Submitted by Brian on March 6th, 2009 at 12:12 PM

I was just reading your early recruiting analysis on 2010, and I was curious how we are allowed to offer so many scholarships. You noted that we had 17-20 to give, yet we have offered 46 by my rough count on your board.

Are there rules by the NCAA or conferences on how many scholarships a school can offer over their limit? If we receive our 17-20 commits and we do not have any more available scholarships, do we simply have to say, "No thank you" to anyone else who is considering their previously offered scholarship? (As opposed to Alabama's method)


Scholarship offers have no legal or NCAA standing until a school faxes a letter of intent to the player on signing day. Until that time, they're just fancy letters indicating a school would like you to play for them… if they don't change their mind by the time you make up yours, and you don't throw a cherry bomb at a six-year-old, and you don't flunk out.

Usually offer letters have some language indicating this. The relevant paragraph from Michigan's offer to Tate Forcier:

This award is contingent upon the satisfactory conclusion of your junior and senior years, both academically and athletically. NCAA minimum academic standards must be satisfied and internal admissions requirements must be met. This letter remains viable until such time as NCAA rule 15.5.5 regarding squad limits (85 total) would appear to be compromised. Therefore, as a necessary consequence, grants may only be awarded based on availability.

Basically: don't flunk out and don't wait for someone else to take your spot… oh, and don't suck at sports. Until a letter of intent is signed, the school has zero obligation to the player. Which, yes, can suck for the player.

Offers get pulled all the time, and when this happens to an uncommitted prospect for whatever reason it's always uncontroversial, as it should be. The player in question hasn't promised you anything and hasn't accepted your promise. Sometimes players try to commit only to be told they can't, and sometimes this causes bad feelings. Legendary Michigan cases involve Tennessee OL Brent Trott, who never had a Michigan offer, and a Florida linebacker named Justice whose first name escapes me who tried to commit and was told the inn was full. Both of those players had time to go elsewhere, and did, but were noisily displeased for a brief time.

Where it gets touchy sometimes is when players who have issued a verbal commitment are told they no longer have an offer. Sometimes this is due to academics or extra-curricular issues: in 2008 Ohio State pulled Devoe Torrence's offer when he got in some nasty legal trouble and this year OSU safety commit Bradley McDougald was told to head elsewhere after he was caught with weed. (He ended up at Kansas.) That's legit. But sometimes kids just get their offer pulled through no fault of their own. This happened at South Carolina last year and caused a minor stink.

In those cases there are no official repercussions but the PR hit is usually enough to keep schools in line. For one, South Carolina is never getting a kid from that high school again.

As to Michigan: if three quarterback recruits decide they want to commit tomorrow… well, Michigan will take them. Bad example. But if hypothetical eager QB #4 rings up Rich Rodriguez, Rodriguez is going to have to say "sorry." A commitment is a mutual thing, albeit one with no legal standing whatsoever.

Hi Brian,

I'm originally from Minnesota, and I still listen to the MN local radio.  One morning show is a big fan of Denard Span, an up an coming player for the Twins.  They created this bit, which also seems appropriate for the Michigan faithful who are excited for Denard Robinson. Enjoy!

Download, if you are so inclined (right click and "save as")

Go Blue!

-Erik G

1) I predict that song makes an appearance during football liveblogging at some point this year.

2) When that song went to to the Betty Ford Center and came out the other end "Let's Get It Started" and was deployed as the theme song of the NBA Playoffs, was it the most impressive/ridiculous corporate rehab ever? I, being of sound mind and distance from preteens, had never heard the original ("Let's Get Retarded," an ode to pot*/alcohol) and it seemed like a perfect prefab song from a major label crapband. Then I find it's about basically the opposite of starting anything, it's about killing your brain. The mind boggles.

2a) Who would have thought that three or so years later that song would stand out as clearly the best and most appropriate NBA Playoffs theme song yet? Tom Petty? What?

*(Windows Live Writer has an auto-substitute list you can set up. IE: whenever I type recruiting board it points at the recruiting board automatically, or Varsity Blue or MVictors or, uh, Threetsheridammit chart. So that's why that. I would have deleted it but for the lulz.)

And how about an update on the last mailbag:

Hi Brian,
The Shegoses are from Flint.  Matt and Duke ( I think) are the referees, I can't remember if Duke is the nickname for Mark Shegos or if Mark is a separate 3rd Shegos.  For what it's worth, my uncle knows them and they are all very nice.  They've been involved with hockey for time out of mind, although in my humble opinion, nice though they may be, they've never been the best officials.  I think I heard the Shegos chant for the first time in the early 90's- anyway, it is definitely tongue in cheek.  We did NOT actually want Shegos.  Here's some fun Shegos opinions from a Sparty blog a few years back, where they also assert that "You can't drink all day if you don't start in the morning."
The North Dakota playoff game at Yost in 1998 saw two Michigan goals waved off (I think both in the second period), inciting the crowd to a state of near-riotousness.  They were not as bad as the ones which happened this year because at least they were judgment calls, but they did bring the crowd into a frenzied state.  By the way, I was sitting right behind the Michigan penalty box for that game and Bobby Hayes used words I did not know when describing the officials- and I was living in South Quad at the time, I knew LOTS of fun words. 
For people who don't mind being adventurous about Frozen Four tickets, I was one of those who bought way too many a few years back when all those WCHA teams played in Columbus.  Ok, I get it, WCHA in Columbus, but demand was none.  At least for that event, I can confirm that they were much less than face value.  I stood outside trying to sell the tickets for like 3 hours and eventually was trying to give them away and couldn't.  I think those willing to be patient can get tickets for a few dollars each, especially if your game is the late game. 
Jack Simms

On the Frozen Four thing, which I promise is advice for the entire universe and not an implication that Michigan will make it to DC, or, for that matter, not sack the program tomorrow: an excellent strategy if you're the late game is to camp outside the building after the early game ends; disgusted fans of the losing team will be exiting and selling at cheapo prices. Problem: last year there was no opportunity to do this because the semifinals were one ticket.

As to the Shegos brothers, the response received about them was totally outstanding. Some, like Jack, thought it was a sarcastic Shegos-oriented insult. Some thought there was one Shegos who was definitively better than the other Shegos and he was the one being chanted for at all times. And some thought it was an actual desire for a referee who wasn't Mark Wilkins (or, more cynically, attended Michigan, which at least one Shegos did). All of which adds up to a cheer that thousands of people are doing over a decade with completely different ideas of why they're chanting it.


J.W. Wells Co.

March 6th, 2009 at 1:05 PM ^

RE: Various Shegii, I recall sitting in the Yost student section from 1999 to 2003. When the officials would enter the ice and do their skate-around just prior to game time, there would be boos. But when the referee made his turn and the back of his shirt said "SHEGOS" (no matter which Shegos it was), he'd get huge cheers. One of the Shegii would even smile big and wave at the crowd.


March 6th, 2009 at 2:17 PM ^

A bit OT, but I've met Mark Wilkins on many occasions, as him and my father were very good friends. That is, until Mark stabbed him in the back. But prior to that, when I used to be a hockey referee back in high school, I went to a seminar where Mark taught power skating. So, in essence, Mark Wilkins taught me how to skate properly.

It's a shame I never got the chance to talk to him after seeing how bad he is at officiating in the CCHA.


March 6th, 2009 at 3:44 PM ^

I just received my Frozen Four Tickets for Verizon Center. Both semifinal games are played the same day. If you leave the building after the first, you must get your hand marked to return for the second--you can't simply use your ticket. So I doubt that a ticket from a losing semifinalist fan will work.

Go Blue.


March 7th, 2009 at 2:10 AM ^

There is a place in hockey hell reserved for all Shegoses and Dan O'Halloran...

There she goes
There she goes again
Racing thru' my brain
And I just can't contain
This feelin'(ANGER) that remains

There she blows
There she blows again
Pulsing thru' my vein
And I just can't contain
This feelin'(MORE ANGER) that remains


March 8th, 2009 at 6:04 AM ^

I actually followed this one is my local newspaper (Florida). Guy's name was Doug Justice. He went on to have an OK college career at North Carolina (
It was far enough back that my memory is a little hazy, but there was about a month that he was committed to Michigan (or at least he thought so). So either his commit was pulled when they got better backers, or there was some miscommunication.
These kinds of things are always unfortunate.
No idea what he's up to now, but his younger brother Steven Justice is a lineman for the Colts.


March 8th, 2009 at 5:59 PM ^

There is no way to tell in advance how they will do the tickets, however, the last two years (last year and this year) the semi-finals have been done with a single ticket using the hand stamp method of re-entering the building if you step out between games. I would not be at all surprised if they use the same method at Ford Field next year. If ever there was a year when just about any who want them should be able to get them through the lottery next year will be it. Don't forget that there are also plenty of people who buy tickets for the Frozen Four and when their team doesn't make it they sell off the tickets.