The SEC's European Solution

By DJ Byrnes on February 16, 2012 at 2:33p
125 Comments
RT @scratchbomb: I'm gonna pitch a Food Network show called Guy Fieri Says Stop! In it, Guy Fieri is whipped with a length of hose for a half hour.Frimpong's search for glory led him to Wolverhampton, UK.

Exactly three hours and 13 minutes before the clock brought the arrival of National Signing Day 2012, Doug Lesmerises of the Cleveland Plain-Dealer reported the Big Ten was shifting to a four-year, guaranteed scholarship model. (Purdue, Indiana and Minnesota -- three schools not exactly hemorrhaging money -- are the only Big Ten schools shamelessly not on board with the idea.)  

The calculated move was a not-so-subtle shot at "over-signing", a sinister practice perfected in the Southeastern Conference, as well as a practice whose zenith was reached in this year's BCS title game. (The Big 10, by comparison, banned over-signing in 1956.) Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delaney's gambit was so simple, its blueprints could have been written in crayon. So, I guess I shouldn't be surprised the great minds involved in the Southeastern conference fell for it

Since "student-athletes" are paid via "free education", it stands to reason the school a recruit signs their well-being over to should "guarantee" that recruit will have enough time to finish that free education (as long as they perform academically and don't commit any crimes). By making an uproar about multi-year, guaranteed scholarship offers, the conference basically told on themselves. 

The move was especially dim-witted considering the NCAA recently passed a (SEC sponsored) bylaw to ban the practice over-signing, but like most attempts to enforce rules and close loopholes throughout the NCAA's history, it was a futile endeavor. Over-signing is still shamelessly defended by its most ardent practitioners. Derek Dooley, a Southern luminary, recently opined in an interview that SEC coaches did not do a good enough job communicating "the good things" about over-signing. Dooley went onto proclaim over-signing was good for the exact types of kids Nick Saban (figuratively) screwed earlier this year; as well as the coaches, primarily due to 18-year old prima donnas and arithmetic:

 “I think it had a big impact. It was very challenging to manage down the stretch because, as you know, most of our schools are recruiting some of the top players in the country. And the reality is some of the players don’t make a decision until signing day. And so it really puts stress on you [as a coach] on what to do because the odds are, in my experiences, you’re going to get one out of four down the stretch. If you’re recruiting 8 guys, generally you’re going to get two of them. Here’s the problem. If I have 21 commitments at this point and I only sign 25, that’s four spots. What do I do with those 8 that I’m still recruiting? That’s the challenge.

Let's ignore the elephant in the room, that a coach who makes 1.8 million dollars a year is asking for mulligans on something which is a pillar of his profession, (talent evaluation and roster management), and examine the evident schism in philosophy between two of college athletics' most prominent conferences.

The practice of over-signing is tough to reconcile with a sport based on "amateurism", especially within a conference in the third year of a fifteen-year, 2.25 billion dollar TV contract. (The SEC doesn't have a problem with guaranteed, multi-year deals when they are the beneficiaries, you see.) With the B1G choosing to position itself to be able retain the tax shelter on top of the moral high ground of "amateurism" if it ever chooses to secede from the NCAA -- perhaps because of its failure to regulate competitive balance? -- the SEC's nurtured hyper-competitiveness, fueled by a collectively instituted "whatever-it-takes attitude", has led to championships and billions of dollars for a conference which has $50 yearly fee and no buyout provision. (This is why Mike Slive wasn't as enthusiastic about the urgency for reform as Jim Delaney suddenly realized he was after an apparent epiphany earlier this year.) 

I can't argue with billions of dollars; but, I will take issue with millionaire coaches manipulating (often penniless) 17-and-18-year olds in pursuit of that money. But if Mike Slive and the SEC powers-to-be insist on hanging onto their one-year contract scholarship offers while still claiming the "amateurism" tax shelter, then they need to come up with their own move to counter-balance the B1G's position. The true irony of this situation is crystallized by the the SEC's solution perhaps laying in a place a lot of Southerners don't even believe is real: Europe. 

Last week, I was watched a re-run of English Premiere League action, Wolverhampton vs. Queens Park Rangers, namely because Wolverhampton have a young midfield dynamo in the name of Emmanuel Frimprong whom I enjoy watching. This alone doesn't interest anybody. What might be interesting, at least to the non-initiated sports fan, is Emmauel Frimprong doesn't really play for Wolverhampton. The 20 year-old Ghanaian born, English international was "loaned" by London-based EPL club Arsenal until the end of the season to Wolverhampton in December. Granted, Frimprong's lively afternoon ended prematurely when he ruptured his ACL in the 2-1 Wolves in. As such, Wolves must now pay Frimpong's wages and Arsenal has had its damaged goods returned to their club. Both clubs were both undoubtedly aware of the risks, but Wolverhampton needed midfield industry and Arsenal couldn't offer Frimpong the first-team football his robust talents warranted, so the mutually beneficial deal was done.

RT @boring_as_heck: If you ingest gang signs, throw them up immediately.Y SO GRUMPY?

There is a laundry list of things I think Americans could learn from Europe about the development of its elite athletes, especially considering America's once-quirky marriage between big time athletics and universities has spiraled into the billion dollar industry it is today. With a few tweaks to the current system and bringing the concept of "loans" across the pond, however, Mike Slive could reconcile his coaches' demands for roster management tools in a way that could counter-balance the Big Ten's shift to the four-year scholarship model.   

Slive should take issue with the NCAA penalizing student-athletes a year of their eligibility in order to transfer between two D-I schools. While giving his custom empty-fisted, finger-wagging speech on this issue, Slive should rail against the hypocrisy of the NCAA binding its student athletes to four-year contracts while allowing adults like Lane Kiffin to incinerate their contracts in the middle of the night and skip town without repercussion. Tinpot dictator-like coaches who refuse to release student-athletes from their scholarships, effectively holding the student-athlete as hostage, would also make for a good anecdote.

Slive should then propose a system which would allow colleges to have the choice on the length of the scholarship offer they offered student-athletes, whether it was a one, two, or a four-year scholarship offer. Whether a school's scholarship offers' length was a predetermined number or something calculated on a per-recruit basis, that would be left up to every conference (or school). The inclusion of the "loan system" would give coaches a roster management tool much more humane than saying "Tough luck, kiddo," to an 18-year old kid who had a naive understanding of a promise he received from adults. Since the South is accustomed to swaddling its sports in the American flag, Mike Slive should say this reform would offer the best solution because it gives student-athletes the very essence of what makes America great: freedom of choice. 

Admittedly, it's a radical idea, but remember, we live in a day and age where 18 year old kids are announcing their college decisions in campus-area bars. (I wonder if Stephon Diggs will ever have to pay for a drink at Looney's in his life?) The premise I'm trying to incept into Mike Slive's brain would allow his the recruiting process of college sports to be more honest, as student-athletes would have an easier way to punish coaches who spun them visions of grandeur on the recruiting trail. Coaches could scale the years on their scholarship offers to each recruit, so it would be easier for 18-year old kids to discern what interested coaches truly thought of their talent and place in the long-term future of the program.

RT @TweetsofOld: What is the matter with our Town Clock? It is eccentric,striking too many times or not at all. It is worse than no clock at all. NY1873Hopefully Future-Diggs won't rue this decision. 

For the sake of argument, take the aforementioned Stephon Diggs, and let's say he was recruited and signed under these rules by Maryland to a two-year scholarship offer a few weeks ago. Now, also for the sake of argument, let's fast forward to 2014, and Stephon Diggs has just came off a sophomore season where he won the sixth game of his career. Fed up with trying to catch lightning in a bottle in his home state, Diggs has decided he wants to play for a national title, so he has opened his recruiting process back up. (Almost as if he were coming out of a JUCO.) Why shouldn't Stephon Diggs be allowed to use his last two years of eligibility at another school? Because he Mike Locksley cajoled him when he was 18-years old? 

This is a system which would allow student-athletes the freedom to choose their own path of development and balance of academics and sports. Instead of coaches gaming the medical hardship-flyer system, the "loan" system would give another avenue for coaches to get creative with their roster management. It gives recruits and coaches another avenue for talent development. If Les Miles felt he needed linebacker depth going into 2012, he could call coaches within his network (outside the SEC of course) and see if they had any young, talented linebackers who wouldn't be seeing much of the field for their team anyway. (More likely it'd be other coaches calling Les Miles about his young talent, but whatever.) 

The SEC had enough juice to persuade the NCAA to apply makeup to its over-signing black eye, so I think something like this would be well within its power. There's obviously some kinks which would have to be worked out, (the practice of "red-shirting", for example); but I think this system undercuts the B1G's attempts to claim the moral high ground with systematic reform. It also allows for SEC coaches' demands for roster management tools by returning the same flexibility back to the student-athletes. 

125 Comments

Comments

Maestro's picture

Interesting read.  I really do wonder what the next 10-15 years have in store for the big-time college football world?

vacuuming sucks

DJ Byrnes's picture

As the BCS loses credibility with every waking moment, and people starting to wake up to what a charade the NCAA is, I am very excited about the potential for changes and reform to be brought to college sports by 2025.

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

TheOtherDJ's picture

John Infante also addressed this today on his Bylaw Blog:

http://www.ncaa.org/blog/2012/02/multi-year-scholarships-and-oversigning...

Good takes all around, and I like the Euro-idea, DJ.  However, if multi-year scholarships are not overridden and four year offers become the norm (and incoming student-athletes should insist on it), 'cutting' for on-field performance won't be possible anymore and the oversigning issue might become moot (with a slight tweak, as discussed by Infante).

amos's picture

Why is this issue always framed as an SEC vs B1G issue?  The SEC operates under the same set of rules as the Big 12, ACC, Pac 12, Big East, etc...  And don't tell me that oversigning only happens in the SEC.  UCLA and Oregon State both oversigned by around 9, Rutgers oversigns perenially.  The Big 12, Pac 12, and Big East all averaged more signees per school than the SEC this past signing day, yet it's still framed as an SEC vs B1G issue.  I wonder why.

Example: "Slive should take issue with the NCAA penalizing student-athletes a year of their eligibility in order to transfer between two D-I schools"  Really?  Slive should?  How bout Delaney or the commissioners from the other conferences?  Last time I checked, any D-1 to D-1 transfer has to sit out a year regardless of which conference he's from.

If you really are motivated out of concern for the well-being of student athletes, then stop trying to make this into an indictment of the SEC and look at the entire picture.  Otherwise, your solution will be insufficient, and you come off looking like a jealous fan.

Roger's picture

If you look at the numbers and the trends, you will find that the epidemic of oversigning did indeed begin with the SEC and they are leading the charge with, by far, the highest concentration of practitioners.

amos's picture

I have looked at the numbers and trends.

Average signees per team per conference in 2012:

Big 12 - 24.0

Pac 12 - 23.7

Big East - 22.9

SEC - 22.6

ACC - 22.3

B1G - 21.3

And I'm not aware of any schools that oversigned more this year than UCLA and Oregon State.  Cincinnati would probably be in 3rd place.

I'm all for an honest discussion about oversigning, but too many people seem primarily interested in bashing the SEC as opposed to looking at the issue objectively.

Maestro's picture

UCLA's last 5 classes : 26, 16, 23, 27, 23 = 115 (over 110 is seen as over-signing)

Oregon State's last 5 classes : 23, 24, 18, 24, 18 = 107

Care to explain your post more thoroughly?

vacuuming sucks

amos's picture

"OSU must now figure out its roster. The Beavers only have 13 open scholarship positions at the moment, and are nine over the 85-scholarship limit."

http://www.gazettetimes.com/sports/beavers-sports/football/osu-football-recruiting-class-missed-some-but-still-turned-out/article_03533ee2-4cf9-11e1-9b69-001871e3ce6c.html

Also: http://democratherald.com/sports/beavers-sports/football/osu-football-final-touches-being-put-on-recruiting-class/article_57321405-0ef1-5f54-9fd0-18b48d335a63.html

UCLA: http://www.bruinsnation.com/2012/2/2/2767230/si-coms-stewart-mandel-name...

And it's certainly not the first time for either program.  I have links to others years if you wish.

http://www.bruinsnation.com/2009/7/6/938758/spaulding-roundup-roster

http://cliffkirkpatrick.mvourtown.com/2011/01/26/recruiting-rules-numbers/

http://blog.oregonlive.com/behindbeaversbeat/2010/05/oregon_state_football_riley_sa.html

I could give you examples from Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas, Oregon, Virginia, Rutgers, and about a dozen other non-SEC schools too.  But that doesn't fit the "only in the SEC" narrative.

Maestro's picture

thank you

vacuuming sucks

DJ Byrnes's picture

It's framed that way because the SEC and the Big 10 are probably the two most powerful conferences in all of the NCAA. 

This is a personal hypothesis, but I believe the Big 10 and its Pac-12 ally are positioning their conferences for a secession from the NCAA, something which will lead to an opportunity allowing for great reform. The Big 10 has positioned itself to retain the "amateurism" tax-shelter without the NCAA's umbrage by doing things like four-year, guaranteed scholarship offers to its student athletes.

The SEC, meanwhile, has gamed the system in a way which dislevels competitive fairness in a sport which is supposed to be amateur at its root. Their coaches, who have been given a "WIN AT ALL COSTS" mandate by their schools' trustees, do it because it allows them to bring an extra recruiting class every five years and lets them take risk-free waivers on somebody unfulfilled potential like Duron Carter.

Given that the SEC has won six of the last six national titles (and will be on the hunt for their seventh next fall), it's easy to see why the SEC only pretends to care about over-signing, because their elite coaches and stockades of talents have litteraly brought them billions of dollars.

There are certainly other players at the table, but Mike Slive is certainly a shark. His coaches obviously have an issue with four-year, guaranteed offers. I simply offer him a way to stay in front of the incoming waves of reform, a way to give the coaches what they want, clean up the recruiting process, and expand the freedom and rights of the student-athlete.

 

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

amos's picture

I understand.  You've convinced yourself that the SEC is an evil empire and you're therefore justified using spin and half-truths in an attempt to bring it down.  I'm not sure how you've convince yourself that things are so cut and dry when even the member schools are still divided.  Some B1G schools offered 1 year scholarships (I realize that you did at least mention this) and some SEC schools offered 4 year scholarships.  And I guess the other 100 D1 schools aren't even relevant to the discussion.

As for your theory about the B1G/Pac-12 escaping to higher moral ground, how's that going to work now that the Pac-12 is the new leader in oversigning?  Also, did the Pac-12 offer 1 year or 4 year scholarships? 

DJ Byrnes's picture

You're trying to nail me to a position I never really staked out, and I think you're missing the crux of my argument for the sake of an argument you are clearly more than willing to have on the issue. For the record, the last thing I wanted to do was turn this into another internet argument on over-signing. I'd be the first one to agree it's a tired and trite argument, which is why I tried to offer a solution to the problem.

The SEC isn't the only one oversigning, but I would say they are the ones who have benefitted from the practice the most. (Hence the use of the word "perfected" in regards to their role with over-signing.) Their the ones who pushed the toothless law through the NCAA, and they're still the only conference (that I know of) with a coach willing to go on the record about the benefits of oversigning.

The practice is  instrinsically wrong in a sport rooted in "amteurism", and it's especially absurd it's being defended by institutions which claim to be places of higher learning. Just because Nick Saban isn't the only one fucking kids over doesn't mean I have to mention every perpetraitor of over-signing when I'm pointing out Nick Saban is an asshole. 

I'm sure the coaches, off the record, would be the first ones to admit it's a dumb system, which is why they don't want to complicate it any further. (Such are the moral rationalizations one has when their financial well-being depends entirely on the outcome of football games.)

The idea at hand is roster management. If it's an issue which coaches seem determined to work their way around (and schools willing to let them), then the option would be to examine what solutions the "professional" side of sports could offer. (Where the SEC & anybody else who oversigns has been since the Big Ten banned the practice outright in 1956.)

I would prefer college sports went this way instead of four-year, guaranteed model. Since Congress is looking at wading into college sports due to rampant college conference expansion, and given things like  the decay of pillar institutions like the BCS, I think this is a perfect time to not only examine the entire practice of over-signing, but college sports in general. The timing may never be better, and why not reform the system so it will sail straighter into the 21st century?

This was just a dumb idea I had while pondering the issue. I framed it as I did, because this is an Ohio State blog and the B1G and SEC are the two biggest sharks in the game at the moment. 

Sorry for getting you so fired up on what is clearly an issue very close to your heart, that wasn't my intention. 

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

amos's picture

It's the intrinsically wrong pat of your arguement that I have a problem with.  By any definition, Ohio State oversigned this year.  I'm well aware of what Meyer said in his NSD press conference and I think most Buckeye fans would defend Meyer by arguing that he knew of a few (perhaps several) departures from the team that just had not been publicized yet.  And I completely agree.  But what you and others fail to acknowledge is that Ohio State is not unique in this respect.  Coaches often know of players who will not be returning to the team and sign players to replace them on the roster.

DJ Byrnes's picture

I have no doubt Urban Meyer was more than willing to bank a few extra recruits knowing he could shake a few butterballs and sudden obsolete players/positions loose.

The Big Ten is eventually going to force the NCAA's hand on this issue. I was just trying to think of a compromise which could help every side involved in this tug-of-war, because I think it's going to have huge ramifications down the line.

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

amos's picture

Also, 75 different schools objected to the proposal to allow multi-year scholarships.  But by all means, continue to frame this as an SEC vs B1G issue.

"The list of schools objecting to the multi-year scholarship plan, obtained by Dennie and provided to The Associated Press, includes Boise State, Boston University, Indiana State, Marquette, Marshall, Rutgers, Utah, Vermont and Wyoming."

http://espn.go.com/college-sports/story/_/id/7392725/schools-object-ncaa-multiyear-scholarship-plan

DJ Byrnes's picture

For the record, I never said the SEC was the only conference practicing oversigning. I simply said they perfected it. (Look what happens what elite coaches are allowed access to larger numbers of talented athletes.) 

Instead of empty, ceremonial bylaws, I tried to offer a better alternative than whatever new way Nick Saban has found to rationalize lying to kids. 

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

amos's picture

Again, you're more interested in bashing the SEC and getting in little jabs then you are with any real concern on student-athlete welfare.

pcon258's picture

Sorry amos, i disagree. maybe this is because my news sources are biased, and that certainly could be a factor (this doesnt include 11w, i think y'all are incredibly non-biased given that everyone here is pretty much an osu fan). you are right that the sec is not the only abuser of oversigning. however, i think that the sec has the most agregious cases of abuse (see darius philon). im sure there is some unatural attrition at all schools that oversign, but in no other conference outside of the SEC have the players who were released from their scholarships called out the coaches for dishonesty

amos's picture

I'm sorry but that's simply not true.  James Jackson called out Ohio State and Jim Tressel for forcing him out because they wanted to give his scholarship to someone else.

pcon258's picture

i did a little research on this story, and i disagree with your interpretation of it. the kid did say he felt forced out, but to me, all other indicators point to tressel telling jackson that he probably wouldnt be getting any playing time, and should think about transferring. i think that given ohio state's track record with oversigning, and the B1G's strictness on it, it is highly unlikely that osu would not have renewed his scholly if he wanted to remain here. 

Catch 5's picture

And just how do you envision all those "cuts" that go on at SEC schools happening?

Make their asses quit! - Nick Saban

pcon258's picture

i think thats probably the most well documented aspect of oversigning. kids sign promises to schools that they will attend there. the school, in theory, promises a kid a scholarship for at least a year. when they get to spring practice, there are too many kids on scholarship, so the coach breaks his promise to the kid. the coaches lie to recruits and the recruit is then forced to transfer to a juco or grayshirt, because by that point, most schools have a complete roster. you are delusioning yourself if you think that this benefits the student athletes

PharmBuck's picture

He has successfully responded/refuted each of your arguments and yet you continue to ignore him and only say "OMGZ U JUST HATE THE SEC". Pot please meet keetle.

"You're pissed because we went after a committed guy? Guess what, we got 9 guys who better go do it again," said Meyer. "Do it a little harder next time."

VestedInterest's picture

http://oversigning.com/testing/index.php/the-oversigning-cup/

The SEC occupies 6 of the top 10 spots in regards to oversigning...smh

amos's picture

I see I need to do a little educating here.  People see that chart and conclude that those are the top oversigners in the entire country.  Wrong.  It was a list composed entirely from reader submissions.  Since most of the readers are SEC or B1G fans, almost all of the submissions are either SEC or B1G schools.  Just as an example, Virginia was +8 and Oklahoma State was +7 yet neither one is on that list.

Also, if you put blind faith in that list then 3 or the top 12 oversigning schools are from the B1G and Michigan State oversigned by 4 even though that is supposedly not allowed under B1G rules.  Ohio State was also +2 until the site owner (a Buckeye fan) went back and changed the numbers after national signing day.

VestedInterest's picture

http://oversigning.com/testing/index.php/recruiting-numbers/

OK fine...then how about this 10 year look in at ALL schools? I suppose these numbers are biased too?

Educating...

pcon258's picture

+1000

 

easy to explain away a couple years, but a ten year trend is hard to explain...

amos's picture

What do you beleive those numbers prove?

*For the record, the numbers may not be biased but they are inaccurate.  He claims to get his numbers from Rivals.com but compare his number for Alabama in 2010 to what Rivals has.

VestedInterest's picture

It proves the SEC is by far the worst offender. I don't care about one year here or there, I care about the overall landscape of AMATEUR athletics. The SEC has strayed too far from what the NCAA's stated (they suck but it's what we have) mission statement is. The SEC will continue to be looked upon with little integrity until they bring themselves in line with what the majority of college football does as a matter of course.

amos's picture

It proves the SEC is the biggest offender of what?  Signing players?  That's true, but again you don't seem to have a complete understanding of this subject.

The number of players that a school signs depends on all of the following factors: transfers, players who quit football, players who leave early for the draft, players who don't qualify out of high school, % of players who redshirt, players who get kicked off the team, players who choose MLB over college football, players who go on medical scholarship, number of JUCO players signed.

Yet you automatically assume what?  That a team that signs a lot of payers relative to another team must be running off players?

Maybe I can illustrate my point with an example.  From '08-'12, Ohio State signed 18 more players than Northwestern.  That's almost a full extra recruiting class.  Is Ohio State running off players?

The point being that signing more players does not equate to doing anything unethical.  Attrition happens everywhere but not in equal amounts.  For example, the SEC tends to have a higher percentage of signees who fail to qualify coming out of high school.  While this is nothing to be proud of, it does account for a higher number of signees without any current players having to be run off.

VestedInterest's picture

So it's just a coincidence that the SEC leads the way in regards to oversigning. God damn us B1G'ers is stupid.

#forestforthetrees

and for the record, non-qualifiers entering the SEC is a huge part of their prooblem they don't want to address, and is a imo the uglier part of why they over in the first place. Bump up your standards.

amos's picture

Does the fact that Ohio State signed significantly more players than Norhtwestern over an extended period of time prove:

a) Ohio State is oversigning

b) Ohio State is running off players

c) Just a coincidence

d) none of the above

VestedInterest's picture

Just a hunch but it has more to do with academic standards imo. The Vandy of the SEC?

amos's picture

As I pointed out earlier, number of signees who fail to qualify factors into the number of prospects that a school signs over time.  At least I've gotten you to acknowledge that there's more to it than just raw numbers.

VestedInterest's picture

Never disageed that there weren't a litany of reasons, and you're doing much better than I am, I can't get you to admit the SEC is the worst offender by far regardless of the litany of reasons despite the overwhelming evidence to support it.

Guess I fail?

Poison nuts's picture

Ohio State puts more players in the NFL than Northwestern. Unfortunately a lot of our guys are talented enough to leave after 3 years. That might explain some of the numbers difference between us & Northwestern as well...

"Death created time to grow the things that it would kill" - Detective Rustin Cohle.

amos's picture

You are absolutely right and that's another one of the factors that should be considered when comparing the relative number of signees between 2 schools.

I challenge everyone to consider factors like nfl departures and academic non-qualifiers (not to mention % of redshirts, number of Jucos, etc...) when looking at signee numbers even when the school that you're looking at isn't Ohio State.  A tall order, I know.  It's much easier to just point to the numbers and shout "SEC bad!!!!", but it's just not that simple

Catch 5's picture

That's right.  Anyone who can't meet the high standards of the B10 has no right getting in any school.  In fact, if you're not qualified by the time your senior year starts, you shouln't even be recruited.  Encouraging these ignorant jocks who don't care about anything but football is not good for the sport.  And don't get started on JuCo guys.  If you can't get in the first time, you have no business signing an LOI, even if it motivates them to get serious about their grades.  No, teams shouldn't oversign with these academic risks.  They should be more like the B10 where they care about the kids.

Note:  I recognize that I have greatly stretched Vested's statements.  Sarcasm is, by nature, exaggerated and distorted - with just enough truth to be effective.

Make their asses quit! - Nick Saban

Maestro's picture

Amos you are certainly educating yourself very well about this topic and I appreciate that.

However your Northwestern-Ohio State example implies that those of us who don't agree with you are ignorant.  Northwestern has either chosen to/been unable to have a full allowable slate of 85 scholarship players.  That is their choice, and it is not really relevant to the discussion. 

The discussion is about those who know the 85 rule and choose to, shall we say bend it YEAR IN AND YEAR OUT.  To steal a term from oversigning.com "the march to 85" is what is at issue.  I like to call it forced attrition.  The kind that happens between Feb and August that repeatedly whittles a team down from being "oversigned" to being in compliance.  The extra 6 month evaluation process that seems to take place at many schools on a yearly basis.  It's B.S.

The issue that you point out above at UCLA, Oregon State, Cincinnati and yes even at Ohio State this year is what I take issue with.  Of course, there are only 81 players on the roster according to Urban Meyer, but we don't know who those 2 mystery omissions are yet.  I am extremely uncomfortable with Ohio State being at 83 players as far as we know today.  That is a far cry from what happens all too often at many other schools though, and especially at places where coaches are entrenched.

vacuuming sucks

amos's picture

"However your Northwestern-Ohio State example implies that those of us who don't agree with you are ignorant"

That was never my intention.  Some people are uninformed about the types and amout of attrition that happens in college football across the country though.

"Northwestern has either chosen to/been unable to have a full allowable slate of 85 scholarship players."

What did you base that assertion on?  I honestly don't think that's the case.  Northwestern has had much, much less attrition every year than Ohio State and that is what accounts for the difference in the number of signees.

"I like to call it forced attrition."

This is really the crux of the arguement.  Do I think that coaches sometimes encourage players to transfer because they have a poor attitude, or they're chronically late for practice/meetings, or they've neglected their responsibilities in the classroom?  Yes.  But I do not think that coaches are cutting players because of their performance on the field combined with the need to get the roster to 85.

Since I'm sure you'll ask me how "the march to 85" can take place without cutting players, I'll go ahead and answer that.  First, the coach may well be aware of eminent attrition that just isn't made public until after National Signing Day (i.e. Ohio State this year).  Second, a coach can use conditional greyshirts as Mark Richt explains:

“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."

The point is, attrition happens.  You can either plan for it by oversigning, or not plan for it and wind up below the 85 limit.  I think both are perfectly acceptable.

 

 

Maestro's picture

Good response.  However, when the attrition rate is well above average at a school on a regular basis because IT HAS TO BE (march to 85 requirements) that is where the system is being gamed IMHO.

Quite simply when OSU and Arkansas matched up in the Sugar Bowl they were both FBS teams and that's just about where the similarities ended.  From a "roster management" standpoint they were dramitically different entities.  Quite frankly Arkansas SHOULD win that match up.  They play by different and advantageous rules.

vacuuming sucks

Catch 5's picture

And when you can show that Alabama, LSU, Arkansas, etc have attrition rates that are well above the average, then I will agree with you.  So far, I have seen nothing that shows this.  Before anyone tries it, comparing LOIs does not show attrition rates - it shows how many signed letter they have, not how many kids left the program, something that requires significanly more effort to discover.

As an example, the percentages of players lost from the 2008 recruiting class (only counting ones that enrolled with the team) yeilds similar results for the most notorious oversigners as it does for the pillars of the non-oversigning community:

Alabama - 35.7%

LSU - 36.0%

Ole Miss - 34.5%

Average:  35.4%

Ohio State - 31.6%

Florida - 31.8%

Georgia - 40.9%

Average - 34.8%

Do you consider 0.6% difference significant?

Make their asses quit! - Nick Saban

Bucksfan's picture

Umm...first, you only used 1 class, as opposed to the percentages over, say, the last 10 seasoons.  Secondly, you used an n=3, and Georgia's 9% higher number throws off the standard deviation.  Georgia (an SEC team) was 5% higher than Alabama and LSU.  So, let's throw Georgia out for the moment because that is a bad data point.  Alabama, LSU, and Ole Miss were about 4% higher than Ohio State and Florida.  That means they lost about 1 more player from that one class than Ohio State or Florida...ASSUMING a 25 person recruiting class.  But we know Alabama, LSU, and Ole Miss have bigger classes, so their %'s represent bigger #'s.

So, now I'm confused what you're arguing.  I thought you and Amos were arguing that SEC teams oversign because they have to replace the players they lose.  But, now you're saying the opposite - that they don't lose more players than the other teams.  So, how do you account for the fact that they're bringing in an extra recruiting class every 5 years if their retention rate is about the same?

Catch 5's picture

Fine, let's just allow the removal of Georgia because you don't like their number (do you mind if I go back and cherry pick new examples?).  As you correctly pointed out, the new difference is akin to one player more.  How does that work with bringing in an extra recruiting class every 5 years?  RDUBS has repeatedly stated in this discussion that LSU and Alabama consistently lose 5-7 more players a year. 

" I thought you and Amos were arguing that SEC teams oversign because they have to replace the players they lose.  But, now you're saying the opposite - that they don't lose more players than the other teams"

Do you not see that the two are not mutually exclusive?  Alabama can be losing players at a similar rate as Ohio State and Florida while oversigning to account for it.  If they were cutting players to make room for the incoming signees, would you not expect to see a much higher discrepency than one?  I would expect something closer to the 5-7 that RDUBS expects if that were going on.

And you are correct, this is only one year, as I've only compiled the numbers for 2008.  Once everyone's spring rosters come out, I'll start doing the 2009 class.  If you know of anyone who has done this study for 10 years please let me know, I've been looking for it for a while without success(thus the reason I decided to do it myself).

Make their asses quit! - Nick Saban

Maestro's picture

Oh, and your assertion about why coaches recommend kids transferring seems rather utopian IMHO.  You really think that classroom performance will outweigh football performance at high level FBS football programs?

vacuuming sucks

amos's picture

If you want to maintain high APR's like Alabama and Ohio State, then classroom performance is treated quite seriously.

TheOtherDJ's picture

Look, no one is saying the SEC is the only conference that oversigns.  We all know this.  We also know that the B1G is the only conference that has specifically banned it for over 50 years.

Take a few minutes to read Infante's post at Bylaw Blog (linked in my earlier comment).  Bottom line is that the post was written to discuss solutions to this problem...and make no mistake, it is a problem, like so many other instances where schools insist on keeping student-athletes 'in their place' (e.g. Danny O'Brien at Maryland [football], Todd O'Brien at St Joseph's [basketball]).  I could care less if a college coach who makes a ridiculous amount of money has to manage his roster while not being able to cut players because of on-field performance.

amos's picture

I've read it, and think it's a little naive.  I think that it is very rare for a player to have his scholarship not renewed.  I think what typically happens is that the coach sits down with a player and lets him know that it's now working out and this his chances of getting playing time would be greatly improved by transferring.  The player then chooses to transfer.  If he doesn't then the coach makes the player's life a living hell until he gives in and agrees to the transfer.  Most players aren't going to stick around when they know that they aren't wanted and, this way the coach avoids all those pesky appeals that Infante mentions because there is no appeal when the player chooses to transfer.  This process would not be affected by making scholarships 4 years.

TheOtherDJ's picture

Agree to disagree...mostly because four-year scholarships did exist until the early 70s, when many coaches complained about the lack of roster flexibility (boo freaking hoo).  Either way, that's a HUGE problem to me.  I have no problem with a coach telling a S-A he's not going to get playing time, but to make his life 'a living hell' is exactly what's wrong with the system.  At least with a four year ride, he is guaranteed that he will have the opportunity to finish his degree...which is, along with research, the reason universities exist (I know that's hard for many people to accept).  I love Ohio State football, don't get me wrong, but I care much more about the welfare of the students and quality of education they receive than their success in athletics.  At least with a guarantee than the student-athlete will not be denied the opportunity to get that degree due to any on-field issues (and the coaches are serious about students getting an education), the threat of no playing time is somewhat diminished.  And that's what this is about:  Improving S-A well-being.

 

http://thedrakegroup.org

GABuckeye's picture

So basically everyone in the world is wrong and you're right?  Get over yourself dude.

michaec5's picture

#Amos are you a lawyer by chance???

~michaec5

Catch 5's picture

Funny, no SEC teams mentioned in that article. Any idea where that whole list might be found?

Make their asses quit! - Nick Saban

VestedInterest's picture

Maybe it's just me but I don't find it one damn bit surprising that an ESecPN article doesn't mention the SEC not being in favor of 4 years or oversigning...

pablum to the masses

Catch 5's picture

Perhaps a link to another source than?

Make their asses quit! - Nick Saban

Catch 5's picture

Thanks. The article says that the SEC gives their teams the option of the 4 year offers and that Alive supports the measure. It does say that Spurrier has come out against it "saying players need to continue to earn their way" (quote is from the article, which does not quote Spurrier directly). In fact the article has the following interesting quotes:
" preventing schools from revoking their scholarships if they don't perform on the field"
" Still, players were in danger of having their scholarships pulled if they were not playing well."
" schools said it reduced the flexibility of a new coach to get rid of players who didn't fit his style."
" offering more scholarships than it has and then cutting either recruits or current players"
" this move is an obvious one that will prevent coaches from cutting players to cover up misses in recruiting."
"There were some schools that ran players off because of their athletic ability"<-actual quote from Ohio State Athletic Director Gene Smith.

Does Doug Lesmerises not know that not renewing scholarships for performance reasons is not allowed under NCAA rules? If he and Mr Smith have knowledge of such actions, why do they not turn them in to the NCAA?

I also find the last paragraph interesting. Another quote from Mr Smith, "For those places that really need the cultural change, this is big," Smith said. "There were some schools that ran players off because of their athletic ability, and so this helps. Now, those schools may not offer multi-year scholarships. But you would hope they would. And you would hope there's pressure that would cause them to do it, because this isn't how we should treat kids.

"But this is not a Big Ten issue, frankly. It's in other places."

Ever wonder how the snobbish elitism stigma gets applied to the Big 10? Look no further than there.

Make their asses quit! - Nick Saban

VestedInterest's picture

Snobbish eltism? Somehow that doesn't exactly bolster your argument any but perhaps lends a little insight into your fervor in arguing the same points ad nauseum (BTW, no one is on board with the Leaders/Legends nonsense as it does what you're implying, but that's, again, another subject.

I've come to realize that I've been rowing upstream here, reminds me that insanity is repeating the same information/action repeatedly and somehow expecting a different result, so with that I'll leave you to your musings.

Catch 5's picture

Sorry you feel that way, I've rather enjoyed our conversation.  Perhaps I'm just insane.

Do you not wonder how it is that the strongest point against oversigning is built upon an action that is forbidden?  Yet nobody has come forward with specific accusations against these teams?  Without the "cutting kids" argument, oversigning critics have nothing other than "The Big 10 bans it so it's not fair" which is not going to win.

Make their asses quit! - Nick Saban

amos's picture

Actually, it's an AP article not an ESPN article.  I could've just as easily linked the same article from USA Today's website.

Arizona_Buckeye's picture

Nicely done!!!  I do like the idea of letting a kid, who you shafted with a 1 year or 2 year scholarship to pack up and head to another team for the remainder of his college eligibility!  That would certainly even the field a bit!

The best thing about Pastafarianism? It is not only acceptable, but advisable, to be heavily sauced

PharmBuck's picture

No sense in trying to use facts with Amos. Anything you post is "made up" according to him, but everything he posts is 100% fact.

Any non-biased/non-lawyer who looks at those 10 year numbers would tell you "well gee it looks like the SEC signs the most people". Being off by 1 or 2 recruits here or there is NOT going to affect the averages a significant amount. He may be a lawyer but certainly not a statistician.

"You're pissed because we went after a committed guy? Guess what, we got 9 guys who better go do it again," said Meyer. "Do it a little harder next time."

amos's picture

Not a lawyer nor a statistician but I do know that raw numbers rarely ever tell the whole story.  See the Ohio State/NW signing numbers example that I used above.

PharmBuck's picture

....except for Ohio State didn't oversign.

Agree or disagree: A team that signs more players than is allowed has a competitive advantage over a team who does not?

"You're pissed because we went after a committed guy? Guess what, we got 9 guys who better go do it again," said Meyer. "Do it a little harder next time."

amos's picture

Oh I agree.  I've never denied the competitive advantage aspect of oversigning although I think it is often exaggerated (see Ole Miss).

The arguement that I'm debating is the "oversigning is inherently unethical and oversigning schools are screwing over kids" arguement.

Poison nuts's picture

Amos - When your this prepared to argue its usually because you've been fighting this same fight for quite some time. When you've been fighting this same fight for some time, it leads me to believe you are telling yourself (and others) this practice is ok because your school or conference has been highly successful by using this tactic (oversigning). Because you want to feel as your school or conference is doing nothing wrong, and are not cheaters, you've had do a ton of research in order to argue your point. Something you've obviously done time & time again. But in having to constantly argue your point have you ever once stopped & thought that what you argue against time & time again might actually have some validity? Or do you just keep arguing because it's unbearable to think you just might be wrong?

"Death created time to grow the things that it would kill" - Detective Rustin Cohle.

amos's picture

Hmmm.  That's an interesting theory.  But here's how I see it.  The average college sports fan is not going to go through the trouble to really research this issue.  Therefore, he will base his opinion on this issue on what he reads casually on blogs like this one, or a bleacher report article, or tweets.  All these sources will typically only offer one side of the issue, will be short on actual facts, and will be heavy on spin and rhetoric.  The average fan then forms his opinion on this incomplete and often inaccurate information.

That's where I come in.  When people claim that oversigning is something that only happens in the SEC, I provide actual facts to show that that is not the case.  When someone points to raw numbers as evidence of wrongdoing, I show that that is an unsound conclusion.

Could it be that you question my motives because I offer a different perspective from the one that seems so widespread among the bloggers and fans of your favorite team?  Have you read the opinions of so many like-minded Buckeye fans that you've convinced yourself that it must be the truth and any other view must by motivated by an alterior motive?

Poison nuts's picture

No - but I read the article & then through ALL the comments and saw that you've been at this for over 4 hours. That could be taken as passion or lunacy. I think you took a pretty small part of the story and turned it into a arguement that you're familiar making - so I made my observation. As for different viewpoints - I value them. I would have valued yours had you not been so hellbent on discrediting or dismantling anyone else here who had a different viewpoint than yours. Making you guilty of just what you say I'm guilty of. But I can't keep this digital boxing match going all night. For one you'd like that too much and for another - I need my beauty rest...Feel free to think on it for a bit and write me back a stellar response in order to win this round. Winning is all that really matters right?

Goodnight sir.

"Death created time to grow the things that it would kill" - Detective Rustin Cohle.

amos's picture

"I would have valued yours had you not been so hellbent on discrediting or dismantling anyone else here who had a different viewpoint than yours."

Correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't two thirds of your contributions to the comments section devoted to questioning my motives (and sanity)?  We can go round and round questioning each others motives, but I think we can both agree that that would be pointless.  If you have something to contribute that actually furthers the discussion of the issue at hand, please feel free to provide it.  Otherwise, we're both just wasting each other's time.

Poison nuts's picture

I had a great nights sleep. Really relaxing. I had to see if you got back to me. Shocker - yes you did.

See - I never really had anything valuable to contribute until I read all your comments. I read the story & enjoyed it. The author is one of the better ones here. When I got done with the article I did not feel like the author said "THE SEC IS EVIIILLL!!! MWAH HA HA! - THE B1G RULES!!!" But it seems like you did. Here you came with your keyboard popping and chest out. I wouldn't have bothered to comment had I not noticed that you were arguing non stop with everyone. The author kindly said you were taking it out of context, but on you pushed.

Look Amos - I suspect your an Alabama or LSU fan. Probably 26-29 yrs old. I could be wrong. You're surely a SEC guy. Welcome! Nice to see that a Buckeye site could garner interest from fans of other teams. I don't usually go to other team sites (occasionally this site links me to another site) and I've never left comments on other sites, so I guess I was just fascinated that someone would spend 4-5 hours here argueing that the SEC doesn't cheat, when that really wasn't even the point ot the story. Fact is - no matter how many schools or conferences oversign, it is the SEC that at least looks like it has benefitted most. You know - 6 NC's in a row...

Hell - we are all (any conference not SEC) obviously butthurt over the SEC's dominance! Right? If I was you I would sit back and smile. You know what - if this all means that much too you - keep arguing... but every now and again you have to learn that you can't come here and say "my facts are correct - yours are false" over and over. You're better than that baby. Now go Get Em!!!

"Death created time to grow the things that it would kill" - Detective Rustin Cohle.

amos's picture

I had to see if you got back to me. Shocker - yes you did.

Ouch! You really got me there.  Now it's my turn.  I triple dog dare you to not respond to me.  If you do respond now, it's only because I dared you to.  And if you don't respond, then you're a big chicken.  That's not juvenile at all, is it?

When I got done with the article I did not feel like the author said "THE SEC IS EVIIILLL!!! MWAH HA HA! - THE B1G RULES!!!" But it seems like you did

I'm sure to you the article just came across as a sincere attempt to assist the SEC with a problem.  Wait, what's the SEC's problem again?  Oh yeah, something about attempting to maintain an ameteur tax shelter while only offering 1 year scholarships.  Of course, this is something that no NCAA school has had an issue with over the 40 years that they've all been offering 1 year scholarships, but somehow it's an issue now for the SEC.

I got a different vibe from the article.  First, the entire concept is condescending.  "Since the poor, stupid SEC has been outmaneuvered by the B1G (yet again), I'll give them the solution that they've been so desperately seeking on their own but to no avail."  If you don't know where I'm getting this, please go back and read the 2nd paragraph of the article.

But I think the true purpose of the article was just to give the author the opportunity to take frequent pot-shots at the SEC:

"The calculated move was a not-so-subtle shot at "over-signing", a sinister practice perfected in the Southeastern Conference"

"So, I guess I shouldn't be surprised the great minds involved in the Southeastern conference fell for it"

"Derek Dooley, a Southern luminary"

"The SEC doesn't have a problem with guaranteed, multi-year deals when they are the beneficiaries, you see"

"the SEC's nurtured hyper-competitiveness, fueled by a collectively instituted "whatever-it-takes attitude""

"The true irony of this situation is crystallized by the the SEC's solution perhaps laying in a place a lot of Southerners don't even believe is real: Europe."

"Since the South is accustomed to swaddling its sports in the American flag"

Despite all those obvious jabs, I abstained from outright accusing the author of anything in my first 2 posts.  If you will go back and look, I simply asked why he chose to frame this as an SEC vs B1G issue, pointed out that oversigning and opposition to 4 year scholarships is in no way limited to the SEC, and kindly offered him a suggestion: if he's truly interested in coming up with a solution, perhaps he would be better served by leaving out divisive comments like the ones above.  After all, if he can offer his unsolicited but sincere advice to the SEC, surely I can do the same for him.

The author kindly said you were taking it out of context, but on you pushed.
 

Again, I guess we viewed things a little differently.  Whereas you viewed his comments as kindly, I couldn't help but notice the following:

"Their coaches, who have been given a "WIN AT ALL COSTS" mandate by their schools' trustees, do it because it allows them to bring an extra recruiting class every five years and lets them take risk-free waivers on somebody unfulfilled potential like Duron Carter."

"Instead of empty, ceremonial bylaws, I tried to offer a better alternative than whatever new way Nick Saban has found to rationalize lying to kids"

At this point, I concluded that the author has an obvious anti-SEC bias, and I pointed it out just as many (including yourself) have felt it relevant to speculate that I must be an LSU, Alabama, or SEC fan.

you have to learn that you can't come here and say "my facts are correct - yours are false" over and over

Thanks for the unsolicited advice and I will certainly keep that in mind, but if I see someone make a comment that is false or a misrepresentation of the truth, then I will continue to point it out.  Sorry if that upsets people.  But know that I do try to always remain respectful and not attack anyone personally.

Poison nuts's picture

Well - now I'll try some sincerety...the last comment was intentionally full of childishnes that was actually supposed to lighten you up a bit. Jokes dude. Look - you came to an Ohio State site and argued for two days. It's fine to have a healhy debate & I'll get to that in a minute. If your were insinuating in the last sentence that I attacked you personally - my bad if it came out that way. It's my cardinal rule on here to not out right bash people over a difference of opinion. That said, most of my posts to you were intended more to make fun of your willingness to argue with anyone for hours on end than to address the issue of oversigning. If you hadn't noticed, I pretty much stayed away from the points you were arguing and more or less thought it was funny that you were argueing so vigorously. Since this means so much to you, I pulled your chain a bit but I wasn't trying to "bash" anyone. Just having some immature fun. As to the author and the story being anti SEC - it certainly could be taken that way - but I've been reading this author for a while now and think he tends to make fun of the "amatuerism" in college football in general - regardless of the conference. Whatever the point of his stories - I tend to see them all the same way.

Without bashing you, it does seem as though your hyper sensitive to all this. Loading yourself with facts & statistics so that you can come here and state your case to a fanbase who feels the way it feels, looks a bit like insecurity about the ligitimacy your own conferences practices. It just feels like it means too much to you. It also feels like you believe you own a bigger brain than most. Again - not a bash - just an observation. A healthy debate consists of some give and take. It looks to me like your unwilling to give at all, even if someone brings up something that's valid (I've seen some valid points from both sides of this discussion BTW - yes some from you) - instead of conceding at all - you immediately try and discredit it simply because it differs from your agenda. You'll catch more bears with honey....(more unsolicited advice). Like I said - this is an Ohio State site so there is going to be a certain slant on things. I very rarely visit other teams sites. I've never registered on one & never left a comment. Other sites can: call us the fuckeyes, the luckeyes, o lie o state, make fun of tattoos, call the coach Urban Liar, Call Tressel a liar, call us cheaters, make fun of corn, call Ohioans stupid & fat, and whatever else they can come up with & I could care less. We're hated and I'm fine with that. I don't argue with the "haters" because it's futile. So when you come along and try change everyones mind, I think it's funny that you aren't content to know that having a target on your back is a good thing...let them say what they will. If you really are right - then you'll have the last laugh. Aside from that - I really don't want to do this anymore. I was trying to get your goat a little bit. No harm intended. Welcome to Eleven Warriors, the finest site in all of college sports dedicated to the finest team in the world...& if it buries the hatchet between us...Roll Tide!

"Death created time to grow the things that it would kill" - Detective Rustin Cohle.

amos's picture

Just so you kow, it was not my intention with the last sentence to insinuate that anyone had been disrespectiful or personally attacked me.  I was just trying to point out that even though I do venture into enemy territory to express what I know will be a minority opinion, I attempt to do so in a civil fashion as opposed to the type of fan who might come here with the sole intention of riling everyone up.  I also realize that I'm unlikely to completely change someone's mind, but maybe I'll give them something to think about; maybe I'll cause them to realize that the issue may not be as cut and dry as they previously thought.  And if they want to hate the SEC, I'm perfectly fine with that as long as they're not basing it on incomplete or inaccurate information.  If the end result is that some anonymous person that I will never meet in real life concludes that I'm insecure in the ligitimacy of my conference's practices, well, I guess that's just something that I'll have to learn to live with.

Poison nuts's picture

In the end - I think you probably made more people think than will ever admit. Didn't mean the insecurity thing to become a catalyst for more bad feelings. I said a bunch of good things too. This was fun & I respect your view no matter how nuts you are. Joke brother...

"Death created time to grow the things that it would kill" - Detective Rustin Cohle.

Buckman's picture

How is it not inherently unethical?

A college coach calls you a week or two after NSD and tells you he can't give you the scholly you accepted.  So at this point almost all of the other D1 schools have already closed recruiting for that year.  So now you have to go to a D2, or Juco and waist a year of eligibility because of it.  Or you go to a prep-school instead of being in actual college.

Or you are heading into your sophomore year and coach tells you he won't be renewing your scholly so you have already waisted a year of eligibility, and now if you transfer to another D1 school you have to sit out a year.

So by the coach saying "I'm done with you."  He has pulled the rug from underneath him.

It's like when your dog is outside hungry and you take it's bowl, pour food in it, and turn around and give it to the neighbors dog.

Name a school that has lost 21 scholarships players between NSD and August over the last 2 years........... Give up? Alabama.

But that is not a big deal to you right?

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

JACK TATUM

Catch 5's picture

" A college coach calls you a week or two after NSD and tells you he can't give you the scholly you accepted."
Great point, and I agree completely. Les Miles was wrong when he did this to Elliott Porter, and I read one article about a kid who claimed Houston Butt did the same with him at Ole Miss. Those are the only two instances I've heard of this happening. But you are right, it is wrong and screws over the kid at a point his options are severely limited. Instead of banning oversigning though, a better solution is to amend the LOI, making a separate version for greyshirt offers that must be signed with the standard LOI to be effective. Signers of this greyshirt LOI can be brought into the current class, but not the other way around. Fixes this problem completely.

" Or you are heading into your sophomore year and coach tells you he won't be renewing your scholly"
Another good one, but as Meyer has made evident, banning oversigning will do nothing to stop coaches from doing this. Again, there is a better solution than banning oversigning and this one is already underway! The 4 year scholarship. If a kid transfers with a four year deal, there is no speculation as to who initiated it.

"Name a school that has lost 21 scholarships players between NSD and August over the last 2 years"
Point taken. But why do we only care about the kids who leave over the summer? If we are really concerned about the kids, shouldn't we look at those lost over the course of the whole year? To that end, do you know how many players have left OSU since NSD last year? As a general matter of comparison, do you even know what the average number of players lost by teams is? Kinda hard to draw a proper conclusion (ie. Bama has lost A LOT of players ) without proper context (the average attrition among the SEC or NCAA)

Make their asses quit! - Nick Saban

amos's picture

"Name a school that has lost 21 scholarships players between NSD and August over the last 2 years........... Give up? Alabama"

Well, Indiana has lost over 21 scholarship players over the last 2 years.  But to completely honest, a few were not insde the NSD to August period that you set.  "Ah hah!", you say.  But I find that timeframe to be pretty arbitrary.  Are we to assume that all the attrition that Ohio State has experienced the last few months is perfectly acceptable because it didn't occur from NSD to August?  If anything, that attrition should be viewed with more scrutiny because it very conveniently opened up enough room for Meyer to bring in 25 players as opposed to just 17 or 18.  Same thing happened with Sam Longo last year.  Numbers were getting tight, and a reserve player conveniently decided to transfer thus allowing Ohio State to bring in a recruit that it wanted more.

Now, I'm not really suggesting that Ohio State has done anything wrong.  But hopefully I've demonstrated what many of the oversigning critics look like when they point out attrition and allege that the coaches absolutely must have forced the players out with no proof.

Catch 5's picture

According to the definition used at oversigning.com, OSU did oversign.  For the second year in a row.

I agree.  A team that effectively oversigns has marginally better depth than ones that don't when they also experience attrition.

Your turn:  We are bowling and tied going into the 10th frame.  You roll a spare but refuse the extra ball.  I roll a strike and use my extra ball to win the game.  Did I have an advantage?  If so, was it a fair one?

 

 

Make their asses quit! - Nick Saban

rdubs's picture

Your bowling analogy doesn't work.  In bowling, everyone is playing by the same rules and no one thinks those rules are unfair to begin with.  The B1G and SEC do not play by the same rules in recruiting, and a lot of people believe that the SEC rules are unfair to the kids they recruit.

And to go back to a previous post, the attrition rates at Alabama and LSU are much higher than at any B1G schools (to the tune of 5-7 per year).

amos's picture

Are you sure about that?  Indiana lost 19 scholarship players last year alone.  Ohio State has lost 16 in the last year.  Michigan lost 14 last year.  In other words, all 3 schools had more attrition that Alabama or LSU.  And before yo claim it's just due to coaching changes, Ohio State lost 10 in 2008 and 6 in 2010.  The fact that you think 5-7 per year is a high attrition rate proves my point that most people have no idea how much attrition actually happens in college football across the country.

rdubs's picture

5-7 higher (not total)...  Attrition happens everywhere, but when a team signs that many more there are going to be more that have to leave.

Catch 5's picture

I disagree, my analogy was dead-on.  Both players were playing by the standard rules of bowling, but one player chose to add to them.  This is akin to the B10 restricting oversigning.  All teams are under the NCAA rules, those are the rules.  Any extra edicts from the conference are above and beyond the rules that are set.  If those rules put you at a disadvantage, it is not the fault of those that continue to play by them - just as I would not be at fault by using the extra frame in bowling if you chose not to.

As such, oversigning may be a bit of an advantage, but it is neither cheating nor unfair.

Make their asses quit! - Nick Saban

joel121270's picture

Good read DJ......Amos needs to get some help. Sounds like a disgruntled scUM fan putting up the facade of being an SEC lover if you ask me..just sayn.

LouGroza's picture

How about the theory that oversigning in order to pick and choose the best players is the problem. The Sec and their dominance along with the continued practice of oversigning seems, to even the casual observer, to have given them a very strong leg up on the competition. Other schools may do it but to no visible, tangible, on-field advantage and it may be for other reasons as well. As possibly are some of all oversign situations. My two cents.

Catch 5's picture

Please explain that. I'm not sure how that can happen.

Make their asses quit! - Nick Saban

Catch 5's picture

My question to the author: where is the stated SEC resistance to the 4yr scholarship? I haven't seen anything saying they are against it. I actually love the idea (4yr schollies, not this article's theme). If some schools are offering 4 year deals while others are offering 1 year deals, it opens up opportunities. And if the SEC is as scared of it as you say, eventually recruits will spurn them for places that will offer it.

Make their asses quit! - Nick Saban

DJ Byrnes's picture

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

Catch 5's picture

Thanks, but there is no mention of the SEC or even the SEC coaches speaking out against the 4 year scholarships.  It quotes Saban, and frames it like he is talking about the scholarship change, but his quote came about while discussing his greyshirt offers.  If I overlooked anything specifically about them being against the 4 year deals, please quote it for me as I saw little in the article that reflected the title subject.

Make their asses quit! - Nick Saban

rdubs's picture

well frankly just the fact that they were allowed to give multi year scholarships and didn't is a pretty telling sign.  Actions always speak louder than words.  Although I have read a couple places that Auburn gave 4-year scholarships, if true, kudos to them.  I hope the override vote loses and everyone goes to the 4-year scholarship approach (or at least has the option because I know most of the B1G will use it and should give them an advantage in securing recruits who are looking for a real committment).

Brutus's picture

Perhaps this has already been pointed out, but Catch 5 and Amos both signed up to this site on the same day four months ago. That either makes them a couple of SEC buddies that decided to raid this site together, or worse, the same person. Sad if the former, laughably pathetic if the latter.

Bucksfan's picture

Maybe we shouldn't be looking at it like oversigning.  Maybe we should be looking at it like a failure to retain the student athletes.  Oversigning has to be a symptom of a larger problem, then - that SEC schools aren't doing something right to hang on to their student athletes.  It just so happens that doing it this way lets you take in an extra guy for every 5 you sign.  So why change, right?  Why are young people signing their name to Alabama only to leave 2 years later for some Division 3 school?  Why is it so hard to make grades at Alabama?  or Auburn?  or LSU?  Do the coaches even care?  Do the players?  Why are there so many medical hardships, if that's the reason?  If it's a combination of reasons, why are these happening at SEC schools at higher rates and at a wider breadth than in other conferences?

rdubs's picture

I mostly agree with you.  When the 4-year turnover at Alabama and LSU is 20-30 players higher than in the B1G, something is wrong with those programs that needs to be fixed.  To be sure some of the turnover is legit, but when the difference is that extreme clearly something is wrong.

But it is also clear that because they have engaged in such extreme oversigning, that this is systemic and a clear strategy on the parts of those coaches.  Saban coached in the B1G he knows how to manage a roster without oversigning so egregiously, but CHOOSES not to.  The choice is obvious since it gives them a competitive advantage at the expense of the kids that get pushed out. 

amos's picture

Well, to be perfectly honest, the K-12 school system in the southeast is well below average as compared to most other regions of the country.  This results in a higher percentage of signees who fail to meet the NCAA's minimum academic requirements coming out of high school.  Many of these signees who failed to qualify then go to a JUCO, get their associate's degree, and sign with the same school 2 years later.  So, one player is counted twice in signing numbers.  Also, every JUCO player that a school signs has to replaced every 2 years as opposed to every 4 years for the typical players.  I know it won't be popular to say this, but the SEC also has had the most underclassmen declare for the NFL draft over the last several years.  All these factors contribute to higher signing numbers in the SEC without anyone being forced out.  Is there other attrition in the SEC (transfers, medicals, etc...)?  Sure.  But I think you'd be surprised at how much of that same attrition occurs in every conference.

Bucksfan's picture

Having more players declare for the NFL draft is not a viable rationale, since you're already bringing in 20% more students than the other conferences.  Which is causing which is not clear, and it's a feed-forward system.

Well, to be perfectly honest, the K-12 school system in the southeast is well below average as compared to most other regions of the country.

Additionally, the sky is blue, and the grass is green.

amos's picture

Funny, when asked why Oho State has had 20% more signees than Northwestern over the last 5 years, the responses I got from Ohio State fans were:

1. Academics

2. Underclassmen for the NFL

I agreed that those were very reasonable explanations and just asked Ohio State fans to give the same consideration to those factors when looking at the relative signing numbers of others schoools.  I guess that was too much to ask.

Bucksfan's picture

Why were you comparing Ohio State and Northwestern in the first place?

amos's picture

To illustrate the point that raw numbers without context do not tell the whole story nor do they prove wrongdoing.

pcon258's picture

sure, thats why osu signs more than northwestern. northwestern doesnt put many people into the nfl, they dont have many people going into the mlb, etc. ohio state has that problem, as does alabama and lsu. where you lose me is how you can take two schools, with virtually identical factors (players leaving early, academic issues, other sports), can have such a discrepancy in the ten year total for signees. i get that maybe the education in the south isnt quite as good, but i dont think that accounts for auburn signing an average of 8 kids PER YEAR more than ohio state. 8 kids extra per year is a HUGE difference, thats 80 extra signees over ten years. why the difference?

amos's picture

You are incorrect in assuming that academic issues are virtually identical at Auburn and Ohio State.  Ohio State has maybe 1 signee every other year that fails to qualify.  Auburn had 4 from the '08 class alone.  Also, they don't sign an equal number of JUCO players.  Ohio State signs none.  Auburn signs a few every year.  Since JUCO's only play for 2 years, the more JUCO's a schools signs the more signees it will have over time.  All of these factors add up, but the number of signees who fail to qualify is the biggest one by far.

Maestro's picture

Which should be helped with the new SEC rule.  Be more selective about who scholarships are offered to.

vacuuming sucks

Catch 5's picture

Dang straight!  Those stupid kids that can't get qualified have no business being recruited.  SEC teams shouldn't be allowed to waste their time recruiting those guys.  Do you think signing a LOI with an SEC school is going to make a difference in their educational attitude?  Pshaw!  as the great Judge Smells said, "The world needs ditch diggers too!"

Make their asses quit! - Nick Saban

Maestro's picture

Hey man, coaches who choose not to grossly oversign must consider petty things like character and grades more seriously than those who choose to grossly oversign.  

vacuuming sucks

Catch 5's picture

The beauty is that oversigning schools can take a chance on academic borderline guys.  I will not apologize for that.  And Bama is certainly not suffering because of it.  Stories like the following are commonplace since Saban took over and were noticably lacking before.

http://www.rolltide.com/sports/m-footbl/spec-rel/012512aaa.html

For those not wanting to transfer over:  "The 38 members of Alabama's 2011 National Championship football team that earned a place on the honor roll was eight more than the next closest school and included a dozen starters"

Make their asses quit! - Nick Saban

Maestro's picture

Make sure you send this to Dooley.  Oh the beauty...........ha.

vacuuming sucks

Maestro's picture

and it was Smails

vacuuming sucks

Poison nuts's picture

My bad Maestro I didn't see you already caught that.

"Death created time to grow the things that it would kill" - Detective Rustin Cohle.

Maestro's picture

great minds and all, no apology needed

vacuuming sucks

Poison nuts's picture

I think it's Judge Smails...

"Death created time to grow the things that it would kill" - Detective Rustin Cohle.

Buckman's picture

I agreed that those were very reasonable explanations and just asked Ohio State fans to give the same consideration to those factors when looking at the relative signing numbers of others schoools.  I guess that was too much to ask.

 

You can't give them the same consideration because Northwestern's academic standards and Vanderbilt's standards are way harder than any school in their conference. 

Northwestern doesn't son as much athletes as OSU because Northwestern cannot find the kids who are athletic enough to compete with athletes of OSU's caliber, and would be able to get into their school, and would not choose to go somewhere else.

Which is why neither school has won their league in a very long time.

 

 

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

JACK TATUM

amos's picture

Someone else tried making that same arguement, and I'm sorry but I don't buy it.  Coach Fitzgerald himself stated in his national signing day PC last year that they had room for 17 and signed 17.  Both Ohio State and Northwestern sign the number of players they need each year to get them to 85, but Northwestern has significantly less annual attrition than Ohio State does.  Trust me, I've looked but there's just simply not that much Northwestern attrition to be found, at least not on the internet.  Ohio State suffers signficantly more attrition than Northwestern does, therefore, Ohio State has to sign more recruits.

And this isn't an attack on Ohio State, but I think it does illustrate how a university's DNA affects attrition and therefore signing numbers.  For this next part, I'm speaking in general terms not absolutes.  In general, the student-athlete who chooses Northwestern is probably more concerned with academic and professional success (as opposed to football success) than a prospect that is recruited by and ultimately signs with Ohio State.  So what happens when each of these students finds himself buried on the depth chart after 2 years?  In general, the NW player chooses to stay, ride the bench, and get his NW degree.  While many OSU players will do the same, a percentage will choose to transfer somewhere else that they can get more playing time.

This same dynamic exists across conference lines too and partially explains why some schools have higher transfer rates.  Now, we can say that every school should be just like Northwestern and recruit student-athletes who are students first and athletes second, but ultimately, each university is free to determine the type of prospect that it wants to recruit and how much emphasis it placed on athleticism versus academics.  This determination affects future attrition within the program which then affects signing numbers.  Ohio State, Alabama, and Oregon could all choose to start putting much more focus into a recruit's academics and dedication to earning a degree, but they would do so at the risk of winning fewer ball games.  While it's true that that 5* with borderline academics may transfer if he doesn't pan out, he could lead your team to a championship if he does pan out.

All this to basically say what I've already said a few times before.  Differentials in signing numbers are not evidence that players are being run-off or cut.

Catch 5's picture

"Maybe we shouldn't be looking at it like oversigning.  Maybe we should be looking at it like a failure to retain the student athletes."

I couldn't agree with this more.  The problem is that when you start looking at that, culprits from all conferences with no ties to oversigning look worse than notorious oversigners like Bama and LSU.  From the 2008 class, Alabama had a 35.7% attrition rate.  Wisconsin, Iowa, and Michigan State all had higher rates, while Ohio State, Michigan, Northwestern, and Minnesota all had rates above 30% as well.  You will not get a lot of traction with that line of thought from many oversigning critics, because looking at attrition, while it may be more truthfull, doesn't condem oversigning.

Make their asses quit! - Nick Saban

Bucksfan's picture

You keep pointing to the 2008 season as the marquee year for your argument.  You're going to have a hard time finding traction with anyone that has half of a brain in their head that any one year means anything.

Plus, you're going to need to understand what a % is.  If Alabama brings in 30 players, loses 1/3 of them, that's 10 players.  If Wisconsin brings in 20 players in a certain year (this year they signed about 15), loses 1/3 of them, that's 6-7 players.  You can point to a percentage and say one percentage is worse than the other, but if that percentage comes from a larger total value, then the actual number the % represents is higher.

I don't have time to go through and do this.  But I know enough to say that Wisconsin, Iowa and Michigan State aren't signing 28 players a year.  So, percentage doesn't tell the whole story.

P.S. Do you understand what "agree" means?  You said you agreed in your first statement, then argued my point.

Catch 5's picture

The part in quotations is what I agreed with.  Thought that would be obvious.

I keep referring to 2008 because that is the only class that I have analyzed.  I chose that class because it would be easier to research the signing class of the current (at the time) seniors on roster.  I understand well what a percentage is.  It is the best way to compare quantities from disproportionate groups, and the purpose is to discover if certain teams lose players at a higher rate than others.  The accusation made against oversigning teams is that they cut players to make room, thus oversigning is immoral.  Everyone agrees that attrition occurs at all schools so if oversigning teams are cutting players above their natural attrition, then it goes to reason that oversigning teams will have a much higher percentage of their roster players leaving would it not?  Of course oversigning teams will have a higher number of players leaving as you say, but consider the following (I think I've posted this several times now with no response from anyone):  Two teams from the same conference recruit against one another.  Over the past 10 years, it is found that both teams averaged 20 signees per year without oversigning.  Each year, both teams lost an average of 4 players to attrition.  The coach from Team A decided to begin oversigning, and over the next 10 years, he signed an average of 25 players per year, but averaged 5 players lost to attrition every year.  Is the coach from Team A cutting players or is he just losing 20% of his roster just like Team B?

Make their asses quit! - Nick Saban

Bucksfan's picture

Percentages is not the best way to compare quantities from disporportionate groups if the argument is about the disproportion itself!  If you throw 10 strands of spaghetti at the wall, and 60% of it sticks, that's 6 strands.  If you throw 15 strands at the wall, and 60% of it sticks, that's about 8 strands - 2 more.  More players = more of a chance to find talent you can use.  

In your math problem, the coach from team B averaged a retention of 16 players per year if his rate of 4 players/year out of a class of 20 stays constant.  The coach from team A signed 25 but kept 20 over the latter 10 years.  That means he averaged 4 more players per year than the coach from team B (20 vs. 16).  That's 40 more players over that span than team B (4x10).  The rate of retention is the same - the disproprtionate # of players that came through each program is not (+40 for team A).

This is basic math, kid.It'd be nice if you could answer your own math problems.

Catch 5's picture

I understand the math perfectly well.  Everything you have said is correct, but you have changed the argument.  This started out as an excercise about kids getting screwed by being cut from the team, but now it is suddenly about the advantage of having more players from which to find talent.  I'll make that one easier for you.  I agree.  Yes, oversigning allows more players the opportunity to play for a team, I've never denied that.  It is also within the rules and is thus legal and a fair advantage to have.  When a competitor gains an advantage over you, the proper way to handle it is to find a way to beat them within the rules, not have the rules changed to your advantage.  Thus we come back to the ethical argument which is why I did the study we are currently discussing. 

"That means he averaged 4 more players per year than the coach from team B (20 vs. 16)."

Yes, exactly!  And he didn't cut anybody to get to that number.  I don't care that he has more players - if he can properly manage his roster to keep the maximum number of scholarship players, he is doing his job well. 

"The rate of retention is the same..."

That is my point.  If indeed the rates are similar between schools that oversign and those that don't then we can say that oversigning is not creating an increase in attrition.  And as you pointed out in your earlier post (the one I quoted from) the discussion should not be about oversigning, but lack of retention.  Thus efforts to end oversigning are not aimed at protecting the kids, but rather an effort to change the rules to favor the B10.

Make their asses quit! - Nick Saban

Maestro's picture

What you and Amos call "properly managing his roster" is the same thing that the rest of us call "cutting players".

vacuuming sucks

Bucksfan's picture

Dude, this is getting silly.  You used a fictional example with those numbers.  They don't resemble reality.  If Alabama signs 30, when 25 is the max, and Ohio State signs 25, then if they have the same rate, Alabama will have had more players.  That's why this isn't okay.

Catch 5's picture

Well, yea it is a hypothetical scenario that is illustrating the possibility that a team can oversign effectively without the need to cut players from the roster, and since nobody has a study of attrition that we can look at other than my (admittedly limited) one, that's all we can go on at this time.  And that study shows that (at least for the 2008 recruiting class) attrition at schools known for oversigning is not drastically higher than that of non-oversigning schools on the whole.  "Resemble reality?"  Where in all the accusations of unethically cutting players that is often thrown around is the reality?  I've at least shown you the beginnings of something definitave, where is the basis for the accusations?  If Bama has cut 30-40 players over the last five years, why does oversigning.com struggle to find even one to talk to despite their constant attempts to have them tell their "real story"?  Why is the best example available a guy who admits to being bitter, and who admits he was injured, quoted in a WSJ hit piece about supposed misuse of medical hardships?  Surely there would be more disgruntled ex-Bama players out there than OSU right? 

Back to the numbers?  Yes, if Alabama signs 30 and OSU signs 25, Bama will have more players.  Likewise, if OSU is always at 80 scholarship players because of summer attrition, while Bama is always at 85 because they oversigned to account for their attrition, they will have more players - but as my hypothetical example illustrates, not necessarily because they cut anybody.  If this is the case, any advantage Bama gains because of the extra players is perfectly within the rules and is not immoral - and is thus NOT an unfair advantage.  It is the reward of a properly managed roster.  Is this such a difficult concept?

Make their asses quit! - Nick Saban

Bucksfan's picture

You are wasting your life over this.

Brutus's picture

Catch 5 and Amos, are you guys the same person?  You signed up to 11W on the same day, presumably to "both" argue against the myths and misperceptions of oversigning.  You are obviously well versed in this topic and you have a counterpoint to EVERYTHING. Your arguments are well thought out and well written, albeit flawed in some people's eyes.  You're not going to get (m)any people here to agree, which is fine.  The point is to have a healthy debate about this.  But I know I'd be able to take you much more seriously if I didn't think you were alternately signing in as different users to give the appearance that there is more than one of you who feels this strongly about oversigning.  I don't think it's a coincidence that both these usernames were registered on exactly the same day.  Could be that there are just two SEC homers who feel compelled to come to an Ohio State site and argue incessantly that what the SEC is doing isn't that bad, but your writing style and arguments are almost identical. 

amos's picture

No, we are not the same person. 

And if an SEC blog posted a very anti-Buckeye/B1G article, I can pretty much guarentee you that there were be Buckeye/B1G fans defending Ohio State/B1G in the comments section.

Pam's picture

 

You might find some Buckeye fans defending tOSU on an SEC blog, but not fans that post on 11W. I have never posted on an SEC blog and never will. I don't do it because I don't care what they might be saying about tOSU and I suspect many of my fellow 11W's feel the same way. I don't feel the need to "defend" tOSU to anyone because I am not insecure about their place in CFB history.

Poison nuts's picture

Exactly.

"Death created time to grow the things that it would kill" - Detective Rustin Cohle.

Catch 5's picture

Nope, not the same person.  Go to oversigning.com as everyone like to link.  But read his comments section (you have to go back a little bit as he has discontinued commenting on his recent posts).  You will find plenty of people (myself included) refuting most of what that site reports blogs. 

Perhaps we both just came across an article that inaccurately described oversigning.  What usually makes me want to comment is when someone assumes that someone is doing something immoral without credible evidence (such as Saban cutting players to account for his oversigning) while ignoring similar circumstances elsewhere (i.e. Meyer losing (up to) 10 players between Christmas and NSD while signing enough new players to get the class to #4 in the nation).

If you want, you can go to Rollbamaroll.com and comment on a fanpost I wrote recently on the subject.  Or if you would rather go somewhere with less fan bias, T-S-B-N.com where I posted the same thing.  You will notice I use the same name, no need to change it up.

Make their asses quit! - Nick Saban

Brutus's picture

Fair enough.  I aprreciate you responding.  You are just two SEC dudes that feel very strongly about this subject and feel the need to spend a lot of time on an Ohio State site "educating" us, or at least offering a different perspective.  I don't mean that to sound like an attack.  I enjoy hearing the other side and you guys have been respectful, so welcome (even though you've actually been here for a while).