This is in response to Meeechigan Dan's post from yesterday re: Alabama's over-recruiting...
I read the OP last night, but I came back to read it again today because it was so well written and thought provoking (Great job, btw!). I am wondering why doesn't M do this? I know the OP said over-recruiting is cheating, but I beg to differ. The NCAA rules do not forbid over-recruiting, they actually encourage it with their own rules. If the NCAA has imposed limits of 28 recruits per year, and you want to win, why not give yourself the best opportunity to maximize your recruiting class each and every year? In other words, why would you only recruit 25 players to fill 25 roster spots, when you are allowed to recruit 28 players to fill 25 spots?
We all know that usually 6 - 7 recruits from each class (and sometimes more) don't "make it" (i.e. don't qualify academically, transfer, injury, etc), not to mention how many recruits just are not good enough to play on a consistent basis. Why shouldn't we over-recruit to allow for these "expected" circumstances? If we took the NCAA allowed maximum 28 recruits each year in each class, we would have 112 players over a 4 year period. This would allow us 27 extra players that could be used as replacements when guys get career ending injuries (Bass or Zirbel), decide to transfer (O'Neill or Mallett), when guys are just "busts" or for whatever reason necessary.
I've heard it said many times on this board (and I happen to agree) that when a marginally talented recruit (i.e. Wermers, Feagins) decides to leave the program, it's not that bad of a thing. After all, it does open up a scholarship slot. The same situation occurs when a player that has worked his butt off for 3 or 4 years and is not offered a 5th year with the program, mainly to open up a scholarship slot.
Why don't we just start doing this on a larger scale and let each and every player know that their scholarship is not necessarily "guaranteed" for all 4 or 5 years, especially if they are not meeting the expectations of the program. The influx of additional recruits would not only cause more competition at each and every position each and every year, but it would also ensure that we have only the best 85 players on the roster at all times. This would give us the best possible opportunity at success.
IME, the only downside to this would be the affect it would have on graduation rates and APR, and I know this is a BIG one. I am just not sure how the Alabama's and other big-time programs are doing this, but we cannot. (Brian or someone with a much better knowledge of APR would have to comment on the ramifications of this.)