that "we" have had a lot of attrition lately. Fellows, Bell, Louis, Longo and then a grayshirts here and there. I hope this is just an aberration and not a trend.

That being said, the Sugar Bowl was the perfect example of the massive disparity between an SEC West team vs a B1G team. Talk about a joke.

vacuuming sucks

Maestro's picture

The SEC East is getting tired of it too.

vacuuming sucks

DarthSweaterVest's picture

You would think the NCAA would want everyone to play by the same rules.  Oh, wait, it's the SEC, they can do whatever they want and the NCAA doesn't care. 

btalbert25's picture

I just don't see what good whining about it does.  The Big 10 doesn't allow it, The NCAA and SEC do.  The Big 10 could come up with their own model that allows oversigning, but maybe it's not as sleezy as what we perceive LSU and Alabama's  systems to be.  I don't know I just feel like if you want to blame someone, blame the Big 10 for not allowing it.  The SEC isn't doing anything wrong rules wise.  We can choose debate on how ethical it is, but they are operating within the rule book.  I'd argue there isn't much about recruiting that is ethical anywhere.

I think it's even more advantageous to spend a ton of money on coaching staffs.  All of the Big 10 schools are making a fortune, open up the wallet some and try to real in some quality coaches that can implement systems that are competitive when they play non conference schools. 

I think oversigning helps some programs, although there are as many examples of programs that don't succeed from oversigning as those who do like LSU and Bama.  I'm just tired of people whining about it.  Don't blame the SEC, blame your own conference for not letting it happen.  I guarrentee, if Ohio State were as loaded as either of LSU and Bama are, we wouldn't be complainging about oversigning.  I'm sure some will take the moral high road and say it's despicable, but most only care about winning.  Also, this program has signed to many guys before and others have grayshirted.  It's not exactly as if we're above that sort of thing.

Maestro's picture

I don't see it as whining. I see it as being informed about what actually goes on in college football. Unfortunately, the media (as Ramzy pointed out) will focus on the depth of talent but will never expand on why it exist. So most "fans" simply follow the thinking that the SEC IS JUST SUPERIOR. Yes, they are and should be because they play by different rules.

vacuuming sucks

Kalamazoo Steve's picture

What schools aren't benefiting from oversigning? Real question. No dbag.

Bucksfan's picture

Sort of old news.  People have been discussing this for a few years.  Hell, Urban Meyer is a vocal opponent, and only took a class of over 25 once (but he had the spots available due to a mass exodus of seniors and NFL talent that year).

I'm not sure what to think about it.  I mean, if I were an athlete, I'd listen more to a coach that wants to make sure I get more than a 1-year committment than one that wants to farm my talents so he can pad his own salary with championship bonuses.  But, then again, the kids that are signing with the likes of Saban and Miles and Chizik are the dumbust f"ck kids you've ever met in your life.  Alabama, LSU, Arkansas, Ole Miss, Auburn...these are some of the worst universities in the country.  The reason we've all heard about them is ONLY because of sports, not because they contribute to America's academic prowess.

I'm not saying Ohio State doesn't have its fair share of academic issues when it comes to their athletes, and I'm not saying we're taking in geniuses (Rod Smith barely qualified for college with his ACT score, needing numerous attempts), but you're right in the sense that there is no farm system at WHAC with a cut-list of scholarship players.

Baroclinicity's picture

I don't think anyone would argue that it is new, breaking news, but it is undeniably highly relevant in the scope of FBS college football today.

When you're holding a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

theDuke's picture

standing ***APPLAUSE*** +5 for shots on Herbs

theDuke

timdogdad's picture

lets have a salary cap for the afc but not the nfc and see who wins the next 5 suberbowls. it's hard to believe there isn't a simple ncaa rule like you get no more than 20 a year. that's it.  would you like to play poker against someone who gets to pick three new cards from the deck and you get two?       

btalbert25's picture

If the AFC implemented that rule then do you blame the NFL of the freakin AFC?  This isn't an SEC unfair advantage, it's the SEC, especially the west, using a loophole to get what they want.  Let's blame the Big 10 for taking a moral stand against this one recruiting practice.

awwwwwwop's picture

So you want to blame the conference for making a moral stand? That makes no sense.  I am not saying I agree with everything you are arguing against, but you really need to refine your argument.  In your example, you could blame both the NFL for not requiring morality or the AFC for using immoral loopholes to succeed.  You certainly are not forced to blame the group taking the moral stand.  I think the Ramzy's point about bringing it into the open and reducing the immoral aspects of oversigning makes a lot of sense.

 

Edit: I see your take on NCAA morality below and find it to be no less persuasive.  Just because an organization does many immoral things does not mean it should abandon all attempts to be moral in another way.  Also, the fact that it used to be worse does not make the current situation ok.

"Who cares? Go Bucks." - Aaron Untch

btalbert25's picture

Here's my problem, people complain about it being so morally wrong, but whine when a small group of teams use it and have success.  I'm tired of people thinking somehow the Big 10 is taking a moral high road and somehow oversigning is beneath them, then whining when other teams out perform them because other teams do it but aren't breaking any rules.

We can't control what Bama or LSU does.  They want to win, and they are doing it within the rules when it comes to this particular topic.  Instead of focusing on what schools in the south are doing to gain and advantage why not look at what teams in the Big 10 are doing that isn't working!

awwwwwwop's picture

I really do not believe Ramzy was whining.  He was merely pointing out the shady aspects of the practice.  It is morally wrong how they treat high schoolers who have no idea what is going on.  The whole system is immoral.  Ramzy wrote a great article complete with ways to help improve the system which would be a step in the right direction.  I also fail to see why you are so against a possible rules change.  If a majority of the programs in the country see some moral wrong with oversigning, then what is the problem with a writer asking for change?  If a rule is unfair to the students and many schools who feel that it is wrong, why exactly are you not allowed to say that people shouldn't be able to do it?  If you present a problem, explain why you believe it is a problem, and then address policy changes to solve it, that is not whining.  We can control what Bama and LSU do, it is called the NCAA.

"Who cares? Go Bucks." - Aaron Untch

btalbert25's picture

I'm not reacting so much to Ramsey as I am every time anyone mentions how good Bama or LSU is, all you hear is well they oversign.  Sure they are good they oversign.  Oversigning makes them so good.  I'm just like shit people quite pissing and moaning about oversigning.  I don't know how many schools are for or against it, because I only hear Big 10 fans talking about it.  Sounds like the SEC certainly isn't the only conference who do it. 

I have no problem with it being outlawed, I just have a problem with what seems like an insecure fan base trying to grasp any reason they can to try and knock another great program down a notch or two, especially when by the rules they are doing nothing wrong.  As I've said, the Big 10 could come out with their own model, that maybe is more fair to the student athelete(if that's what you want to believe they are)

I butted heads a lot with Tom Collins on here last season because he seemed to think oversigning wasn't that big of a deal.  In general I totally agree with him.  Now, I am troubled by stories like the one where the kid moved into the dorm and Les Miles pulled the rug out from under him, but I think this is probably the exception more than the norm.  You can lose academic scholarships for not meeting certain GPA and academic standards, why shouldn't you be able to lose a football scholarship for not meeting certain on field expectations. I don't agree with all the methods of oversigning but again, it's not just 3 or 4 schools doing it and gaining an unfair advantage.  The Big 10 could do it, and it wouldn't have to be from the same mold that SEC schools do. 

poop's picture

You can lose academic scholarships for not meeting certain GPA and academic standards, why shouldn't you be able to lose a football scholarship for not meeting certain on field expectations.

Because it's an academic institution. They're student athletes, not just athletes. As long as the kid isn't causing trouble off the field and fulfills his obligations as a student athlete, then he/she should get to stay. It's the coaches fault if they overestimate an athletes ability in highschool - it happens to all of them. They should have to deal with it. This sh*t is getting old.

Baroclinicity's picture

This.

When you're holding a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

Kalamazoo Steve's picture

Within the NCAA rules (so far). Not within society's rules (see bar fights, synthetic pot). Bravo LSU for taking every advantage the rules give you to win. Stand proud.

DJ Byrnes's picture

The fact NCAA allows over-signing makes me laugh so hard, especially when I see the whole "this is about the student-athlete" commercials and such.

Californian by birth, Marionaire by the Grace of President Warren G. Harding.

William's picture

I agree they allow kids to be cut from rosters, but then when some guy sells something that is his own property they go HAM on his ass.

NC_Buckeye's picture

Just another way to exploit these guys. I'm on the bus, DJ.

William's picture

More schools oversign and are unsuccessful whereas only a handful oversign and are successful. Its the coaching that makes a difference. You can't win without talent, but you can lose with it (Clemson up until now has been a great example of this). The reason the SEC kicks our ass is coaching not necessarily talent level, or the amount the bring in. For every Alabama there is an Iowa State, and for every LSU there is a Kansas State. Meyer won 2 titles in three years without ever cutting a kid to make roster space. 

Riggins's picture

Superior coaching doesn't make a 25% larger recruiting pool irrelevant.  The SEC has the advantage in coaching, oversigning, overall conference fanbase, test/grade requirements, etc, etc.  There isn't one thing that makes the SEC the best conference.  It's the accumulation of all of these advantages that add up to dominance.

William's picture

Oversigning only works when you have good coaching. End of story. I can list more programs that oversign and suck, than those that oversign and are good. Also everyone needs to cut the testing/grade requirements. That's garbage, Rod Smith barely got into OSU, I mean honestly how hard is it get a 17 or whatever is required? OSU is no better than SEC schools when it comes to academic requirements, the same goes for Notre Dame. Everyone on here who cites the B1G's academic rankings as why we don't always get the best athletes is a load of BS. We lower the requirements as much as the next school, how did Duron Carter get into OSU in the first place? The SEC kicks our ass on a consistent basis because they have the best coaches, and develop their talent the best. While getting a couple players here and there may be helpful, it doesn't matter how much talent you bring in, unless you have the right people to develop it. That is why LSU and Alabama are successful, its the combination of the two as you put it. I like Ramzy's solution to oversigning it allows those that would be cut to transfer somewhere without losing a year of eligibility, that's a wondrous idea. But honestly everyone needs to stop playing the academics card, we're sounding like a bunch of whiny Notre Dame fans.

SilverBullets's picture

William, a lot of things only work when you have good coaching.  Doesn't change the main point.  The schools are getting 25% more players to work with than others.  If you don't think that makes a difference in your ROI, well then can I have 25% of your paycheck?

I absolutely agree with you on the academics thing.  We all know the SEC West isn't the Ivy League South, but we are playing football here, not Quiz Bowl.

btalbert25's picture

I agree with a lot of what you were saying.  Look no further than our beloved Buckeyes.  The knock on Tressel was that he hampered the development of great young talent in favor of more experienced less talented upper classman.  The notion was always that yeah Tressel is successful but imagine how great these players would've been at this school, or Imagine how great Ohio State would be if Tressel had a game plan in place that maximized the talent.  This kind of stuff was brought up time and again after the Florida game  until he was ultimately let go.  I know now no one likes to mention any negatives about Tressel and his time here, but these are criticisms he got all the time.  We all know people's opinions on Bollman and at times Heacock has been nailed to the wall as well. 

Our own fan base, of the team that has been the best in the Big 10 for the last 10 years, acknowledges that their coaching staff doesn't maximize their talent or develop it as well as others.  I'm not saying I buy into this belief system, time and again I defended Tressel, but it wasn't such a vocal minority who held these beliefs. 

Menexenus's picture

I'm proud to be the first to call "BS" on this.  I'm not in the mood to bother debunking the falsehoods in this post, as they are pretty clear.  But I will offer some free advice.  Don't write stuff that you know is provocative and then say "I'm not saying I buy into this belief system."  If you're going to write it, have the guts to stand behind it.  Writing something provocative and then saying (essentially), "That's just what a bunch of other people think and I might agree but I might not" is pretty lame.

Real fans stay for Carmen.

Kalamazoo Steve's picture

Repeat question from above...what schools aren't benefiting from oversigning? Why oversign if it ain't helping? That seems even worse to me...

Maestro's picture

None is the answer.  I have had this discussion time and again with SEC Westers.  To a man they all admit that oversigning IS A COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE.  They just want you to believe that it doesn't really happen that much, or that "in the South there are a lot of kids that don't pan out so you have to oversign." HA!!!!

vacuuming sucks

TheHumbleBuckeye's picture

I had a dream last night that LSU beat Alabama, but then Alabama lost the Iron Bowl, LSU lost to Arkansas, and Georgia beat LSU in the SEC championship game.

Now THAT would be hilarious. Highly improbable, but hilarious.

If the scenario that the winner of the LSU/Bama game is upset by the SEC East representative, does the loser of LSU/Bama sneak into the BCS championship game at 11-1 despite not having won their conference? Just some food for thought.

RBuck's picture

Now that's a detailed dream.

"It's just another case of there you are". ~ Doc (1918-2012)

Bucksfan's picture

You know you bring up an interesting point that no one talks about.  The only upsets in the last 5 SEC championship gameshas been #2 over #1 in 2008 and 2009, making the game sort of irrelevant if you're ranked 4th or lower.  The other 3 were won by the favorite, and the favorite went to the national title game.  

They're overdue for an upset that knocks the champion out of the national championship picture.  Maybe that'll happen this year!  How awesome would a Boise State-Oklahoma State national championship game be?!

TheHumbleBuckeye's picture

My brother-in-law, who is hardly a big college football fan, watched the Iron Bowl last year and was convinced Saban threw the game to make sure an SEC team had a shot at the title. Of course, I pointed out that Saban gets a fat bonus for making the conference championship game and a BCS bid. Then he told me something I didn't think about: A) Alabama couldn't go to the conference title game. Auburn had already locked it up. B) Alabama couldn't go to a BCS bowl if LSU were to beat Arkansas the next day (which seemed likely). C) the penalities that were called on Bama were not "Saban coached team" penalties (12 men on the field TWICE and an illegal substitution).... and here's my favorite one... D) Saban only ran the ball NINE times in the second half.... Nine! With Richardson and Ingram in that backfield and knowing he should burn some clock to stop Auburn's momentum, he chose to call TWENTY-THREE passing plays and only NINE runs. Does that seem liike Nick Saban?

A fun conspiracy theory to think about for sure.  ;-)

btalbert25's picture

I just can't imagine anyone every throwing the Iron Bowl.  That would be like Michigan or Ohio State intentionally losing and essentially taking one for the conference.  I can't imagine that happening. 

TheHumbleBuckeye's picture

I agree with you. I'm not saying I buy it. But it's not like Nick Saban has much loyalty to whichever program he coaches. He's infamous for his lack of loyalty.

The play calling thing is what got me. You have the two best power-running backs in the country, and you need to slow down Auburn's momentum and burn some clock, and you call TWENTY THREE pass plays and only nine rushes? He called 21 rushing plays int he first half. That's what got me. It certainly makes you scratch your head.

Bucksfan's picture

Yeah, definitely uncharacteristic!  But, had Alabama won, it would have easily locked up the Sugar Bowl invitation over lower-ranked Arkansas at 10-2, instead of getting regulated to the Capitol One bowl at 9-3.

TheHumbleBuckeye's picture

Right... I agree. But at the time, it appeared as if LSU was primed to beat Arkansas, which would have meant Alabama would have gone to a non-BCS bowl regardless. The Iron Bowl was on Friday, the Arkansas-LSU game was on Saturday.

Kyle's picture

Oversigning only works when its coupled with a good coach.  Houston Nutt is the king of oversigning and never has much to show for it.  The Ole Dickhead errr Ball Coach loves him some oversigning too but South Cock hasn't one a whole lot.

 

I don't care that its wrong from a moral or ethical standard.  Morals and ethics in college football, whatever remained of them, seems to have died with the BCS and TV networks manipulating conferences for cash money.  My problem is that it absolutely creates an unfair playing field and I don't care if the SEC comes up with a solution (HA!), the NCAA comes up with an across the board solution (HA! HA!) or maybe we just ought to repeal our self-imposed cap.

 

Oversigning isn't going away and the SEC coaches recently voted overwhelmingly against a proposal to at least curb its usage.  We know the NCAA loves a soapbox but chooses to ignore this issue so how about Jim Delaney get with the times and let us fight this battle on equal ground.

Doc's picture

In my mind Jim Delany = Gene Smith.  He is a bumbler.  He bumbled the expansion, the two divisions, naming the two divisions.  Now the over signing.  He needs an enema or we need a change at the top.

"Say my name."

Bucks's picture

Wow. Couldn't be further apart on the Jim Delany deal. He gave us a solid addition in Nebraska, gave us our own network as well after ESPN tried to force a lowball (which last I read was/is profitable already), brought us divisions and a championship game.

Delany may be a crass & quiet individual but he is anything but a bumbler.

 

TheHumbleBuckeye's picture

Yeah... This isn't well thought out. The Big Ten's rule against over-signing goes all the way back to the 1950s, long before Delaney.

 

Most sports publications would tell you that Jim Delaney is the best conference commissioner in all of college sports by a long shot.

Another Jason's picture

Bumbled expansion?  Compare his road to 12 to everyone else's:

Big Ten: Penn State, Nebraska

ACC: Miami, Virginia Tech, Boston College

SEC: Arkansas, South Carolina

Pac-10/12: Colorado, Utah

Big 12: TCU and ? (unless Missouri leaves and they still aren't back at 12)

He revolutionized conference media deals with BTN (and our conference still has the best model simply by virture of not being in bed with ESPN) and brought instant replay to college football.

Does he suck at naming things?  I'll give you that one (and he does botch the PR at times), but he has done nothing but good things for this conference financially.

Doc's picture

I guess I should have articulated my points a little better than I did.  Delaney is bumbling the latest talk of expansion.  I feel he is going to wait too long and be left with scraps to build a 16 team conference.  He did an excellent job with PSU and Nebraska.  The BTN is fairly good too(It still has a public access feel to it.)  The two divisions were not split accurately IMHO.  Now with the over signing he seems to be putting his head in the sand and letting his member teams get their collective butts kicked, both on and off the field.

"Say my name."

Another Jason's picture

The Big Ten relaxed the oversigning rule slightly a little while ago (2002?) to allow for minor oversigning (by no more than 3) as long as the school providing an explanation to the conference for it.  I can't say that I know who--if anyone--has used it or what their explanation was.

The problem with oversigning is that the process that appears to be used by some SEC coaches (and others) seems to be at the expense of student-athletes who have done nothing wrong outside of not being as good at football as was once believed (or at least as good as a new kid appears to be).  The Big Ten decided, long before Delany or Saban or oversigning.com, that they didn't want any part of that, so they banned it.

Other conferences allow it, because it's not really against NCAA rules (at least not the letter of the rules) and it happens to be a competitive advantage, provided that you actually know what to do with all that talent once you've sifted through it.

Should we be like them and expose more kids to some potentially life-altering decisions (of others) in the name of winning more football games?

btalbert25's picture

I'm not convinced college football has ever been concerned with morals or ethics.  That's why I always laugh when people are so outraged by topics like oversigning.  Schools and conferences have never really been all that concerned with the poor exploited kids.  They were always a means to an end and that end was making boatloads of money for the schools, the NCAA, and the conferences as a whole. 

I can't remember the article that was linked on here one day, but it was all about the roots of college football and the NCAA and how it's basically been corrupt and exploitative from day one.  Back then, though, kids got killed, a lot.  In many ways, the kids are in much better shape today than they were throughout the past.  Not giving the current climate a pass, but just saying they have a lot more advantages to playing today then perhaps they did 30-50 years ago.

Run_Fido_Run's picture

Last year, I ran some numbers for all (then current) 120 Div. 1A programs: five-year cumulative winning percentage (2005 - 2009) compared to average sizes of recruiting classes from 2004 - 2008. I just ran a quick-and-dirty statistical analysis and found no meaningful correlation between the two variables.

Now, I'm not a stats guy, but even I might see some limitations to drawing conclusions (i.e., disregarding the possible value in over-signing) based on such a raw (unfiltered) correlation analysis:

  • A lot of garbage programs recklessly oversign, but they probably do it out of desperation, with limited talent evaluation resources, whereas the SEC schools can do it much more effectively (it might be that the chronic oversigners are disproportionately represented among the best and the worst programs). Ideally, you'd want to analyze the value of oversigning between comparable level programs, but that would involve subjectivity.   
  • In the last few years, the dominance of the SEC has continued to grow, while the BT and Pac 10 probably have declined somewhat, which might mean that the significance of oversigning will begin to reveal itself more as the year ranges go from 2008 to 2012 and beyond.
  • Also, obviously, rampant oversigning in the SEC might make programs better, but if they're playing each other every week during the conference season, the improvement won't necessarily be reflected in overall winning percentages (but it might help come bowl season).             
OldColumbusTown's picture

I think the correlation does have to be based on subjective matter.

Teams like Arkansas, Ole Miss and Mississippi St. may not see the dividends of oversigning on an annual basis like Alabama, LSU, or even Auburn.  They will improve based on having that many more chances at hitting on recruits, but they may only have one or two flash in the pan seasons in a 10 year period when all goes right.  Alabama and LSU, on the other hand, see a huge return every season because they something the rest do not - history and tradition.

Alabama and LSU are each a brand name.  The best coaches flock there because of the fan support, the money, and the name brand.  They can sell all the best bill of goods to recruits and back it up with proof of championships, All-Americans, etc.  They can do all of that WITHOUT oversigning, but bringing in the equivalent of an entire extra recruting class in a 4-year span doesn't hurt either.  They replace solid players with high school All-Americans.  Their depth chart looks like a Triple A baseball team compared to most others' Single A or rookie ball teams.

It's the nature of the beast right now, and until something changes drastically, the SEC, and more specifically Alabama and LSU, will continue to reign over college football.

timdogdad's picture

the sec shall rise again!!   but their dag gum  gpa's wont... 

blh's picture

The area where oversigning could really impact OSU is by negatively impacting other Big Ten programs. As we know, Ohio provides most of the Big Ten with players, many of whom probably wanted to play at OSU, but didn't get offers because they were marginal or late bloomers or OSU was stocked at their position. If OSU could oversign, 6 or 7 of those players would end up at OSU instead of say Michigan St or Iowa. Then, when they were cut (assuming that happened) they would either have to sit out a year before going to a lesser Big Ten progam, or they would go Div 1AA or Div 2 to avoid sitting out a year. So not only would OSU get an extra recruiting class every 4 years, it would lesson the chances of those rejected Ohio players ending up at Michigan State and beating OSU as happened this year. Basically it would be a return to the days when Bear Bryant just put every kid in Alabama on scholarship so that they wouldn't go to Auburn instead.

btalbert25's picture

Don't you think if some of the other programs like Minnesota or Purdue had adequate coaching staffs that higher profile recruits would elect to go to some of these programs rather than being the 35th player that Ole Miss signs?   Michigan State was always kind of a team that floundered in the middle of the pack to even the bottom of the B1G, look how well they've done by installing a great coaching staff.  Maybe they aren't a national powerhouse just yet, but Dantonio has turned things around up there.  They are a player for a lot of recruits they would've lost to Ohio State and Michigan in years past and they are playing a good brand of football, another 1 or 2 loss season is just going to continue to improve their recruiting base.

theDuke's picture

is it saturday yet?

 

theDuke

Menexenus's picture

I feel ya, TheDuke...

Real fans stay for Carmen.

Jdadams01's picture

I'm sorry, but comparing oversigning at Iowa State to oversigning at Alabama is ridiculous. 30 Alabama recruits in no way equal 30 Iowa State recruits. That's like saying that because Indiana signed the same amount of recruits as Ohio State it means they are basically in the same playing field. Who are you kidding?

Moses Cleveland's picture

Another illuminating piece by Ramzy.
The gist of the article should make sense to any college football fan sans SEC extremists.
 

btalbert25's picture

Again, a lot of my reactions aren't so much to Ramsey's article so much as it is just the topic in general.  I have no problems with a guy who is a redshirt Jr, and has sat the bench for 4 years and never contributed on the field, and has 2.3 or 2.4 GPA so has not really taken advantage of their free education, get let go to make room for someone who may be able to contribute. Replacing someone who has used a lot of university resources and not contributed much back, is not a problem in my eyes. 

I'm not crazy about teams signing way too many high school kids and last minute pull the rug out from under them, but I wonder how many times this is the end result compared to a guy who has been around the program for a while and isn't performing.

As someone mentioned last week, Ohio State doesn't even sign full classes then reward walk ons with scholarships.  Instead of a nice 25 recruit class, we end up with 22 and give 3 other guys scholarships who were walk ons. 

William's picture

I'll take credit for the post about not having full classes and rewarding walk-ons. Its just mind boggling that we could get 3 more high profile recruits out of a class and instead give those schollies to someone like Joe Bauserman. Don't take me wrong, some guys are deserving like Nate Ebner or Devin Barclay was, but lets be honest those three scholarships should be used to try and bring in more recruits.

Kennywayne34's picture

Enter gray box on Berry

 

Buckeye_Mafia's picture

Why did Jamaal Berry cross the road? To punch you in the face AFTER you just got hit by a car. I call total BS on that story.

Adolphus Washington is half grizzly bear and half dragon | Noah Spence kills quarterbacks, just to watch them die.

BoFuquel's picture

No matter how much they oversign. TOSU & USC had the two best programs in major college football in the past ten years.No brag, just fact GO BUCKS! 

I wish I didn't know now what I didn't know then.

BuckeyeFanInBoulder's picture

I hate to say this, and I haven't read the whole site, but if you scroll past all the posts about LSU and Alabama, you'll find 2 about us on http://oversigning.com/.  That being said, I think this is a pretty raw deal for the kids and hope OSU doesn't make oversigning a general practice just because others are doing it.  I think it would be better to ban the practice as a whole instead of conceding it exists.  Baseball sucked when everybody was on steroids, and it would still suck if people just said, "it's OK, we're all doing it anyways!"  Barry Bonds doesn't deserve a spot in the Hall Of Fame and in the same way, I don't really feel like the SEC West are fairly earning their titles.  The NCAA is so stupid for the SEC that this will probably not stop for years, but this crap infuriates me.... 

NC_Buckeye's picture

The two posts to which you're referring weren't cases of oversigning and oversigning.com reported as much. One dealt with Cardale Jones' grayshirting at Fork Union prep school this fall. That was an agreement by Tressel which Fickell (or whoever) should honor whereby Jones will have a scholarship in Jan 2012. As oversigning.com reported once he entered Fork Union, Jones' LOI became void and he can go wherever he likes. But tOSU should (and will) honor the scholarship offer for Jan 2012.

The second post was about James Jackson. I guess Tressel had a talk with him during which he told Jackson that he wouldn't see any playing time at tOSU and implied a transfer might be his best avenue for future development. Jackson, pissed, left school and accused Tressel of having "an oversigning problem". His scholarship was never pulled though. Jackson left of his own volition. That is not a case of oversigning and oversigning.com says as much.

Ohio State's track record on oversigning has been spotless.  There are only 4-5 BCS schools that have signed fewer players since 2002, and when asked if Ohio State oversigned their 2010 recruiting class, Chad Hawley, Associate Commissioner Compliance, at the Big 10 office,  said:

 "My information is that they did not oversign and never were in an oversigned position."

Oversigning is simply another way the schools that practice it can take advantage of their student athletes. It's wrong and I'm proud that the Big Ten has taken a stand against it for as long as we have.

 

Catch 5's picture

Yea, but that site also had Ohio State listed as oversigned by 2. They later updated it with reasons why - They simply dropped one guy's scholarship (I guess it's ok if he was once a walk-on) and another was greyshirted (still counts when other schools do it). Yet Hawley says they didn't oversign. I can only conclude that the B10's definition of oversigning is quite different than oversigning.com's. Does anybody have a link to the B10 rules on how they count this? BTW, Hawley also said that only one B10 team oversigned this year, while oversigning.com still lists 3 teams as being so: http://oversigning.com/testing/index.php/the-oversigning-cup/

I know it is not oversigning per se NC, but how do you feel about OSU's Sam Longo who announced his transfer just days before NSD. Even if you accept the modified numbers and take OSU as not oversigned, if they hadn't cut Longo loose at the last second, they would have been. How is that any different?

Make their asses quit! - Nick Saban

RBuck's picture

This is what I don't like about oversigning.

A high school kid does everything right to get an athletic scholly; works his ass off in practice, conditioning, during a game and in the classroom.

Gets his scholly and plans to graduate. Repeats everything above in college and makes the team.

Basically gets cut because the next hotshot needs his scholarship.

Very morally wrong.

 

"It's just another case of there you are". ~ Doc (1918-2012)

razrback16's picture

Great writeup Ramzy. Just calling a spade a spade. The SEC has a massive competitive advantage right now. There's no logical way to argue that. We need a level playing field across college football.

OldColumbusTown's picture

So Nick Saban comes to your house, talks to Mom and Dad... "If you come to Alabama, I'm going to mold you into a great college football player.  We'll compete for SEC Championships, National Championships, and I'll try my darndest to turn you into an NFL prospect.  We need you!  What do you say?"

 Fast forward three years...  after redshirting as a freshman linebacker, getting nicked up early in preseason camp as a RS freshman, playing time was scarce as a RS sophomore.  Ol' Nicky has soured on you as a player.  He's recruited 3 and 4 stud LB's in the past two recruiting classes.  You've kept your nose clean, haven't gotten in trouble, have done your work in the classroom.  Coach Saban calls you to the office - "Sorry son, right now we're in the business of production, and you're just not cutting it.  Our top LB recruit just passed his ACT and became qualified.  I know it's late in the summer, and I'm sorry, but we're going to have to ask you to take a hike..."

 Sure, that seems fair, doesn't it?  A guy isn't cutting it, so Nick and the gang decide he's not worth their effort anymore.  He tells parents he's going to turn their son into a man, and then he bails on them because he has a shiny new toy he thinks can help him win more games.  It's bull, and it's not right, no matter the circumstances.

Catch 5's picture

You are right, it is bull and wrong. Now, how do you know that is going on? Do you have any evidence that anything close to what you just described has ever occurred? I'll freely admit to being a Bama fan and obviously I'm a big fan of what Saban has done at Alabama, but I'll also call it wrong if he is lying to his recruits.
The problem is that you just made up that story. I don't know why, I guess people just can't accept that Saban recruits good talent and wins. They have to invent stories like this to explain it. I find it hard to believe that any coach - much less one so dedicated to recruiting - would act in such a way. High School Coaches would be slamming the doors in his face if he did that, and places like oversigning.com would be filled with the actual first-hand accounts of it. But we don't - although oversigning.com has been begging every transfer from Bama to tell his story. Wonder why?

Make their asses quit! - Nick Saban

amos's picture

Yes, Alabama and LSU (and many teams in the SEC) sign more players than their counterparts in the B1G, but Ramzy fails to support with evidence his allegation that Alabama and LSU are running off underperforming players to make room for the additional signees.  It is easy to leap to that conclusion, but is it justified?

Following Alabama's blow-out victory over Michigan State in the Capital One Bowl last year, some people claimed that the playing field was not level.  Alabama had an advantage due to oversigning.  A quick look at signing classes over the 5 classes preceeding last season ('06-'10) shows that, sure enough, Alabama signed 17 more players over that 5 year period.

Alabama: 23+25+32+28+26=134

MSU: 28+23+21+23+22=117

Source: Rivals.com

The implication is that over the last 5 years, Alabama has had an extra signing class to bring in, practice, evaluate, and then cut the 17 worst performers creating a stronger team in the process.  But when you really dig into the numbers, this is not the case.

Over those 5 signing classes, Alabama had 8 players who signed LOI's but failed to qualify and were never a part of the team.  This is certainly not something to be applauded, but a player who signed his LOI and failed to qualify certainly could not be considered someone who was cut to make room for a more talented player.  Over the same period of time I was unable to find any Michigan State signees who failed to qualify - although I did come across several for Michigan.

In addition to the 8 above, there were 2 other Alabama signees who were double-counted in the Rivals numbers because they failed to qualify out of high school, went to JUCO, then signed with Alabama again in a different signing class.  So there were 4 LOIs for 2 players.  Did those extra pieces of paper help Alabama beat Michigan State or cause 2 current Alabama players to lose their spot on the team?  Of course not.

There were 2 other Alabama signees who opted to play MLB instead of college football.  They never enrolled at Alabama, nor did they ever step foot on the practice field.  I was able to find no such cases for State.

Two signees from Alabama's '10 class grayshirted.  They were not part of Alabama's football team during the '10 football season.  They didn't help Alabama beat Michigan State anymore than Cardale Jones helped Ohio State beat Nebraska a couple of weeks ago.

So, out of the 17 additional players signed by Alabama, 14 never stepped foot on the practice field.  Furthermore, no one on the team could've been forced off the team in order to make room for them.

But wait, there's more.  Over the same 5 year period, Alabama lost 4 underclassmen to the NFL draft versus 1 for Michigan State.  That's an additional 3 roster spots that would have been available to Alabama without running off anyone.

There are actually even more factors that go into class size like redshirting and number of JUCOs signed.  I assumed equal redshirting for Alabama and State because, frankly, I didn't have the time or desire to research it.  A Juco signee typically uses a scholarship for 2 years instead of the normal 4 years, so a team that signs large numbers of Jucos will require larger signing classes over time to stay at 85 scholarships.  To my surprise, Alabama and Michigan State signed about the same number of Jucos over the 5 year period, so that factor is a wash.

So, as you can see there are many factors that go into recruiting class sizes.  It's easy to just look at the numbers and conclude the bad guys must be running off players, but this is a lazy approach.  I realize that my Alabama/Michigan State comparison is a very limited sampling but it illustrates how misleading raw numbers can be without actual research. 

Sure there is attrition at Alabama and LSU, but to my knowledge no one has ever put it into context among other top football programs.  The oversigning.com guy will shine a spotlight on every transfer and every medical hardship at Alabama and LSU, but these cases occur with the same frequency at many other top programs who don't oversign.  So, you can choose to plan for attrition by oversigning or you can award scholarships to walk-on's on the back-end, but it is flat our incorrect to state that underperforming players are being run-off at Alabama and LSU.  

Conroy's picture

You do make some good points, but you're also disregarding some things.  Since he became head coach at Alabama, Nick Saban has gotten about half the Medical Hardship scholarships the SEC has given out.  Over the past two seasons Alabama has had 20 players leave their roster for reasons outside of graduation/leaving early to the NFL/things that were their fault (Grades).

 

If more of the players who didn't qualify had qualified, more players would have been gone. 

amos's picture

"Since he became head coach at Alabama, Nick Saban has gotten about half the Medical Hardship scholarships the SEC has given out."

That is absolyutely not true.  Many people have miscontrued a line from the WSJ, but read it carefully.  The WSJ piece states that Alabama has had at least 12 medical hardships and the SEC has had AT LEAST 24 over that period.  With just a little bit of research I've found around 6 from Auburn, 7 from LSU, 7 from Georgia, and 6 from South Carolina.  So clearly the SEC total is much higher than 24.

Medical hardships are much more prevalent than I think most people realize and they're by no means exclusive to the SEC.  Did you know that in 2011 Michigan has given out 4, Indiana has had at least 3, Michigan State has had 3, and Nebraska has had 7 in the last 2 years?

"Over the past two seasons Alabama has had 20 players leave their roster for reasons outside of graduation/leaving early to the NFL/things that were their fault (Grades)."

And how does that compare to other programs?  Indiana has had 17 THIS YEAR alone.  "But they just had a coaching change".  Fair enough.  Georgia hasn't had the coaching change and they've had 20 players leave their roster too.  You'd be surprised at the amount of attrition that happens all across the country each offseason.

Ramzy Nasrallah's picture

It was an article about two notorious oversigners facing each other, not oversigning. If you want the details behind the players at both schools who have been scuttled during the offseasons, you already know where to go.

This:

The oversigning.com guy will shine a spotlight on every transfer and every medical hardship at Alabama and LSU, but these cases occur with the same frequency at many other top programs who don't oversign.

...is a categorically false statement. And players are routinely sent out the door against their will.

Your response is completely paradoxical. You're right, oversigning provides absolutely no competitive advantage. So, um, why do a very select group of schools continue to do it every single year - and vehemently defend it?

William's picture

Actually its not a very select amount of schools that do it. Half the Big 12 does, schools in the Big Ten have, and the only schools in the SEC that don't do it are Vandy, Georgia and Florida. If anything more schools are unsuccessful in oversigning than they are successful.

Ramzy Nasrallah's picture

Oversigning in the Big Ten is not permitted by bylaw.

Four out of 12 Big XII teams is not half.

I think the article is quite clear that Alabama and LSU are not successful exclusively because of oversigning, but if it provides no competitive advantage then there's really no reason to continue doing. Right?

William's picture

All 12 teams that were in the Big 12 oversigned at least once this decade, and Purdue, Minnesota, Michigan St., Wisconsin and Illinois have all oversigned at least once this decade..

I'm not arguing that it doesn't make a difference, its just not as profound as many want it to be. The reason that the SEC is the best conference is because they have the best coaches and they develop their talent the best.

Maestro's picture

......and have more talent to develop because of oversigning.

vacuuming sucks

William's picture

Maestro, Kansas State, Iowa State, Purdue, and Minnesota had more talent to develop than OSU this decade. Were they more successful? No.

Maestro's picture

That doesn't mean that they were not MORE SUCCESSFUL than they would have been had they not oversigned.  You are so caught up in the comparisons to Ohio State that you are missing the point entirely.  Just because Ohio State doesn't do it and is still able to succeed doesn't mean it doesn't work for making the teams that do it better.  Ohio State has done very well because of their talent pool, excellent coaching, tradition etc. etc. etc.

It shows up the most in OOC match ups obviously.  When 2 elite programs face each other and one has signed 30 more players over the past 4 years who has the advantage?  Of course the team that signed more players.  Doesn't mean that team will always win, but it does mean that they have an advantage.

You are confusing the word "advantage" with something that is absolute.  It's called home field "advantage" because the home team has an advantage.  That doesn't mean that the home team will automatically win, but before the ball is ever snapped they have an advantage built into the game.  In a neutral site game like a NCG (except when LSU plays in the Superdome for example) it would be nice to know that the teams are at least playing by the same set of rules.  Wouldn't it?

Again, just because Ohio State often overcomes the disadvantage that they have by not skirting around the rules doesn't mean that the problem doesn't exist.  You seem to be unable to see any gray area.  The world is mostly gray area William.

vacuuming sucks

BucksfanXC's picture

To be fair, four teams may be half the Big XII at any given moment. The XII is like an atomic weight, it's more of an average of the measured values over a stablity period.

“Any time you give a man something he doesn't earn, you cheapen him. Our kids earn what they get, and that includes respect.”  - Woody

amos's picture

The B1G changed its rules in 2002 to allow oversigning by 3 in football and 1 in basketball.  According to oversigning.com Michigan, Michigan State, and Penn State all oversigned this past year.  I could name schools from the Pac 12, Big 12, ACC, Big East, and MWC that oversigned too.

Maestro's picture

I have no idea how your logic of "successful" or "unsuccessful" is determined William. There simply is no way to determine it. The bottom line is there is NO WAY oversigning doesn't give a team an advantage vs. not oversigning. NO WAY!!!!!!!!!! Therefore it creates an un-level playing field by those who do it. It doesn't mean that in every single match up of oversigners vs non that the oversigners will win, but it gives them a leg up without a doubt.

There will always be schools with built in advantages ie. tradition, coaching, facilities. Those exist because each school is different and has varying abilities to invest in their athletic department. Ohio State will always have a built in advantage over Akron. However, Ohio State should not have an advantage over Akron based on available scholarships, and their should be hard and fast rules that keep those available scholarships the same from school to school. Otherwise there should be separate divisions created for those teams who treat college football like the NFL.

vacuuming sucks

William's picture

Look I've agreed that it gives teams a slight advantage, but by no means is that advantage as profound as many here want to make it out to be. The entire Big 12, most of the SEC, and several B1G schools oversigned this past decade, how many of them were more successful than Ohio State? Very few if any.

Catch 5's picture

Yes, oversigning (better described as roster management) can provide an advantage that teams that don't do it don't have, but it is not unfair. It is within the rules and available to every team. If a group of teams suddenly decided that field goal attempts beyond the 30yd line should be against the rules - and thusly stopped attempting any that far out - would they not be putting themselves at a disadvantage against teams that felt differently? While grossly exaggerated, this is what you have with oversigning. It is not an advantage gained by one set of teams over another, but rather a willfull disadvantage accepted by others.

Make their asses quit! - Nick Saban

William's picture

Catch 5 I disgaree with you there, it is completely unfair, especially to the student athletes that do get affected by it. In those situations it is entirely unethical.

Catch 5's picture

I was simply refering to the competitive aspect of it. As for the ethnicity of the actions, it all depends on what is told to the recruit up front. Despite all the attacks oversigning critics have toward Nick Saban, the worst thing that can be said is that some injured players that ultimately accepted (yes, they had to sign off on it) medical hardship scholarships said they still wanted to play and they felt they were making room for new players. Not one transfer has said he was kicked off the team, and never has one of his greyshirts said it wasn't told to him before he signed his LOI that it was a possibility. If a team oversigns by 10 every year, but has enough guys agreeing to greyshirt if needed, I don't see the problem. Les Miles got caught not discussing greyshirts a couple years ago like he should have, and I agree that was wrong - but to universally say oversigning screws kids over, or to slander Saban because he has successfully managed his roster without producing any real evidence is just as wrong and unethical as the things being accused here.

Make their asses quit! - Nick Saban

Baroclinicity's picture

The sample size is way too small to determine the student athlete's point of view of grey shirting... most don't talk, so you can't justify it without that.  There are sources linked on here that portray the negative side of this process that includes questionable medical hardships.  There are zero sources for student athletes promoting it presented in this discussion.  It works both ways... you want proof that it actually is occurring as has been reported.  I want proof, from student athletes directly involved, that oversigning, or "roster mgmt" as you call it, does not create the situations that have been reported.  The burden of proof lies more with the oversigning supporter based on the math alone, not to mention articles from Stewart Mandel, Rivals, and the WSJ.  Show us with proof that doesn't involve misdirection, spin, partial truths, and opinion.   Players not saying they were kicked off the team does not equate to them not getting hosed by the process.

It's a big if to assume that players up front are being told about greyshirting possibilities, and ultimately, an assumption that cannot be made in good faith.  You said, yourself, that Les Miles has not always been forthcoming of this.

When you're holding a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

Catch 5's picture

I agree that mistakes can and have been made by some (Miles and Nutt have both done it) and I am an advocate of changes that would assure that it is done properly (basically make grayshirts a seperate LOI that can be upgraded to the current year, but not the other way around). Saban has stated that he has never greyshirted a person without him knowing about it the day he signed his LOI. He has said this on several occasions but it just gets ignored. OK, you label him a liar because of what he said while in the middle of the season coaching the Dolphins. Fair enough I guess, but I have seen several articles where Saban's grayshirts have also said as much. I'm quite interested in some of these articles you mention. I read a lot of college football articles and don't remember any bringing legitimate accusations against Saban and his recruiting practices. Only biased accusations wholly based on assumptions and totally without any proof. I thought the burdon of proof in this country lies with the accuser, not the defendant.
You also mention the math of it. I posed two questions elsewhere in this comment section that deal directly with the math. Care to take a whack at them? Also, Amos did an excellant explanation as to why teams like Bama can recruit "an extra class" every 4 or 5 years. It doesn't happen like it is portrayed and detailed numbers show that.

Make their asses quit! - Nick Saban

amos's picture

It is NOT categorically false.  Check out the attrition at Georgia, Florida, Indiana, Michigan, Nebraska, Washington State, Washington, Oregon State, and Boise State.

And if players are routinely sent out the door against their will at Alabama, then surely, you can provide me a list of players who have made that claim.  Before you try to argue that players never make such negative allegations with respect to their former schools, I'll remind you that James Jackson had no problem claiming that Tressel cut him loose - to make room for incoming players no less.

No where did I say that oversigning does not provide a competitive advantage, but I do think that it is much less of an advantage than some people think.  In my opinion, the competitive advantage arguement is second to the ethical arguement.  That is why I believe that it is irresponsible to claim that players are being run off without anything to back it up.  Based on the information that I provided, if Alabama is running off players as you claim, then Michigan State is running off an equal number, correct? 

Catch 5's picture

Ramzy, you say that players are routinely sent out the door against their will. If this is the case, would you not agree that teams that oversign as you describe would suffer a grossly higher attrition rate than those that do not? Let's say we compared the attrition rates of the three teams criticized most on oversigning.com - Bama, LSU, and Ole Miss with the rates from the three teams praised most there - OSU, Florida and Georgia. What would you expect to find? I would like to hear your honest opinion on this.

Note: attrition rates are the percentage of players who became members of the team and then left for reasons other than graduation or the NFL. Players that do not qualify or never join the team (MLB contracts, etc) are not factored.

Make their asses quit! - Nick Saban

NC_Buckeye's picture

Amos = SEC troll? Member for 6 hours 23 min.

Defend it all you want. This is one of the few issues in cfb that is black and white IMO.

Wonder if the SEC-West would change their tunes if Georgia and Florida started shopping for conferences? Not geographically contingent but I bet Delany could make it work.

William's picture

He's not a troll, he's making valid points and is backing up all of his claims with facts. 

NC_Buckeye's picture

He's selectively reporting the facts. And he hasn't denied being an SEC troll.

Example: his assertion that the Big Ten allows oversigning by 3 since 2002. A little more research reveals the following.

Before we go any further, let's examine what we have quoted thus far.  The original article states that a rule change, spear-headed by Gerry DiNardo, would allow Big 10 teams to "oversign" players, but when you look at the second follow up article, you can see that the actual rule that passed only enabled Big 10 coaches to sign an additional 3 players over the 25 limit.

In addition, before a coach was able to get approval for the additional 3 players he had to prove that there was room for those 3 players under the 85 max rule.  Here is how the numbers would have to work, first, there had to be no more than 57 players returning on scholarship, add 25 for the current class, which brings you to 82, then you can petition the Big 10 office to get 3 additional scholarships which would put you at 85.  Everyone has to qualify and more importantly, no one gets forced out.   Now compare that to what Saban has done at Alabama by having 66 returning players on scholarship and still signing 29 new recruits, thus putting him at 95 (10 over the limit).  It's pretty easy to see the difference in philosophy between the two.

The big take-away from this is that those 3 additional players have to be approved by the league office while maintaining adherance to the necessary qualifying criteria.

But hey, if you can't maintain the moral highground. Then by all means obscure the facts and rely on subterfuge to confuse the issue. That seems to be the current strategy for pro-oversigning SEC fans.

amos's picture

Three points:

1. Ramzy stated that oversigning was not allowed by B1G bylaws.  I was simply pointing out that that was a false statement and that oversigning is allowed by B1G rules.  And no matter what "qualifying criteria" come with the rules, it doesn't change the fact that the B1G did pass legislation to allow oversigning.

2. The write-up you quoted from oversigning.com about the B1G rule is factual incorrect on one point.  The +3 oversigning exception actually has nothing to do with the 25 annual initial counter limit.  It has to do with the 85 annual scholarship limit meaning that if a B1G team has room to for, say, 24 new players under the 85 limit, then they can sign up to 27 giving them a total of 88 signees + current scholarship players.  The guy who runs oversigning.com later admitted that his initial interpretion of the rule was incorrect.

3. If a team can responsibly oversign by 3 players, can a team not responsibly oversign by 4?  How about 5?  What is the magic number?  By approving rules changes that allow oversigning, the B1G is essentially endorsing the idea that teams can oversign without screwing anybody over.  It's like Richt said in the quote that I provided, as long as the university is upfront and honest with the student-athletes about the possibility of greyshirting, then a school can oversign in order to account for expected attrition without forcing anyone off scholarship to make room for incoming players.

NC_Buckeye's picture

Re #3, I reiterate:

The big take-away from this is that those 3 additional players have to be approved by the league office while maintaining adherance to the necessary qualifying criteria.

That's in place so that teams don't abuse the rules and sacrifice athletes in order to achieve deeper rosters. Can you say the same about the SEC? Are there any league-sanctioned institutional controls placed on the schools that require coaches to explain every spot above 85 and get permission to go above 85? No?

Case closed.

 

 

amos's picture

"Are there any league-sanctioned institutional controls placed on the schools that require coaches to explain every spot above 85 and get permission to go above 85?"

No there are not, but guess what?  There are no such league sanctioned controls in the Pac 12, Big 12, ACC, Big East, MWC, WAC, C-USA either.  Even with the B1G rules, there is absolutely nothing to stop coaches from running off underperforming players prior to NSD so theat they can then sign a bigger class on NSD.  I have long maintained that the best way to protect players is to remove all incentive for coaches to make room on their roster by doing away with the 85 scholarship limit completely.  Lower the annual initial counter limit to ~21 and do away with the 85 limit.  Then there is no incentive to force anyone off the current roster to make room for a larger signing class.  The Title IX implications might make it a little tricky, but I believe that it is the best solution.

amos's picture

Richt isn't as anti-oversigning as many people think:

“I was asked my opinion on the oversigning thing. First of all, I think everybody should have a right to manage their numbers. I think every university should he able to do that. I think over-signing is OK, in my opinion, if you sign over the number.

“Let’s say you have space for 15 on signing day and you sign 20. Well, if five of those guys know up front if there’s no room in the end and they’re willing to grayshirt and willing to come in the next January in the end, if the kid knows, the mom and dad knows, the high school coach knows, everybody involved in the recruiting process knows, if they know there’s a chance there’s no space for you, if everybody knows that on the front end, then I don’t see anything wrong with it ethically. I personally think if everybody knows it on the front end, that’s fine.

“We all know from signing date until they enroll in school, there’s usually attrition historically and usually there’s enough attrition to make room for any over-signing. If those five guys know they can come in if there’s room when everybody else comes in, come in with your class. If there’s not, you’ll come in in January. I don’t see anything wrong with that."

http://blogs.ajc.com/uga-sports-blog/2011/06/01/qa-ugas-mark-richt-discusses-recruiting-philosophies-ethics/?cxntfid=blogs_uga_sports_blog

Bucksfan's picture

Woah, Amos.  We're not ONLY talking about fresh signees, or freshmen here.  We're talking about upperclassmen, too, who are cast aside to make room for the new signees.  You didn't research ALL roster spots - your search is biased towards only the ones who didn't take the field at all in their first year.
 

Just because Alabama signed the same # of JUCO players as MSU doesn't mean they have the same or fewer # of players on hold in a JUCO system as Michigan State.  You only cite 2 players that never saw the field, as opposed to other players who were cut from the team, went down to JUCO to potentially resign at a later date.  We know that this happens at Alabama in their 2nd and 3rd years.

So, kudos to your research, but it's flawed.

Baroclinicity's picture

Their arguments rely on rhetoric, deflection, and spin (I asked a question in another post and got one in return - big shocker).  In the SEC world, until it is proven that it is unethical, it is ethical.  Of course, that means transfers and grey shirts have to speak up.  Since they don't, it's all legit. 

The research is flawed, as is the deductive reasoning. 

When you're holding a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

Bucksfan's picture

Absolutely.  Amos is also underselling the difference that one player or one scholarship can make.  Let's say that only 2 players per year were either grayshirted, sent to JUCO, or both.  The scholarship doesn't care what position those players were going to play.  Doing so makes room for more open competition at ALL positions.  How do you find room for Mark Ingram and Trent Richardson in the same backfield?  Well, it would take sending a mere one player, maybe a 4th string safety, down to JUCO.

That's just an example, I'm not saying that exact scenario actually occurred.  But it definitely could make the difference between being able sign the next potential All-American safety, and being stuck with an incoming senior who you feel has no chance to play.

Edit:  And another thing...if it came out that Ohio State did this and the SEC didn't, SEC fans would be losing their shit over it.

amos's picture

You seem to be under the false impression that Alabama sends players that are on the roster "down to JUCO" to make room for an incoming player then brings them back at a later date.  This simply is not true.  I know of three players who transferred from Alabama to JUCO and all 3 had academic issues similar to Duron Carter at Ohio State.

As for grayshirting, I know of few people who object to the practice when it is handled correctly.  If you know of any cases in which grayshirts were handled incorrectly by Alabama, then please let me know.

I made no attempt to undersell the importance of 1 player or 1 scholarship.  Obviously, 1 special player can make a huge difference.  My point was that raw numbers don't tell the whole story.  People are quick to use raw numbers as the basis for accusations of competitive imbalance and unethical behavior.  To show you what I mean, Ohio State has signed 12 more players than Northwestern over the past 5 signing classes.  Like you said, 1 player can make a big difference, so does the 12 player differential explain Ohio State's dominance over Northwestern?  Was Ohio State able to sign more players than Northwestern by running off underperforming players like James Jackson.  I believe the answer to both questions is no but I would be hard pressed to prove it and so would you.

Catch 5's picture

What are you talking about? I have never heard of a player leaving a team for Juco to return later unless there are purely academic reasons. Amos' numbers address LOIs. Upperclassmen don't sign those. The criticism is that Bama had signed a full class more over a few years. Amos destroyed that premise.

Make their asses quit! - Nick Saban

Catch 5's picture

Thanks for the links. One where Sagan says basically what I've been saying, and Mandel doesn't refute it - just takes a somewhat cynical view of it, and the other article is about some players insisting their decision to transfer was their own, not Saba's. Wait, I thought all his transfers were because of being cut?
I failed to find any mention of what you said is going on. Perhaps you could quote it for be?

Make their asses quit! - Nick Saban

amos's picture

Woah, Amos.  We're not ONLY talking about fresh signees, or freshmen here.  We're talking about upperclassmen, too, who are cast aside to make room for the new signees.

If Alabama is running off underperforming upperclassmen at a greater rate than State, would you not expect Alabama to be bringing in more players than State?  The point that I was attempting to make is that although Alabama has signed more players than State, Alabama did not bring in more players than State.  So, if Alabama is cutting all these upperclassmen, how come they didn't bring in more players than State did?

As for your point about JUCO's, I would be extremely surprised if you could find one player that was "cut" by Alabama, went to JUCO, then resigned by Alabama.  Why would a team even do that?  There have only been a handful of players that I am aware of who enrolled at Alabama then later transferred to JUCO and in each case the transfer was due to academic issues in the same way that Duron Carter transferred from Ohio State to JUCO to get his academics in order.  There are examples of players who signed with Alabama, failed to qualify after high school, enrolled in JUCO, then resigned with Alabama after completing their coursework.  I've heard some people complain about this process but I fail to see who the victim is.  When a player fails to qualify, it voids the original LOI and the player is free to sign with whomever he wants after completing JUCO.  If he wants to resign with the 4 year school that he originally signed with, then so be it.

biggy84's picture

Grayshirting and oversigning are very different. Richt is very clearly toeing the conference line in this interview. Do you expect him to confirm or condemn his own program and the conference? Come on man.

amos's picture

He's talking about grayshirting in conjunction with oversigning: “Let’s say you have space for 15 on signing day and you sign 20."  That is straight up oversigning by 5. 

His point is simply that, when used in conjunction with conditional grayshirting, oversigning can be used as a tool for ensuring the team's roster is full without forcing any current players off the team.

acBuckeye's picture

Too lazy to look up all the rules and laws on oversigning, but, like i'm sure some have said, its hard to hate on the schools that do it, when the NCAA itself apparently allows it. What i don't get is, why does the NCAA allow it when the whole reason they implemented the 85-man limit (sometime in the 70's or 80's i believe) was to curb this type of behavior in the first place? And to get away from the unlimited roster numbers? Isn't the NCAA supposed to be looking out for the best interests of the student-athletes?? (end of sarcasm)

The real losers in this whole thing (and many times, the biggest idiots) are the players themselves who sign with these oversigning schools, effectively putting their future at risk. Once again, the NCAA drops the ball on actually "protecting" the student-athletes by not policing these practices, and putting rules on them. Of course, its the NCAA we're talking about.... the same organization that rakes in billions off these athletes. The NCAA only cares about protecting their wallets, and could care less about the well-being of the student-athletes.

NC_Buckeye's picture

I agree that the NCAA has the biggest blame here. Maybe the B1G should adopt a strategy of getting other conferences to agree to an oversigning policy one conference at a time. Bypass the NCAA completely. Eventually we'll either shame the NCAA into doing something. Or the SEC will be too embarassed to not get onboard.

I'd start with the PAC-12. The B1G and PAC have always been kindred spirits in the cfb-verse. Then I'd focus on Texas. They pretty much run the Big XII. The ACC probably would get on board pretty quickly as they value their academic reputation highly in Greensboro. It'll snowball after that.

Catch 5's picture

Here is another honest question for all of you (anti-)oversigning guys, and this is something I've been asking for some time on this issue but haven't really gotten any real answers: Two rival teams from the same conference in the same state routinely recruit 20 players every year. After a number of years, the coach from team A realizes that he loses an average of 4 guys from every class. In order to maximize his roster (and increase opportunity to players) this coach begins oversigning and signs 25 players in every class (with 5 accepting greyshirts if needed) while his rival continues signing 20. After several more years, team A is found to be losing 5 players from every class while team B is still losing the 4. The question is, "is team A kicking those 5 players off its team to make room for oversigning, or is it simply suffering the normal 20% attrition also seen by the other school?

Make their asses quit! - Nick Saban

Bucksfan's picture

The answer is that the two scenarios are not mutually exclusive...i.e. both are happening.  Saban loses kids to the NFL and academics.  He also kicks upperclassmen off the team to make room for new players because the other two scenarios do not account for ALL of the players who leave.  Medical grayshirt, transferring to JUCO or not having their scholarship renewed are the major reasons that are listed BY NAME on oversigning.com's July 22nd posting of this year.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000142405274870424390457563059343879361...

http://oversigning.com/testing/index.php/2011/07/22/alabamas-march-to-85...

Catch 5's picture

First off, you're dodging the question. Is team A cutting players? It is simple enough isn't it? And of course they account for all scenarios, it is my hypothetical question. These numbers account for all attrition - transfers, medicals, homesick boys, academic, etc. Attrition accounts for all players who participate with a team but leave "unsuccessfully" (not graduation or NFL). Answer the question.
Secondly, please name for me one player who didn't have their scholarship renewed. Surely it shouldn't be that hard to find with as often as it happens right?
Thirdly, yes Bama suffers losses to medicals, transfers, and I'll add academic issues as well. Are you saying that all schools do not suffer these as well? If so, why is it nefarious when done at Bama? Why is there a difference?

Make their asses quit! - Nick Saban

Maestro's picture

Click on the links he provided you in the above post.  There are 3 names just from the 2010 Bama team who had their scholarships revoked.

vacuuming sucks

amos's picture

None of their scholarships were revoked.  Please see my post below with links.

amos's picture

As Catch 5 already pointed out, the first link quotes a bunch of former players who state that they chose to transfer.  Saban said that they weren't invited back.  The truth is probably in the middle, i.e. a mutual decision between player and coach similar to Dorian Bell's recent transfer from Ohio State.

As for the 2nd link, the claim that some players' "scholarship(s) not renewed" is completely unsubstantiated.  That wording was chosen by the author of oversigning.com solely in an attempt to mischaracterize the situation in such a way as to reflect poorly on Alabama.  Here's the truth about each of the three players:

"Tailback Terry Grant and wide receiver Travis Sikes have chosen to forego their final years of eligibility and will not return to the Crimson Tide in 2010. Each had already obtained undergraduate degrees."

http://blog.al.com/bamabeat/2010/03/alabama_begins_spring_practice.html

"We sort of mutually agreed that it would be better for [Rod Woodson] to continue his career someplace else, and he will transfer," said Saban

http://www.al.com/sports/index.ssf/2010/08/tide_db_woodson_will_transfer.html

Another mutual decision similar to Dorian Bell.  The linked article also mentions that Woodson was in a 2 person competition for one of the starting Safety positions.  His departure resulted in an undersized walk-on getting significant playing time at Safety throughout the 2010 season and may have cost Alabama a win or two.  If Saban was booting underperforming players to make room on the roster, why choose Woodson instead of one of several players buried on the depth chart?

Finally, I could post an attrition list for Ohio State from the years '08 and '11 (not '08 thru '11) similar to the one that oversigning.com created for Alabama.  It would have 19 names on it and by the names there would be labels such as "Failed to Qualify", "Grayshirt", "Transferred to ...", and "Scholarship not renewed".  What would it prove?  These things happen at most every program and at levels much higher than most people realize.

Maestro's picture

Yes, attrition happens everywhere.  The difference is that it happens because it HAS TO when you oversign.  Forced attrition is the issue.  Selective forced attrition.

Imagine a walk-on being awarded a scholarship if a spot becomes available because of natural attrition.  OH THE HORROR!!!!

vacuuming sucks

Catch 5's picture

This is where you are wrong. Perhaps I'm more accurate if I say you are.potentially wrong. If a coach does as you say, and recklessly oversigns just to bring in all the players he can get away with, then you are correct, he has to have attrition to stay within the rules. If a coach oversigns, but has enough recruits willing to greyahirt if needed, then you are incorrect, attrition is not needed, just prepared for. Les Miles got caught as the former a couple years ago and I imagine he learned his lesson. By all actual accounts (from people who know, not speculate like you, Mandel, and I) Saban does it correctly.

Make their asses quit! - Nick Saban

Bucksfan's picture

You're defending something indefensible.  Grayshirting is not something that is "okay."  Nick Saban in his first 4 years grashirted 12 players.  Jim Tressel grayshirted 4 in his 10 years.

Your coach abuses the grayshirt, and he IS doing it for attrition.

Catch 5's picture

First off, I'm defending it so it is not indefensible.  Secondly, you aren't even refuting my defense.  You make no effort to address the issues or points I have used to defend it, you simply say it is wrong.  Well, you gotta do better than that.

OK, so Saban uses it a lot, and you admit that he does it to cover for attrition.  Now please explain how it is not OK.  If Tressel used it 4 times in ten years, and I assume that is fine to you, but Saban using it 12 times in 4 years is not.  I can accept that these are drastic differences, but where do you draw the line and why?  Furthermore, just because Tressel doesn't use it as much doesn't mean it is wrong if someone else does. 

Make their asses quit! - Nick Saban

Bucksfan's picture

You are such a typical SEC fan.  It's so maddening.  I gave you links chronicalling the fact that 21 Alabama players over the past 2 years just somehow disappeared between the national signing day and the start of the season, and their absence is not due to graduation or due to leaving for the NFL.  6 of the 21 were due to "medical hardships."  But we know from yet another link that I gave you, that players are being dismissed due to "medical hardships" but have no medical issue, and they're on record about it.

You're making the assumption that these transfers or dismissals are legitimately due to the kid's choice, and not the coach's.  But even if it were the case, you should at the very least be disappointed that your school is ruining the physical careers of these young men, as well as your school not fulfilling any sort of academic goal.  But, you're not!  You think it's okay.  And it's giving Saban an advantage because he's allowed to cut what he would consider "dead weight."

Meanwhile, other schools across the country do not experience an entire recruiting class disappear over a 2-year span, leading to the need to oversign.  So, why is it ONLY happening in the SEC-West? 

Saban did oversign: because with only 12 departing players on NSD and only a couple of open scholarships from last year there is no way he had room for 24 guys and it took X number of the 10 players leaving since NSD in order for him to get back down to 85.  If Saban did oversign, then this is a prime example of how the new "roster management rules" for oversigning in the SEC are ineffective.  Even with signing 24, which is 1 under the 25 enrollment limit, it is very possible that Alabama oversigned -- the only way they didn't is if they played last year with 73 scholarship players, which would mean the 12 under 85 from last year + the departure of 12 to the NFL and graduation would then justify the 24 they signed to get to 85.  Then in which case, with the 12 departures since NSD, Alabama would be at 73 going into this season.  Which in turn raises the question as to why 3 guys are being moved to medical hardship scholarships when there could be football scholarships that are left unused -- don't those guys deserve better for their sacrifice, especially when the room is there?

http://oversigning.com/testing/

Catch 5's picture

Yes, Bama has had players leave during the summer.  Who doesn't?  How many players have left OSU during that time frame?  How many have left the rest of the year?  I really don't care when a player leaves, what I want to know is how many leave and how does that compare with other schools.  Have you ever seen any other school chronicled like oversigning.com does Bama?  I wonder why he doesn't offer a comparison for those numbers.  I became so frustrated with it that I did my own research into the matter.  I looked at the 2008 recruiting classes from all SEC and B10 schools, and compared it to the current rosters.  Any player not found on the roster was looked up and the reason for their absence was found.  Players that didn't qualify or for other reasons never set foot on campus were taken completely out of the equation, and players that graduated, got drafted by the NFL, or other "successfull" departures were not counted against the school's attrition (as that is natural attrition).  What was left was the school's unnatural attrition.  Players that left because of medical reasons, academic reasons, in search of more playing time, or simply missed momma.  Included with these are the players you would say are cut.  Wanna take a guess as to the outcome?  What percent would you say was the average?  What percent would you expect from teams like Bama, LSU, and Ole Miss?  How about teams that have take a hard line against oversigning like OSU, Florida, and Georgia?  Since I should be embarrased by the losses at the school I support, I assume you would think that your school would have a much lower number.  Care to offer an actual number as to how much lower?

As to the medicals, out of 12 players given medical scholarships, the WSJ was only able to find 3 that offered quotes they could use in their story.  Those three also said the following: 

"Mr. Kirschman said the decision to take the medical scholarship was ultimately his",

"Mr. Griffin said he doesn't contest the results of the physical and said it was "basically my decision" to forgo the rest of his playing career"

"Charles Hoke, a former Alabama offensive lineman who took a medical scholarship in 2008 because of a shoulder problem, said the choice was left entirely up to him and was based on the many conversations he had with the team's doctors and trainers over the course of his junior year"

I know the WSJ is a very vaunted publication, but every time I read that article, I find more holes.  It starts off saying that 3 players say they feel the schools uses medicals to make room, but only offer quotes from one of them actually saying that.  The other two say explicitedly that it was their call (with Kirschman also admitting it was his call).  Sorry, I don't buy this as being kicked off.  Yes, I'll buy that the Bama staff may have encouraged it, but is that not something responsible to do if your medical findings show problems?

Make their asses quit! - Nick Saban

amos's picture

Nick Saban in his first 4 years grashirted 12 players

You are misinformed.  He has grayshirted 6 players in 5 years.  Don't let the truth get in the way of your arguement though.

 

 

Bucksfan's picture

Amos, let's see...should I believe you, an SEC homer? Or the Wall Street Journal?

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000142405274870338420457550990146845130...

Catch 5's picture

Bucksfan, it appears you don't kow what a greyshirt is.  The 12 instances you reference with that article is a medical hardship scholarship, where a player who is currently on scholarship is kept on scholarship, but deemed too injured to continue at a competetive level and no longer on the team.  They no longer count toward the scholarship limit for that team, but remain at the school for the remaiinder of their scholastic career.  While the WSJ insinuates that Alabama uses it much more than even other SEC schools, it does not back up that sentiment, and has allowed it to grow to places like this.  In fact, when actual research is done (as pointed out by Amos elsewhere in this thread) the opposite is found.  Many schools have similar medical numbers - including some in the B10.  A greyshirt is an informal designation for a recruit who signs their letter of intent one year (say 2011) but defers his (full-time) enrollment in school until the spring of the following year, where he will become a member of the following freshman class.  By delaying his enrollment, he also delays when he counts against the scholarship count. 

Make their asses quit! - Nick Saban

Bucksfan's picture

Sorry, my bad.  But honestly it doesn't really matter, the end result of both practices is the same.  You're wrong to suggest Alabama doesn't do this more than other schools.  If Amos pointed this out, then either his numbers are wrong, or both Stewart Mandel's and the Wall Street Journals' are.  I'm siding with Stewie boy and the Wall Street Journal.

And after reading the testimonials from your players, I can't believe you're not outraged that the coach is doing this.  Maybe you didn't read them.  But in your mind, he's not doing anything wrong or shady.  Just because something isn't illegal doesn't make it right.  So, you're not going to be convinced otherwise, that much is clear.  You're wasting your time here.

Catch 5's picture

The WSJ did not offer any numbers.  They said AT LEAST 24 were given in the SEC.  That little bit of phrasing means they didn't come up with an actual number.  Amos did, and during the research I mentioned in my previous responses, I found similar numbers. 

Do I find it unusual that a player is disappointed at being found ineligable to continue medically?  No.  Do I find it unusual that these players wanted to keep playing even though they were failing their physicals?  No.  Is that enough to condem the organization?  No.  Perhaps Saban has his medical staff encourage guys who have had major injuries to take medical exemptions more often so he can bring in guys that can contribute.  Who's hurt here?  Not the injured guy.  He's not playing anyway, and still gets a free ride for the rest of his education.  Could other schools not be promoting this?  Sure.  Maybe they are under pressure from the administration not to have guys on scholarship who aren't playing.  Maybe, like you, they feel like the kid should be on the team whether he can play or not, and maybe some coaches are ok with having a couple of scholarship spots filled out by injured players.  Just like the rest of oversigning.  If you like the fact that your team fills the handfull of scholarships left open when you have a summer attrition with walk-on guys, good for you, but just because other schools prepare for those losses doesn't meant they are causing them.

And btw, many of the guys put on medicals have been major contributors, they aren't all practice squad guys.

Make their asses quit! - Nick Saban

Bucksfan's picture

Perhaps Saban has his medical staff encourage guys who have had major injuries to take medical exemptions more often so he can bring in guys that can contribute.  

FINALLY!  That's exactly what everyone here has been saying!  You're just the only one who doesn't see it as f'cked up!

Catch 5's picture

Congrats, you've gotten me to say whatever it is that you wanted, now explain how bad it is.  Saban puts guys who are hurt and can no longer contribute without risk of injury to themselves on scholarship outside of the team when others don't (assuming here).  Where is the problem?  Would you rather he continue to subjec the guy to situations that could possibly injure him further, that could have severe implications for his life beyond college and football?  Surely not, maybe you just want him to sit on the bench and occupy a spot that another kid would love to have - but would otherwise have to go to a lesser school (in his eyes) like Miss State or Tennessee ;)  Please explain how it is f*cked up <- as you put it.

Make their asses quit! - Nick Saban

Bucksfan's picture

It has already been explained.  You just aren't getting it.

Catch 5's picture

Forgive me but that sounds like a cop-out.  It has not been explained.  It has been stated, over and over it has been stated, but no one has said why.  You point to allegations, but no proof.  You state opinion as fact but offer no supporting arguments.  I ask for the reasoning behind your positions but all I get is your response above.  I have posted numerous times on this thread how oversigning can be done ethically, and to the benefit of both the student and the team.  All I get from you is that it is wrong, completely ignoring the proof I have shown.  Perhaps it is you who just aren't getting it.

Make their asses quit! - Nick Saban

Bucksfan's picture

If you're not going to take player testimonial or basic addition/subtraction as proof that college kids are getting marginalized, then what else can I do except tell you that you're wrong?  They ARE getting marginalized.  You just don't have a problem with it.

Catch 5's picture

What player testimonial?  The three guys who were given medical scholarsips?  All three were injured, and I showed you their quotes saying the ultimate choice was theirs - that means if they had disgreed with it, they would have remained on the team.  Back to the math?  I've explained it several times how simply looking at signing classes does not tell the story.  I gave the hypothetical scenario with team A and B - trace this thread, I believe it is at the top.  You have dodged answering it a couple of times now.  I've also asked for thoughts on how much more attrition you would expect to see at Bama given how much they kick kids off the team.  If Bama and other oversigning schools are marginalizing kids, it would have to show up in the attrition percentage would it not?  Unless, that is, other schools are doing it without oversigning.  Care to take a whack at it?

Make their asses quit! - Nick Saban

NC_Buckeye's picture

BF, these guys are yanking your chain. It's time to ignore them so they can crawl back into their ESSS EEEE CEEE cave.

theDuke's picture

this article was soooo monday.

theDuke

amos's picture

You're wrong to suggest Alabama doesn't do this more than other schools.  If Amos pointed this out, then either his numbers are wrong, or both Stewart Mandel's and the Wall Street Journals' are.  I'm siding with Stewie boy and the Wall Street Journal.

Ok, this appears to be a case of you reading what you want to see in the referenced articles as opposed to what is actually in them.  My numbers are not wrong, nor do they conflict with the numbers provided by the WSJ or Stewart Mandel.

-The WSJ and Mandel both state that Alabama had 12 medical hardships during Saban's first 4 years.  This is true and I've never even intimited that it is not true.

-Mandel stated that Tressel had 4 medical hardshipis in 10 years.  Again, this is something that I've never disputed.

-The WSJ article stated that the SEC had AT LEAST 24 medical hardships over that 4 year period.  I provided stats for a few other SEC schools and when you add them up, the SEC has had at least 38 medical hardships over that 4 year period.  THIS DOES NOT CONTRADICT THE WSJ ARTICLE.   In fact, my claim being true necessitates the WSJ claim being true.  I can provide the list of the 38 players if you want them.

 

So, as you can see, my numbers don't contradict anything written by Mandel or the WSJ.  Where the difference comes in is the way we portray the numbers.  The WSJ and Mandel portray Alabama as an outlier, but how well do they back up that claim?  Not very well at all.  Yes, Alabama has had significantly more medical hardships than Ohio State, but so has Georgia, South Carolina, Indiana, Michigan, Michigan State, Nebraska, Florida State, Oklahoma State, North Carolina, and many, many other major programs.  Are all these programs forcing bogus medical hardships on players too?  "But they aren't oversigned", you say.  That may be true, but getting rid of their dead weight via medical hardships would open up roster space allowing each of those schools to sign bigger recruiting classes the following year than they would have been able to had they not forced the players to take medical hardships.

And after reading the testimonials from your players, I can't believe you're not outraged that the coach is doing this.  Maybe you didn't read them.  But in your mind, he's not doing anything wrong or shady. 

As Catch 5 pointed out, the actual comments made by the former players in the WSJ are not nearly as damaging as the way the author portrays them in the article.  And unlike James Jackson, each of the 3 players quoted in the WSJ article will be able to finish his degree on scholarship without transferring (one will actually complete his undergrad and grad degrees on scholarship):

"They had an oversigning issue," Jackson said. "They had to free up a few scholarships, and coach [Jim] Tressel told me I probably wouldn't play and maybe Ohio State wasn't the place for me."

But Jackson said if he had known then what he knows now, he would not have gone to Ohio State, and believes disclosure laws can help others avoid similar mistakes.

"My main goal coming out of high school was to get a degree from a Division I program," said Jackson, who now attends Wayne State, a Division II school in Michigan. "If I had known they wouldn't keep me in school for four to five years, no matter what, I would have gone somewhere else."

http://www.cbssports.com/collegefootball/story/15267318/laws-force-disclosure-of-scholarships-fine-print

Did the above testimonial outrage you that your coach was doing this?

Bucksfan's picture

Certainly an incident of 1.  Over Tressel's last 5 recruiting classes, he only hit 25 once, and was below 20 twice.  Nick Saban sent 7 players to JUCO last year AND oversigns!

amos's picture

So, were you outraged at Tressel?  Is cutting one player to make room for more talented players ok?

Also, please list the names of the 7 players that Saban sent to JUCO last year.

amos's picture

You said Saban had sent 7 players to JUCO last year.  Your link shows that last year 2 players failed to qualify out of high school and enrolled in Juco's and this year 3 current players transferred to Juco's.  That's 5 players in 2 years, not 7 players in 1 year.

Maybe you are under the impression that North Alabama, Cal U in Pennsylvania, or Georgia State is a Juco.  If so, then you are wrong once again, something that is beginning to become a pattern with you.  If you're going to make an allegation against someone, have the common decency to check your facts first.

Were you outraged at Tressel for the way he treated Jackson?

Bucksfan's picture

lol, you're actually going to mince the fact that North Alabama, Cal U PA, and Georgia State aren't junior colleges as a justification that you're right and I'm wrong.  Soorrrrry.  The fact that 21 players over 2 years effectively "disappeared" for reasons other than the NFL or graduation is what we're debating.  21 players did not have to leave Ohio State because their coach signed 25-30 freshmen.

I actually have never heard of Jackson before.  I know for a fact that his words about Ohio State oversigning are generally inaccurate.  Jim Tressel only hit 25 signees once in the last 5 years, and was under 20 twice.  Perhaps Tressel brought in more WR's, and that's what he meant?  Anyway, kids transferring because of a lack of playing time happen, and Ohio State is no stranger.  What we're talking about is just how integral a part of Alabama's recruiting strategy oversigning is, and what that ultimately means for kids that are already scholarship athletes.

Again, the same thing applies to you that applies to catch 5.  If it was happening at Ohio State, you'd be freaking out.  Instead, you're here defending it with an imense amount of spin so you can justify winning a lot of football games.

Catch 5's picture

How many players has OSU "sent to JuCo" over this same period?  What is the Div I average?  What is the SEC average?  If these 21 players represent 20% of the roster, but other schools are shown to lose 35%, then I would say your are barking up the wrong tree.  If it is the other way around, you may actually have something worth pointing at.  Since you took the time to count Bama's numbers, surely you did others as well.  Care to share?

Make their asses quit! - Nick Saban

Bucksfan's picture

There is NO WAY Ohio State has that happen.  It is mathematically impossible.  Their recruiting average over the last 5 years is around 20.  They'd have to do what Saban does and sign 30 players a year to make up for that kind of loss.  Only in Saban's case, the transfers are a RESULT of the big class size, not the cause.

Catch 5's picture

See the bottom for my reply to this.  Thanks.

Make their asses quit! - Nick Saban

amos's picture

lol, you're actually going to mince the fact that North Alabama, Cal U PA, and Georgia State aren't junior colleges as a justification that you're right and I'm wrong

Since you did count them as junior colleges and they aren't junior colleges, then yes I'm going to point out that you are wrong.  A 2 year institution versus a 4 year institution is a pretty big distinction by the way.  If you don't believe me, try applying for a white collar job with an Associate's degree from a Juco instead of a Bachelor's degree from a 4 year institution.

The fact that 21 players over 2 years effectively "disappeared" for reasons other than the NFL or graduation is what we're debating.

This seems to be the major issue you have.  What I've tried show you and others is that that stat means absolutely nothing without context.  I really feel that most people have no idea how much attrition happens across college football every year.  Indiana has lost 17 players this year alone.  Washington State also lost 17 players.  Michigan lost 13.  Georgia has lost 20+ over the last 2 years.  So if Georgia doesn't oversign and lost just as many players as Alabama, how can you conclude that Alabama's attrition is due to oversigning.  Not to mention the fact that several of Alabama's transfers have stated publicly that they chose to transfer and not one has ever claimed that he was forced to transfer.

And that brings us back to James Jackson.  Oversigning has to do with the 85 rule not the 25 rule.  So stating that he didn't sign over 25 in no way proves that he didn't oversign.  In fact, oversigning.com had Ohio State as oversigned by 2 on National Signing Day.  Now are you outraged at what Tressel did to James Jackson or are you going to continue to attempt to defend him just because he coached for your favorite team?

Bucksfan's picture

What are Indiana's, Wazzou's, Michigan's, and Georgia's graduation rate?

amos's picture

It just so happens that the NCAA released new Graduation Success Rates earlier this week.  Here are the rates for the schools you requested plus a couple extra:

Indiana - 66

Wazzou - 62

Michigan - 71

Georgia - 65

Alabama - 69

Ohio State - 67

National Average - 67

Bucksfan's picture

So, you just proved my point, since Indiana, Wazzou, etc. don't bring in more than 25 players a year like Alabama. THANKS!  And Indiana doesn't oversign.  They are not allowed to offer more than 20 scholarships to incoming freshmen.  They are always BELOW 85 scholarship players.

http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/sports/2011/02/13/rules-on-overs...

amos's picture

See my reply at the bottom of the comments section

Maestro's picture

http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/sports/2011/02/13/rules-on-oversigning-put-big-ten-at-a-disadvantage.html

 

Excellent article that gives some insight from a person who coached at LSU and at Indiana.  Please read

 

vacuuming sucks

Catch 5's picture

That article starts out correctly, "The B10 puts itself at a disadvantage" but then delves into bad analogies - "Auburn, the most prolific, has signed 277 players, compared with 213 for Ohio State. That means that over a decade, Auburn has signed 30 percent more players. Or, put another way, the Tigers bring in basically four recruiting classes to the Buckeyes' three" They fail to recognize that Auburn is currently well under the 85 man limit even though they have a supposed extra recruiting class. We've already addressed that premise though (see Amos above) and "It's like in bowling, if your opponent gets three balls instead of two" That has got to be one of the worst misrepresentations of oversigning I've read as using three balls is clearly against the rules. A more accurate statement would be if your opponent got the two balls allowed by rule while you elect to play with only one.

Make their asses quit! - Nick Saban

Maestro's picture

Way to ignore the Dinardo quotes.

vacuuming sucks

Catch 5's picture

You mean like this one?

"The Big Ten puts itself at a competitive disadvantage," DiNardo said

I thought I pointed that one out first. If you have one you want me to focus on please elaborate and I'll oblidge.

Make their asses quit! - Nick Saban

Maestro's picture

or when he says that at LSU "there were ways to get to 25."  Talk about shady.

vacuuming sucks

Catch 5's picture

You mean this quote?

"The athletic director trusted me. If I signed 30, he knew I would be at 25 when I had to be. There was always a way to manage to numbers"

That could mean a lot of things.  Some bad, some perfectly fine.  You read into it what you want.  He may well mean that he told kids to hit the road.  That doesn't mean that is how others do it.  He could also mean that he offered 5 grayshirts, and used them to fill any vacancies that occured over the summer.

I agree there is a right way and a wrong way to manage a roster, and oversigning is only a part of that.  If a player is not performing, what is keeping a coach from a B10 school from cutting him in Jan before NSD so he has an extra scholarhip?  Just this year, Sam Longo was released from OSU just days before NSD.  Anything wrong with that? 

Make their asses quit! - Nick Saban

Maestro's picture

I don't have to read into it.  Dinardo told me exactly what to think.  At LSU he cut players to get to his number and had the advantage of having more talent to choose from.  At Indiana he was held to a standard that prevents players from getting crapped on, and he states (correctly) that this puts a B1G school at a competitve disadvantage.  That's the issue.  The playing field is NOT LEVEL in college football just from the basic standpoint of roster numbers.  That is completely bogus.  That's the issue.

vacuuming sucks

Catch 5's picture

You are totally reading that into what he said because he did'nt say what you say you took from it.  He said that there were ways to get to 25.  He may have cut kids, but there are other ways it could have been done as well.

Perhaps that doesn't matter anyway because I agree pretty much with the rest of what you said.  It is a competitive disadvantage and if you want the field to be level, you should lobby the B10 office to repeal their ban limitations on oversigning.  That would solve the competitive issue once and for all.

Make their asses quit! - Nick Saban

Catch 5's picture

I just realized something else about that quote.  When he mentions being down to 25, that is in reference to the limit of players allowed to be signed per class.  You can't have more than 25 enrolled as part of any one recruiting class.  You can sign more than that, of course, but "there are ways" of managing the numbers to "get it down to 25".  This includes back-counting.  If you have an incoming freshman who graduates HS early, he can enroll in the spring and go through spring practice.  In addition to the added benefit of the extra prep time, that recruit can count against the previous year's class - if that class was less than 25.  Of course, if a player doesn't qualify he doesn't count and would reduce the number.  Then there is the greyshirt, which is the opposite of the back-count, where a guy delays his enrollment until the following spring so that he counts towards that class' numbers. 

The problem with your stance is that cutting a player does nothing to get the number to 25.  You can say that cutting a player makes room on the 85 (total team) roster, but attrition (forced or otherwise) has no bearing whatsoever on the 25 number that DeNardo is mentioning.

Make their asses quit! - Nick Saban

JLP36's picture

We have a free agent QB leading a visiting team into the 'Shoe this week and I am reading ideas being floated about an upper classman cut period in January.  College football is entering dangerous territory.  If cutting players becomes the norm and there is no sit out rule, you have created a free agency type system.  Call me old fashioned, but I like a system where a player commits to a school and the school commits to the player. 

JLP36

Bucks's picture

I gotta laugh with some of these postings. A few ppl join the site purely to debate back and forth a stance that is already set in stone in their minds (regardless of claim to being open-minded). Wasted font to try and have discussion with someone who will change the nuance of the discussion at any moment/point.

amos's picture

Fair enough.  But if someone made an allegation against Ohio State, would you not ask the author to back up that allegation with actual proof rather than just innuendo?

Bucks's picture

Happens every single day, thousands of times on message boards & other team sites alllllllllllllll across the interwebs. No, I don't go after them all. Couldn't keep up if I wanted to (which I don't).

As for asking the Author, I'm sure Ramzy is quite prepared to answer anything you had to pose to him. He is a capable individual. I don't know that you've asked him anything though.

 

amos's picture

In his piece, Ramzy casually claims that Alabama purges underporforming players and abruptly pulls scholarship from its players.  In a post above, I asked him the following:

1. To provide the names of the Alabama players who had their scholarships taken away.  I didn't specify this earlier, but the list should include his basis for determining that their scholarships were revoked.  Bonus points if he can provide evidence that they were cut for underperforming.

2. If Alabama is running off all these underperforming players to make room for next year's studs, then why has Alabama enrolled roughly the same number of signees as Michigan State?  Is Michigan State running off an equal number of underperforming players?

 

With respect to #1, I know you're going to say that it's a very difficult thing to prove because any coach who cuts players for underperforming isn't likely to admit to it publicly.  And you're right.  But if he's going to state his claims as fact, then I'm going to ask him to provide something to back it up with.  I doubt I'll get a response from him, but I'm still going to ask.

btalbert25's picture

There are examples from oversigning that are pretty wrong in my opinion. The link below has more hard evidence about Les Miles, and doesn't really involve specifics of Nick Saban, but the details about Miles are where I don't agree with oversigning.

http://www.cbssports.com/collegefootball/story/13727507/bad-guys-utilize...

I don't believe it creates this unbalanced playing field that everyone else thinks, and I don't think it's always as unethical as many posters on this site who are always outraged about the topic.  It's not black and white.  It's not just wrong and that's all their is to it.

I don't honestly have a problem with a guy who has been with the program for 4 years and never contributed on the field, getting replaced with someone else.  Call me whatever you want, but I don't see it as a big issue.  If you get an Academic scholarship you are expected to perform in the classroom, and I believe you still have to toe the line outside of the classroom too.  Keep yourself out of trouble. 

So why then, is it so horrible to cut a guy loose if he's been in the program for 4 years, has a degree or doesn't do that well in school, and doesn't contribute on the field.  They guy had 4 years of education, housing, food, and benefits of being a football player for 4 years, and contributed little back.  Sure he worked hard in practice, but shouldn't athletes be held to performance too?

When Miles or Saban go to a guy's house and tell them you could be the next great player and we'll win titles.  Then mention, maybe you could be grayshirted, I'm not so sure the kid who's head is spinning thinking how awesome it is that Nick Saban wants him to play at Bama, really believes it's a possibility.  That's on the kid to be sure, but to act as if these guys lay it all out there for the kids when they are being recruited is probably not that accurate.  These guys are pretty savvy, I bet they paint a picture of what the player will be at Bama, then mention well this could also happen also. 

I also don't know how "mutual" some of the decisions to let people go or send people off.  Much like I don't doubt that Tressel sent a guy off so that he could make room for someone else, or Longo decided it'd be best for him to leave.  There was probably some advice to players that maybe you should go, because we aren't going to use you more than this capacity. 

Both sides have valid arguements.  When it's our coach or your coach, obviously we'll see no wrong.  I doubt many Bama fans loved how Saban conducted business when he was in Baton Rouge, now you all love him.  Many Ohio State fans hated or still hate Urban Meyer, but if he comes to Columbus and wins a lot he's going to be beloved by Buckeye nation as a whole and of course everyone will defend everything he did. 

Catch 5's picture

Just wondering, have you considered the position of the people you are criticizing or is it already set in stone in your mind how things are? Yea, I just joined the site for this conversation - does that make my position less relevant? Am I not welcome if I do not step in line with those who instinctively see the worst intentions with anything south of the Ohio River? Sorry if this is a place where opinion and free thought should be left at the door, I didn't get the memo.

Make their asses quit! - Nick Saban

Bucks's picture

I haven't taken a firm stance on the issue of oversigning so to answer your question, nothing is set in stone in my mind, thank you. I certainly didn't imply anything was wrong with you joining at all, or anything really negative per se. I do think though, since you seem to be dedicated to trying to manipulate my statement, that through reading all of these posts ... the object of discussion or what is the focal point keeps changing.

Also strikes me as a stacked deck to begin with. Asking someone to prove staffs intentionally cut multiple players even years into their scholarship time is not something that can really be done, and most people know that. Not exactly in a coaches best interest to say "Yeah, we will cut you if we happen to be in position to obtain these people we can't pass up & you're not a star on the field." Instead it is very likely a coach isn't going to put up a platter like that.

Are some of these kids who claim they were pressured to leave for a better commit possibly not being truthful? Yes, absolutely. Are there quite a few who are absolutely being truthful & their departure due to some "technicality" or legit reason is a farce? Yes, absolutely.

You aren't going to twist my words around into some goofy attempt at painting an innacurate picture of new people. More then welcome to try and represent it that way though.

Oh & welcome Catch!

Catch 5's picture

I didn't twist you words, I simply asked the same question of you that you accused me of being.  While you may not have implied anything wrong with me joing, you had to "laugh with some of these postings. A few ppl join the site purely to debate back and forth a stance that is already set in stone in their minds."  Forgive me if I mistook that as ridicule.

As for my opinion being set in stone...ok, I believe that greyshirting is fine as long as the player knows that it is likely when he signs his LOI.  In fact, there are many instances of it being benefitual to the player.  I think it is wrong to promise a kid a scholarship for 4 years, then tell him to hit the road after 2 because you need the scholarship for someone else.  I don't think it is wrong to sit a kid down after a couple of years and let him know he isn't panning out, and if playing time is important to him, he should look elsewhere - but that he is welcome to remain on scholarship if he wants to continue here.  In fact, I think a good coach would do just that.  I think it is wrong to tell a kid in August that he can't enroll until February because his scholarship that was promised isn't available yet, but I think it is perfectly fine to tell a kid in January (before he signs his LOI) that he may have to wait until the next year if a spot doesn't open up over the summer.  See there is a right way and wrong way to do these things, and noone has shown that Saban is doing it the wrong way - in fact he claims (and his recruits make statements supporting it) that he is doing it the right way.  All I ask is that people like Ramzy support their accusations with more than what he has offered here.  BTW, I also think it is just as wrong to cut a kid in Jan so that you don't oversign the coming class as it is to cut one in August so that the class you oversigned will fit.

Make their asses quit! - Nick Saban

Bucksfan's picture

I remember you from SportingNews.  You use the same screen name.  Pretty pathetic.  I mean, you're not doing your region any favors by defending something that is shady.  You know it's shady.  And if your school didn't do this, but ours did, you'd be here in that reality assailing us for it.

Catch 5's picture

Are you calling me pathetic because I use the same screen name?  Surely not!  I don't use a different name everywhere I go, it is always the same.  Heck, I have an Xbox Live account with this name.  Sorry if it doesn't meet your standards.

Perhaps you meant my defense is pathetic.  Fair enough, but you are going to have to do better than that to illustrate why it is so.  I know it's shady?  No, read my response above this - I admit that it can be shady, but that it can also be done correctly and be very benefitual to both the team and the player.  If you disagree, feel free to explain differently but please don't forget that your Buckeyes greyshirted a guy just this year so either include them in your criticism or explain how it's ok for them.

BTW, a few of the guys from Sportingnews starting a blogsite to try to keep some of the community together.  It is rather small, but if you recognized me you will certainly recognize most of the other guys there.  www.T-S-B-N.com

Make their asses quit! - Nick Saban

BoFuquel's picture

 You know students, debate is nothing but the sin of pride personified.It's still on the list of the seven deadly sins, the last time I checked.I just state my case and let the chips fall where they may.If you can't make money out of your opinion, then it's not worth having anyway.You should not waste your valuable time on anything that is not profitable.You owe that to youself and your family. GO BUCKS!

I wish I didn't know now what I didn't know then.

Menexenus's picture

/sarcasm?  Right?

Real fans stay for Carmen.

Catch 5's picture

Earlier in the comments, Bucksfan said:

There is NO WAY Ohio State has that happen.  It is mathematically impossible.  Their recruiting average over the last 5 years is around 20.  They'd have to do what Saban does and sign 30 players a year to make up for that kind of loss.  Only in Saban's case, the transfers are a RESULT of the big class size, not the cause.

Well, I haven't looked at five years, but I did look at the 2008 recruiting classes for every B10 and SEC team in an effort to find actual numbers for attrition, not just impressions.  For brevity's sake, I'll focus on the three teams that get the most discussion (from oversigning.com) for and against oversigning:  Bama, LSU, and Ole Miss for the offenders; OSU, Georgia and Florida for the righteous. 

First the offenders:

Bama signed a huge class that year of 32.  (Saban had just taken over and the roster was depleted.  He was able to back-count players for the first two or three years he was there - another reason the straight LOI count is skewed)  Of those 32, 1 didn't qualify, two accepted MLB contracts, and one other never enrolled (another academic casualty?).  Take those 4 out and the actual enrollment from that class was 28.  Of those 28, 13 are not currently listed on Bama's roster.  I looked up every one of these, and one was a JuCo transfer who graduated and three left early for the draft, leaving 9 players that left prematurely whether they were cut or left of their own accord is only known to them.  That gives Bama an attrition rate of 35.7% for the 2008 class

I followed this pattern for each team with the following results:

Bama - 35.7%

LSU - 36.0%

Ole Miss - 34.5%

The offenders have an average attrition rate of 35.4%

Now the righteous:

Ohio State - 31.6%

Georgia - 40.9%

Florida - 31.8%

The righteous have an average attrition rate of 34.7%

Everybody loses players.

 

Make their asses quit! - Nick Saban

amos's picture

Bucksfan:

So, you just proved my point, since Indiana, Wazzou, etc. don't bring in more than 25 players a year like Alabama. THANKS!  And Indiana doesn't oversign.  They are not allowed to offer more than 20 scholarships to incoming freshmen.  They are always BELOW 85 scholarship players.

First of all, you're going to have to explain to me how I proved your point.  I provided you with Graduation Success Rates (GSR) showing that Alabama has a higher GSR than the national average and higher GSR than schools like Ohio State that you claim don't oversign, and that proved your point?  Maybe it's just me, but that makes no sense at all.

Secondly, that article was incorrect stating that Indiana can't offer more than 20 scholarships to incoming players.  Rivals.com and oversigning.com show Indiana bringing in more than 20 new scholarship players 6 times over the past 10 years.  They average over 22 players per class, so obviously they are not in any way limited to 20 players per year.  I challenge you to find mention of a 20 player limit for Indiana anywhere other than that article.

As for Indiana not oversigning and always being below the 85 limit, that's simply not true and I offer this article from 2010 as evidence:

"Heading into the summer, Indiana was still over its limit of 85 scholarship players on the football roster. However, two recent moves have brought the Hoosiers back to compliance.

Running back Shane Covington will transfer according to a source, and defensive tackle Jarrod Smith is staying at Indiana but will leave the football program because of a back injury that cost him much of last season and all spring. By NCAA rule, he will continue to receive a scholarship, but no longer counts against Indiana’s limit of 85 scholarships"

http://blogs.heraldtimesonline.com/iusp/?p=9000

So, Indiana was oversigned by 2 heading into the summer (which is allowed by B1G rules), then had a transfer and a medical hardship to get back down to 85 scholarships.  Happens a lot more than you think.