USF from the moment they garnered a #2 ranking without doing much of anything. (At least I don't recall them doing a whole lot to get there other than watching other teams lose, correct me if I'm wrong)
Oversigning: A Retraction And A Gun That's Kind Of Smoking
"I don't know how it happened," said Atkins, a tight end from Dixie Hollins High School. "I did everything USF asked me to do. The committee said my grades were on a downward trend, but they improved my last semester. I don't understand the process."
That's a who-dat two star tight end who's suddenly on the open market—not exactly the crown jewel of the class—but it's also the third player who's been shot down not by the NCAA Clearinghouse but by USF admissions.
Why would USF suddenly get religion about this sort of thing? I'm guessing its their BCS-worst APR. USF's been the caboose the last two years but has miraculously escaped sanctions via unexplained waivers. They managed to get a waiver this year despite seeing their APR fall eight points. Unless the Bulls get their numbers up now they will feel the NCAA's boot, and now USF must take a hard look at players at risk of failing out.
I'm not sure if this is a positive development or not. On the one hand, USF is experiencing difficulties with recruiting because the NCAA isn't going to put up with terrible graduation numbers any more. On the other, three kids have had their plans disrupted. The first two players to get rejected have landed at Southern Miss and Louisville (and Atkins is also rumored to be headed to UL), so they're still getting D-IA scholarships.
And the smoking gun. New Golden Eagle Alonzo Lawrence on his violation of team rules, or lack thereof:
He was expected to see playing time as either a cornerback or safety for the Crimson Tide this season, but Saban said this week that Lawrence was one of four players who violated a team rule and were not invited back to the team.
“That’s something that isn’t true, but I’m not going to say anything about that,” Lawrence said.
Ah, the classic comment-but-no-comment. Very passive-aggressive. Lawrence is one of eighteen Alabama players to leave the team this offseason and amongst 30 in two years. Fully 13 Alabama players who completed spring practice are off the team. Saban again brought in way more players than his roster could theoretically handle, guaranteeing these departures in February. At some point the sheer numbers defy explanation.
Again: a school shouldn't be able to sign someone to a LOI unless it can show where the money is coming from.
They had a crazy early season run, beating Auburn, UNC, and West Virginia in successive outings. It was an impressive run, but everyone kind of sensed they were a top 25 team, not a top 5 team. Still, I am not going to take anything away from them for that run.
That said, I'm always surprised when these mid-level BCS schools try to make a run at competing with the upper-echelon teams. Inevitably, they start recruiting questionable kids and start cutting corners because their fans and coaches, having tasted some success, obvious want to hang onto that feeling as long as possible.
Unless you're Wake Forest, who tastes success, says, "That is interesting, maybe I'll try it again some time," and then goes along with it's business recruiting the worst classes in the conference while still winning games
"That is interesting, maybe I'll try it again some time," read in a British accent is the funniest thing I've encountered all day.
I spent some time with some big USF boosters.
These guys had been turned away by Miami for being too amoral.
Which I didn't think was possible?
In 3 ... 2 ... 1 ...
I think we can all agree: it was a mistake to tell the south about the interwebs.
says it all.
"Lawrence is one of eighteen Alabama players to leave the team this offseason and amongst 30 in two years."
Just think if RR did anything like that.
Saban is a liar, and I wonder why kids still want to go there.
Jim Levitt, USF coach, has been a douchebag for a while.
I do not understand the method to Saban's madness.
This might help shed some light on his thinking.
I don't understand the method.
I'd love to be a fly on the wall during his recruiting visits.
You have to remember that he deals with people who have inflated egos and never think that that could happen to them. It's pretty easy to change the subject to how he's going to turn the recruit into a first-round NFL draft pick.
rules better than I do, which isn't much: What are the implications for 'Bama if this oversigning trend continues? Don't they have some risk down the road if they don't pull back on the practice? That is, risk being either earning progressively lower APR scores, or getting a reputation for cutting loose recruits who haven't gotten to campus yet because they couldn't get numbers down (and likely pissing off a lot of people in the process, including h.s. coaches).
I guess my question is is there a point where it won't pay off for them, or have they figured out a way to make it work long term?
The SEC implemented a rule this year limiting teams to 28 LOI signees each year, similar to what the Big Ten has had in place for a while. That should help curb the practice, with teams no longer being able to go out and sign 30-some players each year. However, it won't completely stop teams from oversigning, as you can bet every team will sign a full 28 every year, so there will just be fewer players kicked off the team for "violating team rules" every year.
Looking at the article, I think Saban's repeated use of medical hardship scholarships should lessen the impact on the APR, as a large number of those guys will graduate and count as two points for Alabama. I don't this will hurt the Tide's APR as much as the recent losses have hurt Michigan's.
As for pissing off coaches, it doesn't look like that's happened yet.
I generally don't care how much money universities make off exploiting student athletes for bowl games and apparel sales and video game appearances because ultimately, I feel like students are reaping a lot of benefits from the relationship.
They get free tuition to great schools that in many cases they otherwise couldn't afford. Also, college football gives them a great stage to showcase their takes and offers the potential of a professional career.
However, what is happening to these kids is just sick. The universities are in a position of power and they are screwing these kids over.
There needs to be some accountability for this sort of abuse and greater protection for student athletes.
I want to know why there isn't more outrage about this in the MSM. These are kids who are there to play football and get an education, and they're being thrown out of school just to win an extra football game or two.
I just ain't right.
What makes this a horrible thing is that talented football players are getting cut off the team for such bs reasons like "violation of team rules" when really the coach is getting rid of them because of oversigning. It's sick that the athletic directors just stand by and don't say anything, just as long as they keep winning. I never want Michigan to have to deal with us.
Even if the "I am not going to say anything about it" thing is a bit passive-agressive, you have to wonder when one of these kids who are kicked off the team for flimsy reasons is not going to put up with having his name dragged through the mud. It leaves the impression that the actions of these young men are in the same category as say Feagin, our one-time own. You would think that eventually one of these kids is going to cry foul.
My guess is that some of these kids did break some random team rule - maybe they were caught with a MIP, some minor drug usage (weed), etc. - something that doesn't mean much when you are a starter, but can be a a convenient excuse to kick you out when someone better rolls around. That way, you keep these kids quiet (because they technically did violate a rule) while still being able to treat them with a double standard.
lost three in the meantime, and now has 76. Bama left spring practice with 98 guys on scholarship! If someone proved that Saban booted any players that leave him with a depth issue at any position, I would be surprised. I wonder what is the team rule those guys broke? "Being, or even appearing to have a chance of being, a fourth string player is forbidden! Do it, and I will find a reason to cut you."
I checked the eight guys that were eliminated from their roster since spring for either a medical reason or breaking a team rule. There was a sole returning starter, one 2nd string player and six guys 3rd or worse on the depth chart. All of this is based on last year's pre-season depth chart:
Pos Name, Year – 2008 Rank on pre season depth chart
LB Brandon Fanney, Sr. - 1st string
LB Prince Hall, Sr. - 3rd string
DB Alonzo Lawrence, So. – 3rd string
former Davidson RB Jermaine Preyear – 4th+, not on roster last season?
"violated some type of team rule or policy and were not invited back on our team," Saban said. Hall transfered to Central Washington, while Lawrence and Preyear are looking into other schools. Saban said he hopes Fanney will graduate before leaving UA.
OL Evan Cardwell, Sr. – 2nd string, center
LB Jennings Hester, Jr. - 3rd string
LB Charlie Kirschman, Jr. – 4+
former St. Paul's RB Ivan Matchett, So. – 4+
were placed on medical scholarship, thus ending playing careers with the Crimson Tide. Each can remain at UA on scholarship but will not count toward the team's 85-man limit.
haha....the argument down there is that "everyone in the SEC over signs, so it's ok" along with the usual "Saban is God, he knows what he's doing"...yeah, he knows that he is going to kick several players off the team in order to sign the class.
"“That’s something that isn’t true, but I’m not going to say anything about that,” Lawrence said. "
Maybe he's the one that's lying?
If I understand, Alabama players are trustworthy but when a Michigan player expresses distaste with our environment upon exiting, he must be lying.
Saban needed to cut a dozen scholarships. If enough players don't provide him with excuses to do so, he has to invent some. I find it all too convenient that vague "violations of team rules" and "medical issues" always seem to add up to exactly the number of dismissals needed to get down to 85.
Maybe there was something (even if it was minor enough that a starter would have to maybe run an extra lap of the field at worst). But when there are this many every year ... that's an awful lot of smoke blowing around for there to be no fire.
You didn't go to class Monday morning? You're cut!
You left a used towel in your locker? You're cut!
You didn't praise me like North Koreans praise Kim Jong-il in your prayers last night? You're cut!
I can't be all that far off...