It's not as harsh on the offenders (e.g. Alabama) of over-recruiting as I'd like, but the article does a nice job summarizing the rule change.
Decent article on signing limits
So the rule was changed so that you can sign up to 28 to fit into 25 but Alabama still signed 29 and Auburn signed 32 because those can be backdated to the previous year if some come in early but I thought that's where the extra 3 fit in but no you might have some in this class who won't make it so you may as well sign 50.
OK. I think I got it.
(amazed that Bama even has *1* slot open last year to fit one back, or whatever)
The rule about 28 signees states that you may only sign 28 players counted to a single class. Early enrollees may be counted towards the 28 signee limit of the previous class (as well as the 25 enrollment limit of the previous class). The 28 signee limit is greater than the 25 enrollment limit so that a coach may sign additional players in the event that some recruits don't qualify.
As for Alabama, they managed to get away with bending the rules by consistently backdating recruits every year, so that they never pass the legal limit in an individual year. Furthermore, they kick players off the team in order to make room for signees and they use non-athletic scholarships (the Bear Bryant Scholarship, for instance, is awarded to any kid of an Alabama football player who played for Bear Bryant) on football players, so that they don't count against the limit of 25 enrollees per class.
Bama signed 113 over the last four year recruiting cycle and the limit is 85. They have not been under 104 four the last 4 of these cycles so I have to believe their APR is closing in on getting them in trouble. The amazing thing is the NCAA has allowed Satan and Bana to get away with this. How is it fair to other NCAA members when Bama is allowed an extra class every four years? The next closest that I can find is Oklahoma and they are right around 92-95 over this same time which is still 10-20 players less than Bama over a four year period.
I believe it is against NCAA rules to give non athletic scholarships to football players. Here is a link that seems to prove my point that as soon as said player steps on the field in a game he counts toward the 85.
They get their athletic scholarship once they play in a game, but they are typically redshirts (I read this at some Alabama blog awhile ago, but I can't find a link). Then, if they ever are good enough to see the field, Saban finds a way to make room for them (i.e. forced attrition).