I've Sold My Soul to the Devil, & I Think I Like It

By DJ Byrnes on February 9, 2012 at 3:43p
107 Comments
RT @spoocecow: order thing at a fancy restaurant & when it arrives exclaim "THIS is the enemy's bio-weapon?!" Everyone loves starfox64 :)For whatever reason, this picture no longer enrages me.

Last week, because I'm a fan of his work, I read an article by Sports Illustrated's Andy Staples, regarding "Operation: Bratwurst". In it, Staples imagines Urban Meyer as "Urbantor 1000", a robot programmed by an ominipotent Mike "Sliveborg" Slive to send Ohio State into SEC-football-like eupohoria and to further assimilate the country to SEC football culture. 

Staples uses comedy to leverage a very truthful point: Ohio State fans have begun to sing a different tune regarding their worldviews of college football in a very short span of time. I certainly am not above it. Hypocrisy is the price of human existence, and in this case, I have chosen to accept it with open arms. A mere five years ago, Urban Meyer dismantled my favorite Ohio State team and reduced me to a drunken husk of humanity.

But best believe I whistled dixie as I walked past the Florida-plated luxury cars, some with "This is Gator Country" license plate protectors, as I walked into the Les Wexner Football Complex at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center last week to cover Meyer's National Signing Day presser. In my darkest dreams, I can still see Tebow blasting into a Scarlet and Grey-clad defensive line like a hot battering ram into butter, but even those thoughts do little to deter the feeling I get when I envision the power spread offense coming to Ohio State

With Ohio State fans claiming their won the "right way" before mentioning Urban's Florida players' brushes with law enforcement, Ohio State recruited Terrelle Pryor in 2008 to (as Pryor even admitted) finally "get Ohio State over the hump." Fast forward to February 2012: Jim Tressel is employed in Akron and Terrelle Pryor wallows in Oakland, the SEC-bowl monkey only slewn in memory. After the unceremonious departures of two of its programs pillars sent Ohio State tailspinning to their first losing season 1988, Ohio State fans were all too willing to grab the ring-encrusted and SEC-proven lifeline which Fortune had left swinging above their groping hands.

There was an audible sigh from Ohio State fans when Gene Smith announced Ohio State's coaches would "have the resources he needed" to secure the services of the assisstant coaches he desired. We then cheered as our new champion went and taught not only the likes of Bret Bielema, but the understudy of our last champion in Mark Dantonio, the definition of "committed" in 21st century football. A few years ago, Ohio Stately fans largely mocked Southern message board recruitniks as pedophiles, and now we find ourselves googling things like "Jamal Marcus Highlights".

These are all figurative bullets I'll willingly bite. As for the overall transformation of Ohio State fans' opinions, nobody has ever accused large groups of people of behaving rationally.

Where I am forced to take issue with Mr. Staples' work, however, is this notion SEC Commissioner Mike Slive, even through the lense of comedy, is some omnipotent cyborg pulling the strings behind the curtains of college football. As the head of college football's most influential, if not toughest, college football conference, he certainly has his fair share of power; but I don't believe he is the commissioner also moonlighting as college football's shotcaller. (Besides, why would he be interested in increasing the competitive level of a competing conference?) No, I think one would have to turn their eyes to Chicago, Illinois, to find the smartest man in college football.

DELANEY'S EYES HAVE NEVER LEFT THE PRIZE

To take a page out of Urban Meyer's syntax devices, "To say 'I'm excited about Urban Meyer coaching Ohio State' is to understate how excited I am about Urban Meyer coaching Ohio State." The effects it will have on Ohio State football and the conference are obvious. Another reason for excitement is because the hiring will ripple through an athletic conference Jim Delaney has poised to adapt and thrive to whatever changes the 21st century is bringing to college sports.

It's a fine job done despite trends of Americans fleeing his conference's physical footprint. While the SEC, a conference allegedly made up of academic institutions, allows callous uses of loopholes in NCAA recruiting rules to ensure their top football teams stay competitive, they have also anchored their conference to ESPN, (who in turn is bound to the monstrosity known as the "BCS", a corrupted system which just earned its lowest ratings yet).

Jim Delaney has probably been snickering to himself this entire time.

After ESPN tried to lowball the Don DaDa himself in 2009, Delaney took his football home and built his own television network, eliminating an unnecessary middleman, and giving the Big Ten its own platform to broadcast its games. (Including the rights to such money windfalls created by airing said games.)

Years later, it's a move competing conferences are still trying to replicate. Texas for example, who has a football team worth $129 million, got caught with their pants down, and in a rush to catch up, created the "Longhorn Network" with ESPN, which has been a disaster.

Why do you think the Big Ten has been silent while other groups of institutions of higher learning have been torching their previously-touted "tradition" in the name of making sure their "schools" don't get cut out of the money that will be coming to the superconferences left standing? Delaney peeled Nebraska, one of the most tradition-laden and academically respected schools in the Big 12, before the whole money rush began.

While the SEC has chose to gobble up teams like a pill addict let loose in a pillmill (and will likely continue their consumption until they've overdosed or reached 16 teams), Delaney has been careful to "manage the brand". (Though not in the way Penn State executives use the phrase.) 

And while the SEC continues to feast on its golden goose of football, Jim Delaney made these moves with other fronts in mind. In 2013-2014, the Big Ten will launch its own hockey conference, which of course, will be broadcast by the Big Ten Network. The Big Ten, one of the most competitive conferences year-in and year-out (or at least that's what people who watch college basketball tell me), will also have more of its games broadcasted on the Big Ten Network as time goes forward.

The only thing Jim Delaney was behind on was the concept of conference championship games, which are an easy financial windfall for a league. He rectified once he swooped Nebraska up, and because Jim Delaney is a Boss Hogg, he then played that championship game on his own network. These are good resources to have in place and in-house as Media continues its rapid proliferation going forward.

THE SOUTH'S STYLE SADLY WILL LIVE ON

Remember how the irrelevancy of newspapers would have been completely unimaginable as little ago as 1995? Well, we're moving into an era where not only are younger people watching less TV but it's becoming easier to broadcast things on television and the internet. "The Pac-12 Network", which debuts this fall, it's subsidized by a $3 billion marriage between the Pac-12, ESPN and Fox. (The members of the Pac 12 shared the wealth, extending their commissioner's contract until 2016.)

Make no mistake, it was a W for the Pac-12 conference. Each member school gets $20 million a year for outsourcing their broadcasting and propaganda rights to the professionals of Fox and ESPN. Even in an era of sports where millions and billions of dollars are usually thrown around with the grace of a toddler rejecting their supper, that's quite the yearly cash infusion to the bottom line. Especially so when one considers the elite schools with the highest operating costs have people like Les Wexner who are willing to cover the incrued overhead to questions like, "How are we going to pay Urban Meyer $24 million dollars, including potential six-figure bonuses?"

However, nobody thought about Fox and ESPN willing to shell out $3 billion over the next 12 years for the rights to broadcast Pac-12 football and basketball games (especially considering most of those games would be kicking off anywhere between 4PM and Midnight EST) beyond "GEE WILLICKERS THAT'S A LOT OF CASH."

People forget, ESPN and Fox have a whole bunch of calculations which back those numbers up. I can't speak from experience, but I assume the rate of return on a $3 billion 12-year investment is very nice for proven business entities like Fox and ESPN.

Yet Jim Delaney leans back in his recliner and relaxes. He leaves the shilling to the money sharks to the likes of the Pac-12 and the Big Sky Conference (who just did a less-monied, similarly structured TV deal with a Fox/DirecTV affiliate even though the conference website looks like this.) The academic traditions of Big Ten schools ensure most of its institutions are financially well-off. So, they'll pass on the petty millions in the present and in turn harvest the billions (plus change) in a little over a decade. 

The icing on the cake for Delaney, though, has to be the fact that all of these billions are being committed to a structure which is coming under increasing scrutiny. The TV contract numbers have already ballooned to a point where people are not only beginning to question the BCS, but also the entire structure of elite college athletics. Why not broadcast the games yourself, build up the needed infrastructure needed to do so, and maintain flexibility and lack of future paymasters going into the uncertain seas of future college football? 

This is what Delaney did, and now that his Ark is operational, he has begun to intentionally churn the waters of college football. First, he pushed four-year scholarships for Big Ten Athletics, a move adopted by every member of the Big Ten except Indiana, Purdue and Minnesota. (Shame on them, BTW.) It was not only a move which should have been adopted a long time ago, but it was also a thinly veiled move to shed light on the practice of "oversigning", a practice which the SEC has been a beneficiary of in years past. (That's probably why an issue which should be mundane rankled the superior minds which lead Southeastern football programs.)

Then there was Delaney's sudden about face on the issue of a playoff. This coming from a man who voiced his opinion against the same idea in December, as if he woke up one morning and suddenly changed his mind on the issue.

No, this is a calculated move, and again, it makes sense. Why should Delaney, who has always held national clout, push for change until he and his team were in place to capitalize off such change? 

The exact changes may still be unclear to him, but Jim Delaney is obviously smart enough to know change is coming to college athletics. He has not only preserved the Big Ten's flexibility but also has also secured a financial future without rushing to hawk the conference  to TV giants who have millions tied up archaic institutions like the BCS.

In Urban Meyer and Brady Hoke, I'm sure Delaney is quite confident with the future of his two prize fighters. This will mean only good things for the Big Ten on and off the gridiron. The Big Ten won't even have to institute pro-style cuts to their program either. (I'm not even sure if Urban Meyer's involvement could rationalize that practice in my mind.)

I'm not predicting the end of Southern football, but I certainly don't think the SEC is going to win every national title for eternity. (Especially if they have to start coming north to play in colder climates during playoffs.) Eventually though, whatever superconferences are left standing are going to castrate not only the BCS, but the NCAA as well. Jim Delaney will probably be the commissioner who spearheads it.

And when colleges are squabbling over the money once again at stake, there will be Jim Delaney, smoking a cigar and sitting naked on a stack of his own cash, because his vision earned him that reality. 

107 Comments

Comments

DowntheSideline12's picture

First

Greg Jennings "I put my team on my back"

Jason Priestas's picture

Do not bring that to this site. Thanks.

DowntheSideline12's picture

Bad joke guess you can't troll a bunch of trolls

Greg Jennings "I put my team on my back"

DowntheSideline12's picture

Bad joke but great post!

Greg Jennings "I put my team on my back"

Jason Priestas's picture

Thanks. It's just one of those things that has annoyed me since Slashdot was first blowing up.

BrewstersMillions's picture

That is another ***** piece out of DJ. And that ***** is not a curse. Its a rating. Those are starts. 5 stars. Get it? You dont? Shut up.

Chicago sports radio doesn't really talk College sports a ton but this point was brought up and both hosts said the same thing. If Jim Delaney wants this to happen, it is going to happen. Jim Delaney is like a glacier. He moves deliberatley but he moves a mountain when he does.

On fire this week DJ. ***** on fire-That time it was a swear.

Do I come off as arrogant? Shame on me, I was hoping it would be more obvious.

TheOtherDJ's picture

I can never get a read on Dilbert's boss.  He shows the way regarding college sports networks and new revenue streams, yet he held off so long on a playoff.  Then he essentially endorses exactly what I've always wanted:  National semifinals on the campuses of the highest seeds.  So confused.

Nicely done, DJ.  I'm still the original though...

LouGroza's picture

The Biebster photo has ruined my day DJ. Other than that nice work.

DJ Byrnes's picture

I was trolling for pictures of "Bama Bangs" and since my day was ruined by that picture, others had to be to. 

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

podux's picture

Since the BTN is partnership between the B1G and Fox, how is the PAC12's deal any different than what we did?

DJ Byrnes's picture

My understanding was they just leased the use Fox's network equipment and maintained the actual rights. From what I read of the Pac-12 deal, Fox/ESPN own the rights.

You're right though, Fox is involved w/ BTN, so I guess that (factually acurrate as it may be) cheap-shot at the Pac-12 network should be noted. I still don't think it changes the crux of the article, which is that Jim Delaney is well ahead of everybody else in college football.

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

doctorrosenrosen's picture

Fox co-owns BTN with the Big 10.

The Pac 12 owns its new network(s) outright; there is no involvement by FOX and ESPN, other than, as you mention, the new money they're pumping into the conference makes it possible for the network to be launched on the scale it's being launched.

ESPN and FOX, through their deals, get the primary choices of football and basketball games. The conference retains the rights (broadcast, digital, everything) to every other event that happens on a Pac 12 campus. But P12N is not, as you originally stated, a marriage between the three parties.

DJ Byrnes's picture

Yeah, you're right, it's like "7 upcoming networks" and a deal that compliments the one they signed with ESPN/FOX. My bad, I screwed up the language with that; admittedly I'm not a media/contract lawyer, but I still feel the point stands:

The Pac-10 made less than $60 million in media rights this past season but became the latest conference to take advantage of the escalating market for college sports on television.

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

Buckeye_Mafia's picture

Do you think Delaney drinks a certain beer with the Most Interesting Man in the World?  I bet they are pals....stay thristy my friends...

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

Buckeye Black's picture

I still don't forgive Delaney for allowing "Leaders" and "Legends" and for not putting scUM in the same division.

Poison nuts's picture

Right on.

"Do not pass me, just slow down - I can move right through you" Superchunk - Precision Auto.

VestedInterest's picture

My changing of world views on the college landscape has more to do with the blatant regard with which Ohio State has been held by ESPN types, the posterized image the NCAA has tried to level against us the the defloration of one of my icons in one James Tressel more than the hiring of Urban Meyer.

I love what Urbz has done but I'm so damn fed up with getting sand kicked in my face I'm afraid anyone hired that had an "FU" attitude would have been whole heartedly embraced.

DJ Byrnes's picture

What if that "FU" attitude came in the form of Bill O'Brien?

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

VestedInterest's picture

There are degrees of separation, I'll grant that, and the hiring of Urban does have the feel of "if you can't beat 'em join 'em" mentality. I'm just profoundly disgusted with the self flagellation that has done zero to in regards to leniency leveled by the NCAA BTW, miss your "rants" on the OC ;)

onetwentyeight's picture

I think it's more of the fact that for a long time we DID hire a man who was, I believe, absolutely genuine and truly a nice guy (so nice that he couldn't bear it to fire his favorite Walrus). And the fanbase stuck through it even as his coaching deficiencies became clear (And I've been as hard on JT's coaching as anyone on here). BUT after all that, what happens? All of a sudden Tressel's an evil guy because he fixed a RAFFLE in the late 80s?! Oh and his guys sold some gold trinkets and got free Tats. SERIOUSLY?! 

That was the tipping point, from what I gather. If /the world/ was going to screw us like that even when we went to such lenghts to "play nice" under Tressel, then we might as well say to hell with that, time to TAKE NO PRISONERS.

 

Since the South is still Clearly butt-hurt over the Civil War to this day and has blatantly channeled this wounded pride into its football teams, I'm going to draw an (absolutely far-fetched) Civil War analogy. Tressel (and his cronies) were like the Union generals from the earlier part of the War who if I remember my history classes correctly were conservative, outdated, gentle-manly and got their asses kicked by the Confederates. Urban & Co. is Grant and Sherman (both from Ohio, it should be noted). As those two did back then, its once again up to us to defeat the South and shut them up from their arrogant yapping.  

 

TO THE SEA!!! 

 

 

 

 

Buckman's picture

I second that notion.

I like to believe that my best hits border on felonious assault.

JACK TATUM

causeicouldntgo43's picture

An awesome post that summurizes how I feel as well. Tress is a genuine nice guy - don't see that much anymore at that level - not in sports or in business. He does not deserve the scorn that has been heaped upon him. Relative to Meyer, I can see that one man might see intensity and another man might see arrogance or something akin to that, but glad he's ours. He ran a clean program at Florida relative to NCAA rules and he will do the same at OSU. It appears with the three dismissals he has less tolerance for kids that are FUps like Berry, so that is a good thing. Don't hink we will see a long arrest record here - that is the real root of any Buckeye dislike for him, that and the pasting we got in 2006 NC game - which looking back at it, our boys weren't ready. Meyer wouldn't let that happen to a team of his so we will benefit in the future. Agree big time that the South is still fighting the "War Between The States" through SEC footbal - that why "SEC, SEC, SEC" equals "We should have won the civil war you damn Yankees"  - That's why they cheer for the "SEC" (the South) and we mainly just Cheer for our team....

jfrank373's picture

I've backed Delaney for quite a while. So many people were wondering why we weren't going for the 13th and 14th members of our conference. We added Nebraska, a price fish for any conference, and other conferences add the likes of Utah, Colorado, Texas A&M, and Mizzou.

Top to bottom, we are the strongest conference in football and basketball with coaches who are willing to travel all over the country to play games. I think the expansion of the SEC and PAC 12 have further diluted their already top heavy alignments. The B1G will be back on top in both sports in a very short time.

Oh yeah, and Notre Dame, enjoy playing in the Big LEast and being even more irrelevent.

DJ Byrnes's picture

Typical of me, but I forgot to mention the Big Ten/Pac 10 "culutural argreement" (lmao), another vision of Delaney's. Another step torwards otricizing the NCAA and yet another thing rivals were caught slipping on.

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

phxbuck's picture

Hypocrisy is the price of human existence, and in this case, I have chosen to accept it with open arms. 

Priceless, I have gone through the same transition and I could really care less.  A season of 7 losses, stripped schollies, and a prevaricating coach has turned me to the dark side, I now feel bad on how hard I was on Darth Vader back in the late 80's. 

spqr2008's picture

That just reminds me of, "When I left you I was but a learner.  I am the master now."  I try to think of Meyer's time in Florida as his learning experience that was necessary for him to become an even better coach and then take over the Buckeyes.

Maestro's picture

I have a similar sentiment.  I told some Florida fans on another site that BGSU, Utah and Florida were simply the opening acts for the headliner that we are all about to see with OSU-Meyer et al.

vacuuming sucks

DMcDougal24's picture

I was worried about welcoming Urban with open arms, but after word has spread that he is not negatively recruiting, not pushing players committed elsewhere w/o mutual interest, and the alleged revoked offer with Davonte Neal, I'm thinking that Urban is the right guy for the job. 

It is something about being on the outside of SEC football that makes me just think they're a bunch of cheaters. I still do, but I'm glad Urban didn't bring it with him.

DJ Byrnes's picture

It's cynical, but I do believe all major programs have some dirt under their fingernails. The ridiculousness of the NCAA bylaws almost ensure this, I think.

The SEC certainly isn't the only one gaming the system, but I do believe the are the one doing it the most shamelessly and willing to go a lot further than any other conference. The allowance of oversigning, in a sport claiming to be about "student-athletes" and "amateurism" is hilarious coming from institutions which are supposedly there for "the betterment of men", but then again, so pretty much 98% of what goes on structurally with the NCAA.

Be that as it may, I've never heard of a bag of hundreds of thousands of dollars (in cash) changing hands in the Midwest for the services of recruits. Not that it's never happened in the North/West, but I seriously doubt it's going down like it's whispered to be going down in the South right now.

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

Catch 5's picture

Surely you heard about Pryor's car of the month club?  Yes, nothing came of that - but neither did the investigation into Auburn.  Does that mean the Tigers are clean or that it didn't happen.  No and it probably did, but to ignore the rumors in your own camp is very "SEC" of you.

Speaking of which, let's examine this oversigning and the "clean" approach OSU has taken.  Saban has been villified for offering two kids grayshirts a couple of weeks before NSD (both of whom were injured - one hiding the extent of his injury from everyone).  While they were still offered scholarships, they were for next year's class.  OSU, on the other hand, pulled an offer from a kid on signing day as he was attempting to commit.  The reason for both of these moves is oversigning, and were it not for the SEC's new rule both kids could have signed with Bama and if room came available, join the team this fall.

Which brings up the big issue with oversigning.  Most people argue that oversigning is wrong because offending coaches have to cut players - who were told they would be there for four years - over the summer to make room.  I agree that this scenario is wrong, but my question to you is how is that any different than Meyer cutting 7 kids from OSU since Chrismas?  That does not count the 3 that he says are gone but hasn't released any details yet.

Now, before anyone gets too mad at me, I don't think anything is wrong here.  Saban gave the kids enough time to find another school to commit to if they didn't want the grayshirt - and the Neal kid also has several other schools that he can choose from.  Likewise, these 7 players were likely on the way out for a myriad of reasons - just as the handfull of players that leave Bama over this summer are.  The difference is that in OSU's case, they have to leave before NSD or you get left with an unused scholarship.  It is the same mentality, and you are all lloving it because it is producing results - all the while continuing to criticize the same from the SEC.  So it appears that Urbanator 1000 is working.

Make their asses quit! - Nick Saban

Flyermike's picture

OSU is in the middle of a culture change, and for all that we know players have either left under their own will, or they were in trouble with the law.  That isn't exactly the same as cutting players for failing to live up to inflated recruiting rankings.  None of the players that have left OSU have come out and said they were forced out. 

And Neal, good grief.  Rumors about the kid having way too much fun on his official.  Those visits are essentially a two way interview.  Think about it.

Catch 5's picture

OK. But the problem you have is that no player has come out and said he was forced off of Bama's team either. Every kid loss to their attrition can be attributed to the same things you just listed. I'm sorry, but oversigning is really just an excuse repeated over and over by teams that don't like getting beat -me like complaining about breaking a "gentleman's agreement" in recruiting. Doesn't make it true.

Make their asses quit! - Nick Saban

Catch 5's picture

Yes, the great WSJ article about the three players who felt they were Yeses out via medical scholarships. Of course the article only offers quotes from one of them that actually says that. It does admit (late in the story) that all three agreed with the decision. BtW, OSU has moved two players to medicals so far since Christmas.

Make their asses quit! - Nick Saban

VestedInterest's picture

And the nature of those medicals were what exactly?

SaintTressel's picture

I think oversigning is a lot more of gray area then many here do. Saban helps more student athletes every year by always staying at 85 schollies then Tress (and my name is Saint Tressel) did by always being under the limit. That is a fact. The question is how many did he hurt? Whatever the answer is, we'll probably never have anything other than anecdotal evidence. But its not obvious to me that the practice is bad.

VestedInterest's picture

The point is probably that for every one article you find of a former player bashing Tressel you'll find six that bash Saban. Sans Ray Small (shudders), I can't think of any off the top of my head.

Catch 5's picture

James Jackson.

http://www.cbssports.com/collegefootball/story/15267318/laws-force-discl...

Now find six that have bashed Saban.

I'll concede that you may have been grandstanding a little. How about 3?

Make their asses quit! - Nick Saban

VestedInterest's picture

Strange, thought I asked you what the nature of the two medicals was.

I'll concede I believe your mission here isn't altruistic, but one rather of a trolling nature. I'll just leave you with this to get you started...

http://oversigning.com/testing/

Catch 5's picture

Melvin Fellows had knee surgery and was "never able to get past the problems".

Scott McVey had several shoulder surgeries and I guess decided to call it a day.

Don't know why that matters. 

The three players mentioned in the famous WSJ article:

Chuck Kirshman - recurring back problems

Charles Hoke - Shoulder problems

Jeramie Griffin - Torn ACL he couldn't recover from

Sound familiar?

Now, where are the 6 3 players you said you could provide for every one I could show from OSU?  I'll even grant you Kirshman from the WSJ article (even though what he says about Bama is far less than what Jackson had to say about OSU) so you only have to find two now.

Trolling?  Perhaps you can feel that way about me, but I thought my initial post was relevant to the theme of the story.  I'm not here to bash OSU - in fact I've clarified several times that I doubt that anything wrong is going on.  But to cheer and embrace Meyer's recruiting and roster management tactics of late all the while bashing those to the south (which is essentially the same thing) is extremely hypocritical.

Make their asses quit! - Nick Saban

Catch 5's picture

Different issue.  My request was for kids being forced off the team.  That story is about kids who were offered greyshirts.  Apples and oranges, and btw, that story is blown out of proportion as well - and discussed as well in this thread. 

Make their asses quit! - Nick Saban

Pam's picture

So, according to you every article whether it's the WSJ or Fox Sports that addreses over signing is wrong or blown out of proportion? Oversigning is not about kids being forced off the team, it's about kids who haven't stepped on campus being told there is no longer a spot on the team after being offered a scholarship. Being "offered" a greyshirt like it is some kind of favor is something that Saban or Miles do with the hope that the kid goes elsewhere and they are off the hook.  If it was so wonderful and magnanimus the SEC wouldn't have imposed the limits that Saban himself said made it more diffucult to manage the numbers. 

Catch 5's picture

Please, go read that WSJ article. Read it and ask yourself if it actually shows what it claims to be exposing. The opening statement:

"Former Alabama football players say the school's No. 1-ranked football program has tried to gain a competitive edge by encouraging some underperforming players to quit the team for medical reasons, even in cases where the players are still healthy enough to play."

There are no typos in the above quote. Now read the article and find quotes from more than one player that makes that assumption.

Also early in the story is this:
" Three Alabama players who've taken these exemptions say they believe the team uses the practice as a way to clear spots..."
The article mentions exactly three players by name. Chuck Kirschman is the player who is quoted as saying what the article accuses. Charles Hoke is used as an example of a player who said he didn't feel pressured. And Jeramie Griffin who had surgery to repair a torn ACL, then failed a physical afterward. While he says he was surprised, he did not contest the results and is quoted as saying it was his decision to take the medical. So the article claims that three players are accusing wrong doing but they really only have quotes from one (who is also quoted as feeling "bitter about it") and even that player admits that the decision was ultimately his.

The most damning thing I take away from the article is that Bama may pressure hurt guys to take a Mexico's scholarship. Now ask yourself,"if a player is hurt to the point that he can no longer compete, is it not the responsibility of the staff to pressure him into quitting?"

And yes, the foxsports (and others) article was blown out of proportion and while I wish both of those guys well, the truth of the matter is that the firestorm resulting from the media outcry likely pushed these guys into a decision they will later regret. My opinion is that both of these guys would have gone to Alabama if they could have signed an LOI. But since they couldn't due to the new SEC rule, they went elsewhere. Most articles covering this simply say they had their offer taken away. This is not true, they still had an offer, just for the next class. Delay enrolling full-time by 4the months, get fully recovered from the knee injury, come in with the early enrollees next winter so that by the time you start your true freshman campaign you have a good 8 months in the system. Really not that different from a redshift - especially for a guy less than a year removed from knee surgery.

Make their asses quit! - Nick Saban

Buckman's picture

Urban Meyer cut kids for breaking the law.  Other kids left because they knew they were not going to play.  Neal's offer was pulled because he had issues Meyer did not want.  Other SEC teams simply cut kids because they were deemed as busts.  So it's not the same mentality, but there are similarities.

I like to believe that my best hits border on felonious assault.

JACK TATUM

Catch 5's picture

Like I said above, I've never heard an SEC coach say he cut a kid for not living up to his hype. Quite the opposite, in fact.
Neal's offer was pulled because they didn't have room-else he would have known before NSD. But there's nothing wrong with that as his recruitment was still very much open. Just like Saban offering grayshirts to the two guys with severe injuries (one of which the full extent of which is unknown - why didn't Auburn (who he was committed to at one time) not offer him again?).
The sad part is that Neal wanted to go to OSU, and most likely there will be another transfer, medical, or disciplinary issue over the summer that frees up another spot that he could have taken - if OSU would oversign.

Make their asses quit! - Nick Saban

Jdadams01's picture

I really don't think that was the case. Neal is ideal for what Urban likes in his offense. Everything points to Urban deciding the kid wasn't the best fit for reasons other that play. Meaning he didn't like Neal's effort/attitude/baggage. Even if he did pull it because of room, how is this different than any other school saying, "I'm sorry kid, you waited too long to decide and we don't have the room now." Every school does that.

Pam's picture

They can't say they cut a kid for not living up to his hype.  The NCAA specifically forbids it, hence the greyshirting and medical hardships. Code for "didn't live up to hype, but I can't say that 'cause I would get in trouble with the NCAA"

Catch 5's picture

OK. You are entitled to that view, and that is understandable. How do you feel about Urban using the same tactics over the last two months to clear space for OSUs class? Since mid-December (when the NCAA sanctions hit and Urban took the reigns) OSU has lost 7 upperclassmen (10 if you believe Urban's accounting) including at least two medical hardships. So, are you outraged when your team uses the same tactics, or is it only cutting when a successful SEC team does it?

Make their asses quit! - Nick Saban

onetwentyeight's picture

You also can't take such a small sample size (aka just this offseason) and extrapolate that to equate Urban's practices w/the SEC coaches'

Everytime theres a major shakeup in the coaching staff on this level at any school there will be guys coming and going for a number of reasons. Just because we don't know doesn't mean we can just make the assumption that they're all being "cut". Guys like Ryan Mallet left scUM because they didn't fit in the spread, or were homesick, or just didn't like the new coaches. Whatever. 

What's more important is to see how Urban recruits and signs in the years to come (as well as look at his UF track record). From what I've read, he does NOT cut guys for no reason, SEC-style, to make room for others. If next season and afterwards guys still keep mysteriously "leaving" for no reason then okay, maybe we can pass judgment then. But to me its absurdly premature to say what happened this ONE, Unique offseason mean Urban is functionally doing the same thing as Saban or Miles. Those guys have established a pattern year after year of doing this and just straight up don't care. 

Catch 5's picture

Aha!  You see, there is the rub.  There is no mass accusations against Saban or Miles from the players that are supposedly being kicked off.  By all accounts, their attrition is the same as everyone else's - they just oversign to prepare for it so that they will keep 85 scholarship players on the roster. 

Make their asses quit! - Nick Saban

southbymidwest's picture

If Urban didn't care about oversigning, then he would have signed Neal. He did not. If you read other threads about Neal, there seemed to be issues too big to ignore presented not only with his visit to OSU, and Urban's in home visit in Arizona, and Urban decided to no longer pursue him. Sorry, but if you are stupid or arrogant enough to screw up on a visit, see ya, don't let the door hit ya on the way out. The guys that have left OSU either on their own/bad eggs/grades have not raised eyebrows, rather, they made sense. Same with the medical ones. No head scratching about them. Some posters even expressed bummedness that these kids who left had great potential, with the possibility of starting next year. It is not too crazy to expect a few others to bail, considering the balls to the walls attitude Urban has, and the strength and conditioning he has them doing now at the ungodly hour of 5am. BTW, you want to talk about turnover? Maryland has lost 23 players in one year, with more to come, with the coach they hired last year. 

btalbert25's picture

Here's the thing South, what if the same kind of defections were in Alabama?  Grades, off field issues, etc were the reason they left?  People would be carrying and saying here they go again, and writing blog posts about the oversigning bowl etc.  Alabama fans, when the topic of oversigning comes up use many of the same points you are using now.  They oversign to prepare for losses they'll because of various forms of attrition.  You know what, a lof ot them do have valid attrition.  The recruits don't make grades and never get to campus,players on the roster don't make grades sometimes, guys get medical hardships(you can choose to believe how valid those are or arent), guys get in trouble, and guys transfer out.  

How many of Bama's people actually get cut?  I hear the talk all the time but rarely do people say here is an example of a kid who just go screwed. 

It was awfully convenient that a guy would leave, get let go etc, then we'd have a commit the next day.  In my opinion, it really wasn't much different than oversigning, and if Bama or LSU had the same kind of attrition and signing right afterward people would be crying foul. 

awwwwwwop's picture

So when Saban lets a kid verbal to him and then tells him to go find a job for the next year, that is? It isnt just about attrition, its about not caring about the numbers.

"Who cares? Go Bucks." - Aaron Untch

Catch 5's picture

Little exaggeration. Four months. And he could easily get a student loan for part time enrollment if he would rather. Really not a big deal if Bama was where he really wanted to go. Lots of kids have greyshirted.

Make their asses quit! - Nick Saban

southbymidwest's picture

BS. He shouldn't have had to pay one penny for his education. He was given a scholarship. It was a big deal. It was slimy of Saban to change the terms. Period.

AJ's picture

Wrong, not period.  But it's doesn't matter, you won't change your mind.

"Without winners, there wouldn't even be civilization." -----------Woody Hayes

Catch 5's picture

Nothing, he was offered a scholarship - which was still the case on NSD. And he wouldn't have to pay one cent (and still won't - both signed with other SEC schools) just delay enrollment 4 months.
btw, how do you feel about OSU pulling Neal's offer on NSD?

Make their asses quit! - Nick Saban

Jdadams01's picture

Here's the real thing to look at:

Florida - 120

LSU - 131

Bama - 136

That's their total recruits signed from 2006-2010. And don't forget, in 2010 when Urban announced he was leaving in November, Florida signed 27 a very large class due to coaching turnover. So with that added in, LSU and Bama still signed 11 and 16 kids more respectively over the same time span as Urban recruting in the SEC. Bama's smallest class in that time frame was 23 while LSU's was 24. Did they really have that many graduations and players going to the NFL that they needed to sign at least 24 players a year? Also, look at just the four year number, from 2006-2009. Bama = 107, LSU = 102. Remember, every school redshirts kids meaning they are at the school for possibly 5 years. Yet Bama and LSU had enough early graduates and NFL defections to oversign by 22 and 17 respectively? In a 4 year span which would mean that redshirt players from a year prior were still there? Please. In this same time period, Meyer signed 93, or 8 over. That matches more in line with expected attrition.

Catch 5's picture

So Bama and LSU have more pieces of paper in the file cabinent.  That count includes players who don't qualify; players that never enrolled because they were drafted by MLB; players who signed, went to JuCo, then signed again after getting qualified; players who signed from JuCo and only had two years to play; along with the ones that signed and actually played for 4 (or 5) years.  What actual advantage do those extra signees provide when they never make it on campus or how does one guy provide twice the advantage (since he signed twice) even though he only plays for two years?  You see, comparing LOIs is not an accurate measure of what you are trying to show.

This is better:

I looked at the 2008 recruiting class.  I removed everyone who never made it to campus and didn't count guys who graduated (JuCo transfers) or left for the NFL.  I counted everyone who was once on the team participating but is no longer there without the above reasons.  This finding will provide an attrition rate for the 2008 class.  What do you think I found?  Comparing the 3 most notorious oversigners (Bama, LSU, Ole Miss) to the 3 most "righteous" (as most often declared on oversigning.com) (OSU, Florida, Georgia).

Ohio St - 31.6%

Florida - 31.8%

Georgia - 40.9%

Average attrition among the righteous, 34.8%

Alabama - 35.7%

LSU - 36.0%

Ole Miss - 34.5%

Average attrition among the offenders, 35.4%

BTW, the total attrition of all the players from the B10 and SEC was 33.6%.  It seems to me that all teams can expect 30-35% attrition regardless of whether they oversign or not.

Make their asses quit! - Nick Saban

Jdadams01's picture

What would be more interesting is the attrition rate over 4 years, not just one class. One class can be an anomaly, while 4 is probably not. Your percentages do not hold up over time because if Ohio State continually lost 31.6%, that means they would only have 67 total players left after 5 years. Ohio State signed 98 players from 2006-2010 with an average class size of 19.6. 31.6% of that is 6.2. Ohio State does not lose 6-7 players from each class. So, sorry, your argument does not hold up. If you're going to argue weak things like "% of attrition in one class means that all of these schools are equal", at least look at more than one year which is an outlier. Because a closer look at things shows that Alabama needs to have an attrition percentage of at least 21% a year to meet the 85 limit. And that's assuming that no one red shirts. That means that, again with no redshirts, 1/5 of all players who sign with Alabama will have to leave or never make it on campus in order for them to stay at the scholarship limit. With redshirts that goes up to 1/4 or as high as 1/3. Oops.

Catch 5's picture

Good point, which is why I did it for every team in the B10 and SEC (and plan to do it every year, so eventually I'll have 4 years).  Since I don't have a long timeframe, I took a larger sample from which to get an average - which as I said between the two conferences (24 teams) is 33.6%.  You're right, Bama could have an average well above 35% over 4  years and OSU could have one well below that.  But at this time all we have is what I have given, and that is that there is not much of a difference between oversigning teams and others.

Make their asses quit! - Nick Saban

Jdadams01's picture

Also, removing guys who never make it to campus distorts your numbers quite a bite. Alabama has a lot more players "not make it to campus" than Ohio State. If you factor those kids in, the attrition rate for the SEC teams goes up.

Catch 5's picture

But how can Saban cut a guy who never enrolled?  How did Melvin Ray (who got a MLB contract) leave Alabama when he never enrolled?  And what advantage does Bama gain by having them sign LOIs?  No, attrition counts people that leave the program not ones that never get there.

Make their asses quit! - Nick Saban

Maestro's picture

You can play your verbal/statistical shell games and claim that "more kids are getting an opportunity" with oversigning.  Bottom line is there is only one reason to do it and that is wins.  Just look at the bowl games from this past season.  Overwhelmingly the team that won was the team that had signed more players on NSD in the past 4-5 years.

Best NSD quotes were from Saban and Chizik who stated that the new "25 rule" adopted by the SEC made it harder for them to sign their classes this year.  Your damn right it was harder. The coaches actually have to be measured with their offers.  Welcome to what the rest of CFB has always dealt with Nick and Gene.

Oversigning is a shady and now-exposed practice that has been a part of the SEC's recent CFB dominance.  It has been legislated against now to a degree and the playing field will be more level because of it.  Good for college football as a whole.

vacuuming sucks

Catch 5's picture

First off, Gene Chizik has not oversigned since he's been at Auburn, and they actually joined some of the B10 schools who offered 4-year scholarships this year.

As I said before, the playing field is level.  The body governing college football is the NCAA and all schools play by the rules set forth in their by-laws.  Don't go whining about some teams having an advantage over your team because they don't take advantage of all the resources available to them.  As to the shady aspect of it, yes there are things that could stand to have some light shed upon it.  As I mentioned elsewhere, forcing a greyshirt offer on a kid who already signed his LOI is wrong, and rules could be made to address that.  Cutting a kid who was promised 4 years is wrong, and the 4-year schollie is going to help with that a lot.  But to say that a team is unethical just because they oversign (with no evidence of actual misconduct) is intellectually dishonest. 

Make their asses quit! - Nick Saban

Jdadams01's picture

But that isn't the norm. Most players who sign with Bama yet don't end up on campus fall into two categories. Academically ineligible or Saban pushes them out. The kids who don't cut it academically are generally shunted to an Alabama friendly JUCO or post High School Academy. Saban knows these kids will not qualify, but signs them any way. Why? If they get their grades in order, Saban tries to bring them in later. If nothing else, Saban has kept them from going to his competition. The kids who he just pushed out at the last minute either never make it to a D1 school or are certainly not able to make the best choice for them as their choices are dramatically reduced since other school are full. Plus the kid has very little time to make a choice at that point.

Catch 5's picture

Non-qualifiers:  What's wrong with what you described?  Why is it bad to let a kid sign even if he isn't going to qualify?  Auburn's Nick Fairly was very vocal about their initial offer being his incentive to get his grades up.  You'll have to excuse me if I find that a positive thing.  And if an SEC school wants to waste its time going after a guy who won't qualify for two more years, shouldn't that be an advantage to teams that don't - allowing them more time to pursue qualifiers?

Please give me an example of this other player.  Once a player signs his LOI, he is guaranteed a one-year scholarship starting when he enrolls full-time within one year of signing.  Saban CANNOT revoke that scholarship, all the kid has to do is enroll so I fail to see how a kid can get kicked off the team before he enrolls.

BTW - In their 2008 class, Bama had more players leave for MLB (2) than not qualify (1) out of their 32 signees that year. They seem to average between one and two though.

 

Make their asses quit! - Nick Saban

awwwwwwop's picture

Because saban accepted his verbal.  Neal had his offer pulled before he accepted it.

"Who cares? Go Bucks." - Aaron Untch

btalbert25's picture

The kid could still sign elsewhere correct?  If he was good enough for Saban surely others would take them at their school as well.  He let the kid verbal I get that, but the kid could actually sign somewhere else still.  I also think it's kind of harsh to recruit a kid hard, then on signing day decide you won't accept his LOI.  However, the kid can still go somewhere else. 

biggy84's picture

The sec apologists are working overtime here!

 

Alabama routinely loses multiple players. They have lost 21 players and counting since the end of '10. There was a kid who just last week was set to choose Bama at a signing ceremony at his school, only to have his scholarship offer yanked by Saban after a higher rated player surprisingly committed to them. 

 

Oversigning.com has done the research on this topic and i recommend checking it out. Sophistry and speculation do not trump cold, hard facts.

SaintTressel's picture

Alabama routinely loses multiple players. They have lost 21 players and counting since the end of '10. There was a kid who just last week was set to choose Bama at a signing ceremony at his school, only to have his scholarship offer yanked by Saban after a higher rated player surprisingly committed to them.

dude. That is sophistry.

Everyone routinely loses multiple players

21 players means nothing--please compare to the national rate of attrition in that time period

"there was a kid"-Really?

And for thought--Who is hurt more? A kid who gets 1 year on scholarship at alabama, and then has his scholarship taken away, or a kid who gets no years on scholarship at Ohio State even though Ohio state has room for three more?

SaintTressel's picture

Thanks Biggy, after a quick skim, here's my take-

Cutting players for being poor performance is wrong. Its also tough to find rock solid evidence of. Medical hardships happen. Academic failure happens. I suspect Academic failure may be more likely amongst players recruited by SEC schools, but I don't think you can say if that is a good or bad thing.

These articles dont bring much to the table. I get that its a competitive advantage, I just don't care--What is important (to me), is that the greatest number of scholarships are handed out every semester of every year, across all schools. Ohio State handing out 84 scholarships in a year is as much of crime to me as Alabama offering 86 and telling one person, who then signs with arkansas, no. The other victims, the LSU non-signees,  eventually ended up playing for...LSU. My point isn't that oversigning is great, I just don't think its black and white as many here seem to think. You could make a legitimate argument that all schools should oversign by 1, and inform that last man that he may not have a scholarship. I would be shocked if you couldn't find athletes to take that offer.

As for sophistry, I had the origin pegged at 1400-1450, so you got me there

 

Catch 5's picture

The problem is that oversigning.com is nothing but sophistry and speculation.  He offers few, if any facts.  His research ends when he finds a way to spin something against the SEC or Alabama in particular.

No, they have lost 21 players since the end of '09.  They lost 12 players last year.  Included in those 12 were three medicals, transfers from at least two guys who were suspended for violation of team rules, and a few guys who transferred for playing time.  How is that any different than OSU's recent loss of 10 (only 7 confirmed) guys since Christmas?

Oh yea, also included in the 12 from Bama last year was one guy who quit football to join the baseball team, one who had already graduated, and another who died tragically over the summer.

Make their asses quit! - Nick Saban

Maestro's picture

BS Catch 5.  They oversign to have more talent to choose from.  SEC West practices "forced attrition".  Very different from the kind that naturally occurs year in and year out at every school.  God forbid a team not have 85 scholarship players every season......oh the horror.

By the way, Charlie Weis has 11 players that are no longer on the team at Kansas.  Don't act like Meyer is doing anything unique at OSU.  The repeated attrition year after year after year is what is at issue, not the first few months of a coaching staff overhaul.

vacuuming sucks

btalbert25's picture

Why should we be so outraged if kids who have alleged forced attrition aren't?  You know damn well if the kids felt they were screwed they'd take to Twitter, Facebook, and any media outlet possible to talk about it.  Remember MoC and his constant shit talking about OHio State for various issues?  Ray Small was given chance after chance and he still came out of Ohio State complaining about how he was treated. 

Don't you think out of all the people who leave the programs because of attrition, a few per year would come out and talk about how screwed over they got?  I don't know.  It's a hot topic, especially since LSU and Bama are good.  Before the last couple of years when SEC West teams were winning titles consistently it was never an issue. 

VestedInterest's picture

This is a smoke/fire issue though BT, were it not a big deal, then the NCAA wouldn't be putting it to a vote, changing things from a 1 yr renewable offer to four guaranteed.

btalbert25's picture

Perhaps it's going to a vote now because of the moral outrage the last 2 or 3 years from fan bases outside of the SEC, and some of the negative press it gets.  Let's be honest, this is only an issue because two teams have a lot of succes that oversign, and Auburn also won a title.  B1G sucks, it has to be because the SEC oversigns.  I do believe some legitimately believe it's an immoral practice, but I think the majority of the outrage stems more from sour grapes.  The, well if Bama didn't oversign they woudln't be as successful mentality.  Sorry, if Bama only took 25 each season they'd still have a top 2 or 3 class more times than not. 

I just wish we'd hear more about players who were supposedly wronged by Saban or Miles.  I often cite the one from LSU where the kid was told to move out of his dorm the night before class or the weekend before, but much more than that and 1 quote from 1 kid in the New York Times, where are all these wronged players?  Again, with social media, and the popularity of this topic, if so many people were screwed over it would seem to me like they could make themselves quite famous by coming out and telling their story.  Where are these kids? 

 

VestedInterest's picture

http://oversigning.com/testing/

BT, just take 5 and look through this site a little bit, this much info surely isn't made up and is very well documented. Click on the "Oversigning Cup" header. Where are these kids? These are the one who went there for school first and football second, they give them their schooling and they're fine with it imo. Honestly, if no one sees a distinct "advantage" in turning over 21 players from 2010 to present, then there really isn't a point in discussing it further with them, that's an ENTIRE recruiting class...it's an easier game when the dead wood isn't there to cloud the picture.

Catch 5's picture

Sure there is an advantage to keeping a roster full, but advantage is not the issue.  Is it not an advantage to have 100,000+ fans in the horseshoe every Saturday?  Of course it is.  How about the state of the art facilities there?  There are lots of things that are to the advantage of a team.  And believe me, I've read plenty of the stuff on that site, and much of it is just made up.  He assumes that every player that leaves Alabama is cut but excuses every such departure from OSU.  It is a shame too, because the site has gained a lot of press and could be working toward real changes that would make a real difference instead of trying to make the SEC and Alabama in particular look bad - which is their main goal.

You quote the ""ENTIRE recruiting class" extra.  You realize that most of that "recruiting class" never set foot on campus don't you?  How is that an advantage?  When you remove players that don't qualify or never enroll for other reasons (like getting drafted by MLB), and players who get counted twice (sign, go to JuCo, and sign again), then adjust for JuCo guys who only have two years of eligibility and for players leaving early for the NFL; then you get much closer numbers over the five year period.

Make their asses quit! - Nick Saban

DJ Byrnes's picture

Though oversigning and having a stadium of 100,000 fans are both "advantages", I don't believe they're even in the same ballpark as each other.

Look, for example, at how this was gained. Ohio State has 100,000 because it has over a 100 year history, is one of the biggest countries in the school, etc. etc. etc. While not every school could achieve this, Ohio State certainly isn't the only one with "home field advantage", which is a fact of not only college football, but sports in general. 

Oversigning, as pointed out above, is ae way to game a system. Only, when I say "a system" in this case, I am also talking about a kids' lives. It's a way to get 5 recruiting classes every 4 years, which means somebody like Alabama can take a flyer on Duron Carter, because hey... they have "a system" in place for dealing with players who don't produce on the field.

As for medical hardship cases, look up Tressel's numbers during his decade+ at Ohio State, and then compare those to the numbers Saban has amassed in his Alabama tenure. If I'm not mistaken, Saban wins in a landslide.

The media has absolutely failed on this issue, *cut to commentators gushing about Alabama and LSU's great depth as if it fell out of the sky*, and I don't think it's really an issue that too many 18 year old kids are really aware of.

If this was sold to me as pro sports, I wouldn't have a problem with it. But you see, the problem is, this is supposed to be a sport of "amateurism" featuring "student-athletes." I'm not really sure about pro-styled cuts in something that's supposed to be on the same level as collegiate lacrosse. 

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

Maestro's picture

All of the above.

Yes, all schools have certain advantages and disadvantages.  That will never change and can't be mandated.  However, oversigning is something that can be at a minimum curbed or downright disallowed.  The number of kids that can be offered football scholarships is something that IMHO should be equal for all FBS schools.  It's a simple way to level the playing field.

vacuuming sucks

Catch 5's picture

To DJ above:

I did not intend to equate the two advantages, just illustrate that an advantage is not the evil.

Maestro, why disallow oversigning?  If it allows more kids to enter school with a scholarship, that seems like a good deal to me, and if it helps provide depth then more the better.

The number of scholarships is equal.  Everyone plays by the same rules.  If some schools want to play by stricter rules, that's fine but don't complain about it.  If you want to restrict your team from kicking field goals beyond the 25 yd line, that's fine but don't expect everyone to abide by it.  The playing field is level, you're just not winning the game so you must change the rules so you can have the advantage.  I knew some kids like that in school - they weren't fun.

Make their asses quit! - Nick Saban

awwwwwwop's picture

I think it isnt about advantage. it is about telling a kid "we are so excited you are coming to play for us" then telling him "well we got somebody better, why dont you take a year off, we promise to have a spot for you next year" and then maybe the kid never makes it out of juco.  I just think that when a kid accepts an offer, the coach has a responsibility to take that acceptance and not ask the kid to delay.  I dont know all of the facts with Cardale Jones (i think he wanted to gray shirt to put space between he and braxton and/or grades?) or Neal for that matter. But if that was the situation, it is a shame and is just as bad here as in Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, or Michigan.

"Who cares? Go Bucks." - Aaron Untch

Catch 5's picture

I agree with that sentiment after NSD.  Before NSD, the class is always in flux and things change.  As long as the greyshirt is explained before NSD - when the recruit still has other options if he doesn't like it - then there isn't anything wrong with it.  BTW, it is not a year off.  The greyshirt enrolls in the winter semester and is able to go through the next year's spring drills and are often in shape to compete for playing time as a true freshman instead of a redshirt freshman.  Guys that don't enroll early (especially those with injuries within the year) rarely earn playing time under Saban, whereas those that enroll in Jan. often do.  To be clear, springing the greyshirt on the guy after NSD is wholly wrong but while Les Miles is famous for doing that to Elliott Porter, there has never been one at Alabama saying he wasn't told before NSD.

Make their asses quit! - Nick Saban

awwwwwwop's picture

I think once you ask the kid to make a verbal and they agree, then you should no longer be able to push them aside for a better recruit.  I know gray shirting is working out and stuff, but it seems that some guys are asked to go spend a year in juco or somewhere else to get better so they can make the team.  I just think it is unfair to 18 year olds to tell them that their verbal committment (likely a huge moment in their life) means nothing to you and that they arent good enough.  To me there is just something wrong with that.

"Who cares? Go Bucks." - Aaron Untch

Catch 5's picture

The kids that go to JuCo are the ones that don't qualify.  Greyshirts don't do that (if they do, it nullifies the LOI and the school no longer has to abide by it).  When you pay attention to it, most greyshirts make sense to the player as well.  Both the kids getting press from Alabama were injured, and neither was able to enroll early - thus they weren't playing next year anyway.  Why not dedicate that time to rehab and S&C, then enroll early the next year where you can learn the system before the season?  Anyway, they didn't like it and accepted an offer from another SEC school so I still fail to see how they were harmed.

Make their asses quit! - Nick Saban

awwwwwwop's picture

Because until there was a public outcry, at least one of those kids was going to stick with Bama.  18 year olds should not be put in the position of having to make that choice.  I think that is why it is unfair.  I do not really understand how you do not see the inherent unfairness of a 55 year old man revoking an agreement with an 18 year old kid that deals with the next 7 years of his life.

Edit: Saban also told that kid like a month before signing day.  I think the kid deserves more time to get his affairs in order than a month.

"Who cares? Go Bucks." - Aaron Untch

Catch 5's picture

Well, the agreement wasn't revoked.  He still had an offer.  And you might have an arguement if he wasn't able to sign anywhere else.  As it was, he had several offers to choose from, including the one from Alabama.  Heck, the other kid has less time (one to two weeks) and was still able to secure an offer from a top-10, SEC team.

Make their asses quit! - Nick Saban

awwwwwwop's picture

I disagree. the kid had an offer to play football for alabama in 2012. that offer was revoked and a new one given for 2013. It still comes down to a 55 year old man gaming an 18 year old kid which is bullshit even if he can go elsewhere.

"Who cares? Go Bucks." - Aaron Untch

Catch 5's picture

Getting a little skinny here.  The kid had an offer of a scholarship at Alabama.  Neither of us were in the room to hear Saban's pitch, so to assume that a specific year was attached to it is folly.  The recruiting business is set up so that nothing is official until the LOI is signed.  That doesn't make it right to lie to a kid, but to change the conditions is ok as long as you he hasn't signed and can still make alternate options.  Guess we're destined to live at opposite ends here.

Make their asses quit! - Nick Saban

Catch 5's picture

Please explain. How do you tell the difference between forced attrition and natural attrition?

Make their asses quit! - Nick Saban

DJ Byrnes's picture

I look at the numbers involved and then I wonder things like "Why did the idea of 4-year scholarships rankle SEC coaches so much?" 

 

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

Maestro's picture

SEE SEC WEST (and others like Sun Belt and several Big XII schools) attrition vs. the rest of CFB.  Use the powers of deduction and you will see what forced attrition is.

vacuuming sucks

Catch 5's picture

So any kid that leaves an SEC West school is forced, while kids that leave B10 schools (in similar numbers) are not? That seems very reasoned and partial.

Make their asses quit! - Nick Saban

Poison nuts's picture

Watch the 1 hour talk Urban gave to the Ohio HS football coaches. He's definitely the right man for the job!

"Do not pass me, just slow down - I can move right through you" Superchunk - Precision Auto.

Riggins's picture

That's just Delany.  He is playing chess, while everyone else is playing checkers.

Outside of "Leaders and Legends" and being a little slow on a conference championship game, I don't think you could ask for a more savvy commisioner.

Riggins's picture

And I do think Meyer will not only have a transforming effect on Ohio State, but on the conference as a whole.  If Urban curb stomps the B1G during his tenure (like I believe he will), it will make the rest of the conference sack up and bring their coaching salaries (head and asst.) on par with the other conferences.  Recruiting will get better within the conference.  I don't think there is anything better that could have happened to the likes of Illinois, Michigan State, Minnesota, etc. than the ripple effect of Ohio State hiring Urban Meyer.  

I truly believe that if you look back 10 years from now, you will be able to say that Urban Meyer's hiring at Ohio State changed the entire B1G and brought them to the world of big boy football.  

JakeBuckeye's picture

DJ, great work. I'm in your boat. I know its happening, but I have no desire for it to stop.

Brutus's picture

Back to back home runs by DJ. Nicely done. I don't know where you guys find the time for this, but I appreciate all the work, as does everyone here.

Kurt's picture

DJ, I like that you're using the term power spread for the offense...no other good way to describe it.

DJ Byrnes's picture

Totally swagger jacked Ross on that one. 

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

btalbert25's picture

I've been saying for quite some time the issue of oversigning has only become and issue because a couple of teams on the SEC are winning.  There is exactly one example of a kid getting royally screwed I have found over this topic.  I'm sure there are some more, but rarely do you hear anything from the players who have been replaced, released, grayshirted, or put on medical hardship.  

I do find it comical that people always attribute Meyer's success to the SEC.  Dude has been a great coach at all stops.  He made Bowling Green relevant, and no one else had been able to do that in the last 20 years that I can think of.  He was directly responsible for a BCS win by Utah, and probably responsible for their other BCS victory of Bama because of recruiting he put into motion while he coached there.  

Florida, obvioulsy was the marriage of his insane recruiting and coaching talents with a great program, but it's not as if Urban learned his tactics by coaching in the SEC.  Had he taken a job at Notre Dame instead we would be talking about how amazing it was he brought the Irish back from the dead and relevent again.  It kills me how everyone talks about him making the B1G more SEC like.  I had a guy talking about that the other day.  I said don't forget, dude is from Ohio , started coaching in Ohio, and had significant success before he got to the SEC.  Maybe he brought some of Ohio Football to the SEC. 

AJ's picture

I don't like how our fans will turn a blind eye to all things BIG and TOSU, but then turn around and call the SEC a bunch of cheaters.  It makes us look like Bret B.  I can't count the number of times Meyer was called a cheater and dirty, even here on this site.  I would put money on it that we have just as much shady stuff going on as any SEC team.  That's the way of college football though.

"Without winners, there wouldn't even be civilization." -----------Woody Hayes

Maestro's picture

No doubt.  Not oversigning though, and the FACT that it provides an on-field advantage is my biggest beef.

vacuuming sucks