scholarships should have a lineage. you should be able to use one as soon as it opens up. as soon as it closes, the (e.g.) "#74" scholarship is off limits until the player graduates, goes to the nfl, transfers, drops out, etc.
If 12 SEC Coaches Are Against It, It Can't Be All Bad
For some reason they put a statue of Barry Switzer outside of Nick Saban Memorial Hospital. Seriously, why did Alabama put up a statue of Barry Switzer? I'm so confused.
- SEC teams can only sign 25 a year, down from 28. You can still backdate early enrollees.
- There's going to be some sort of conference overview of St. Saban Memorial Hospital.
- Attending summer school counts as enrollment—no more Elliott Porters.
- Anyone transferring to an SEC school must have at least two years of eligibility—no more Jeremiah Masolis.
That last one is kind of beside the point, but since these grad exemptions are pretty close to free agency it's understandable why they were an issue to be addressed. The arrival of Masoli and Florida pirating an all-conference cornerback from Utah were evidently unsettling, so no more of that.
It's the oversigning stuff that's everyone main focus, though, and passing those bylaws has been met by another raspberry, this one media-based. A Jeff Schultz from the AJC:
The SEC, as the highest-profile college football conference in the nation, had a chance to make a loud statement at its meetings this week. It kind of wimped out. Rather than attack the oversigning problem with significant legislation, it decided only that it would lower the annual scholarship offer cap from 28 to 25.
Let me translate: Coaches now have a lower limit as to how unethical and morally reprehensible they can be. Feel better?
This was sort of like the real SEC passing a rule: “We recognize that insider trading is a problem. So we’re going to cap profits from said illegal transactions at $2.7 million.”
While both parties are right that the Big Ten's approach cuts down on the churn and the SEC is not going that far, the legislation they passed will have a real impact. As mentioned in the earlier post, if this had been around the last four years Auburn would have signed 19 fewer kids—almost an entire class—Alabama 13, South Carolina 11, and so forth down the line. Cropping the limit from 28 to 25 cuts the cuts by about half at the worst offenders.
Meanwhile, adopting the Big Ten approach (you can only sign three more kids than you have available scholarships, and you have to petition the conference to do so) doesn't necessarily cut down on attrition. It just moves the abattoir from "whenever we find out if this guy qualified" to late January. While a combination of both rules is ideal, either in isolation is exploitable.
So this is exploitable, yes, but less so than it was before. It's something between pure public relations and Total Internet Victory. Partial internet victory is still kind of something—whine for five years and people will give ground. Nick Saban was pissed off when this happened. That's a heuristic that indicates a step in the right direction. While it could be better, complaints about the proposal are making the perfect an enemy of the good.
Someone else comes up with a simple solution to something that's definitely a problem. That said, I love love love the idea the first commenter on the above-linked Oversigning.com post lays out:
If we are going to create a new system, why not get rid of the 85 scholarship limit. What makes that number so valuable? Why not just set an annual signing limit of (pick a number) 30 to 35. Make the grants for 5 years and allow 5 years of participation (eliminate redshirts and medicals).
Under the system describe above the onus is placed squarely on coaches to evaluate, motivate, train and retain signees. May the best coach win.
30 to 35 is excessive, especially if you're giving everyone five years. That almost doubles the number of kids on scholarship, which will be fought by smaller schools and make life under the dominion of Title IX even more difficult for non-revenue men's sports.
HOWEVA, There is a number (somewhere from 22 to 25) that provides rosters approximately equivalent to today's and rewards keeping kids around in case they become useful. Once you find that number all of this goes away because you no longer have the perverse incentives the current system offers. In this hypothetical world people are mad at Nick Saban for being ruthlessly better at avoiding attrition. Another guy later makes a point that's especially salient what with all the chatter about full cost of attendance scholarships:
Scholarship limitations are not in the best interest of the SA. Scholarship limitations are about parity, which in is in the interest of the institutions. To make arguments about over-signing being evil is like saying we want what is best for the SA as long as it does not hurt my school. Which is to say the main goal is not the SA’s best interest, but the institutions.
If big programs want to move towards a system that places student-athlete welfare first, leaving San Jose State to pound sand, that benefits everyone worth benefiting.
(A few details I'd propose:
- Transfers in count as fresh enrollees.
- There would be a limit, probably 85, that once under you could offer scholarships to walk-ons if you wanted.
- You might have to offer some sort of leniency for schools that recruit a lot of JUCOs. This system places a premium on keeping kids around for four and five years and turns a JUCO from a easily replaceable quick fix to a guy who's an empty scholarship for two or three years. Guys who go to JUCO are mostly reclamation projects that college football should be striving to help, so maybe you can get a scholarship here and there back "early."
wouldn't this create an incentive for coaches to force a player out if he's not producing? Increasing attrition of unproductive players would make you more competitive by opening up that scholarship. Seems counter-productive.
Can somebody put this in the "roll tide" ESPN commercial?
The best part is the "Alabama: People of Compassion" sign in the background. (Not that I believe Alabama people are not compassionate, but Saban...lol).
seems oversigning's another way of saying breach of contract.
Huh? You miss two huge problems with oversigning/cuts:
1) If the payer is "beat out" and wants to transfer, he has to sit out a year - punishing the student athlete by forcing him to uproot and unfairly and limiting his transfer options (big schools less likely to take a guy that needs to sit a year)
2) Oversigning allows schools to hoard talent
Oversigning is good for the institution and bad for the SA - which defeats the purpose of the whole NCAA thing. Which fine if you think that's stupid, but recognize that you're advocating for increased professionalization of college sports.
The problem is accountability. These college coaches make promises of playing time and woo kids into signing at their school. Over signing is like signing a contract that you have no expectation of keeping unless your on the upper end of the deal. Besides, if a kid wants to transfer he HAS to sit out a year.
Read the fine print. Chances are, there is a bit of legalese in the LOI that says, "Unless what I promised you is written in this document, everything I promised you is hereby null and void."
a Saban target at Alabama. You have multiple offers but you shirk them all because Saban has filled your head with delusions of granduer and you get your scholarship, move to Tuscaloosa, enroll in classes, and start practicing with the football team. Unfortunately for you coach Saban didn't tell you that he brought in 5 other kids at your position after you committed, there are several already on the roster, you never have any chance of playing for the team, and your scholarship is dropped halfway through your first year and you have to look for another program that is willing to take on a kid who was "cut," and instead of your original second choice college you have to go to Troy or Eastern Michigan or walk on at your second choice where they took another kid to replace you after you committed to 'bama and hope to earn a scholarship there after a few years of footing the mega bill for your college education yourself. Saban welcomes kids in on scholarships that weren't really there to begin with and sets kids back for years stealing better opportunities from them at a school that actually might want them.
This right here. If you're deciding between Alabama and Florida and Michigan, and you pick Alabama and get "cut" by Saban due to oversigning, you can't just turn around and go to Michigan and grab that scholarship they were originally going to give you. I sure as hell wouldn't stay at Bama and pay my way when I was supposed to be on scholarship. That means I have to transfer and try to pick up a scholarship football position. The only schools that are going to have the room are going to be lower-tier schools - or, if I want to play immediately, FCS schools. So it's not just that Saban is saying "oh here's a scholarship, wait, not really". It's that if I'd known originally I would've gone somewhere else to be on scholarship and showcase my talents on a big stage. So now I'm stuck at a crap football school with (probably) far less impressive academics, when I could've had a free ride at Michigan or Florida.
to keep the discussion alive. this is good devil's advocate talk.
For those interested in seeing Brian's original bomb. I think this is the first one, anyway.
That's some fine work there, inspector.
Hey, speaking of bad statues, MSU has a statue that looks like Bill Rustle in front of Breslin.
Hey SEC Coaches, don't have a cow because you "might" have to play on an even playing, god forbid. I bet they all over practice their players and no one hears about it.
P.S. In that pic from Gunnarsape, I always knew Saban was a dick head!
I like the 22-25 LOI, no scholie cap option (I've proposed something similar in past threads) but with the following modifications:
1) Leave the 4 seasons in 5 years eligibility system in place. All scholarships are good for 5 years or to the exhaustion of eligibility, whichever comes first (this handily takes care of JUCO transfers)
2) Below a scholarship number (75-85) unlimited walk-ons can be added on a year-by-year basis. Above this limit, walk-ons can be signed, but they count as one of your signees for the year and are a "permanent" scholarship. To avoid abuse of the walk-on system (Saban keeping below the cap and signing a bunch of "walk-ons" who are really new recruits), a walk-on will be defined as a player at least one year removed from high-school who has never received a scholarship at another institution.
The root of the oversigning evil is the fact that the scholarships are one year deals.
You can hash out the details, but once you make the scholarships four (or better yet five) year agreements you solve the basic issue.
The trouble is that transferring is rough on a college student, academically speaking. You're really just treating college like pro ball at that point with variable year contracts, which fine if that's your goal, but be up front about that.
Walk ons already are marginalized and transfers could be eased by forcing schools to grant transfer requests in almost all circumstances.
Your system gives no incentive for a school to give multi-year deals. Why would you ever offer a 5 year deal when a bunch of kids will be jumping at even 1 year deals (which is effectively what they do now). You'll still have Saban saying "well, I give everyone 1 year deals to be fair - but I'm sure you will earn a scholarship again next year".
I think you'll hurt the "at risk" kids with your proposal more than the 4/5 year guaranteed scholarship though. Right now, other than in the SEC, the majority of athletes stay and get scholarships for 4 years barring actual injury, academic failure, voluntary transfer, or discipline issues.
With your proposal, academically at-risk athletes might take a one year gig at Alabama instead of going to JUCO, which is where they probably should have gone. Then if they struggle academically, they are stuck with no scholarship, a flunked-out year, and a rough time transferring.
Realistically, marginal cases should be taking the JUCO route if we're serious about actually educating them (rather than letting them coast through joke classes at Alabama). So if the system encourages that, it's probably a feature rather than a bug.
How would someone be the 'highest bidder' in the free agency of student athletes?
Why wouldn't elite prospects sign on to 1 year 'contracts' and then enjoy the full rewards of this bidding each year?
I don't see how this suggestion would improve the situation. It would just codify oversigning and throwing away the losers. But not just that, it would create a player free agency, which has nothing to do with academics.
in 5 or 6 years after this has been in place, the SEC is still destroying the rest of college football? i always feel like the oversigning thing is sort of a rationalization for their dominance, that and the cheating, but if we take that out and consider the cheating to be rampant across all of football, then is it the coaches, the local athlete talent, the facilities, the weather?
We'll rationalize that bridge when we get to it.
"The wackest crews try to dis, it makes me laugh
When my track record's longer than a DC-20 aircraft
So next time that you think you want somethin' here
Make somethin' differ, take that garbage to St. Elsewhere"