"Alabama and SEC used to often sign" key part "used to". OP said he was disappointed OSU does the same as SEC. I was pointing out the difference and why it is not the same. Yes, you are correct, the SEC a few years ago had enough pressure on them to stop the practice. The BIG you can go over 28 but you must submit an explanation and get approval of why you are surpassing the 28 in a given year.
By the way the NCAA only pertains to the 85 total. The 25 per year was a number the conferences agreed upon outside of the NCAA and the SEC was the conference that was supposed to monitor that agreement. Of course they were the conference that abused it. This is why the NCAA never did anything about it as long as they did not go over 85. It was the other conferences that put pressure on them to abide to the rules they all agreed to. Plus the fact that more players from SEC that were "dismissed" because of medical issues stated by schools were coming out and saying they never had an injury and were flat out dismissed. This along with pressure from other conferences forced them to get on board.