The Preferred Walk-On Solution

Submitted by jBdub on November 27th, 2009 at 8:55 AM

I think the best way for Michigan to get to or closer to 85 total scholarships with this class is to convert some current recruits into preferred walk-ons. Oversigning by three won't do anything to help the overall numbers because you still have to be at 25 when fall practice starts. Similarly running off some current commitments might increase the average star rating of the class, but doesn't do anything to address the overall scholarship number, and burns recruiting bridges.

So I think the coaches need to identify recruits--Vinopal? Murphy and/or Grimes? Mehrer? Maybe even R. Miller, since he's here already and as loyal blue as one can be-- who are willing to wait until fall to get their scholarship, and promise them it'll be there waiting for them. This would be better than the deal Brian Griese got, even though his was pretty sure-fire, because the scholarships are actually available right now. They wouldn't have to have someone leave for them to get it. The downside for UM is the player remains free to accept a 'ship elsewhere up until he enrolls in the fall. The biggest downside for the player(s) is, I think, freshman walk-ons may not be able to join the team until school starts, so they'd be a bit behind.



November 27th, 2009 at 9:56 AM ^

but I have to agree with Magnus (about the negation, not the passion for it) but your idea makes us seem like we're desperate/reaching and asking commits that have signed up for us to sign up for just a wee bit more.


November 27th, 2009 at 10:00 AM ^

I'm amazed at how the perception of Ricardo Miller on this board has gone from super elite "Top 5" Florida recruit to "oh, let's make him a walk-on."


November 27th, 2009 at 10:06 AM ^

There's little risk of running up against the 85 limit. Preferred walkons and 4th-year juniors can be adjusted enough.

The confusion about backdating January enrollees to the previous class is what might be a problem.

Blue in Yarmouth

November 27th, 2009 at 10:28 AM ^

I have said this a few times on various threads that discussed this topic, but I will say it again. Can anyone give me a good reason why a rule change that affects the entire NCAA would have changed without anyone having known about it?

The rule LAST YEAR was that you could sign players and count them toward your previous class if it was not full. Now, one year later, the rule has supposedly changed but in order to find out about it, you have to research???? That makes absolutely zero sense at all. Wouldn't there be some press release? Some communictaion with coaches? Media attention?

I am no expert on the NCAA, but any institution that makes a rule change of this magnitude and doesn't tell any of the major stakeholders about it, and make the change public knowledge has some issues. I have to say, that the guy (umhero I think) who did the research of the rule book and found no change is the guy I am going to believe on this, not someone who says "I did some research and found a rule change no one else knows about".


November 27th, 2009 at 10:11 AM ^

Wow Magnus, did you swallow the wishbone or choke on a pin feather? I agree with the general sentiment here (not a good idea) but you could have been a little more civil.


November 27th, 2009 at 10:22 AM ^ not telling Ricardo Miller that his scholarship offer is being pulled after moving his family a thousand miles. What's more civil - telling some random poster that this is a dumb idea, or the idea of telling a relocated high school kid that his scholarship offer is off the table?


November 27th, 2009 at 10:12 AM ^

Therefore he might be willing to take one for the team since he already lives here and can work out with them over the summer. And it's not "If a scholarship becomes available." They ARE available, we're below the 85 limit.

All that being said, my note was NOT about delaying Miller. That was just about trying to think outside the box, which is why I mentioned him last. It's about finding a way to get more than 25 scholarship players in this year, so we can get up to the 85 limit sooner.

What's your proposal?

steve sharik

November 27th, 2009 at 10:22 AM ^

Guys love Michigan, but they really love getting a full-ride to play major college ball. Simply put, no scholly = not here. You do realize there were other schools on these guys' lists, right?


November 27th, 2009 at 10:38 AM ^

I concur, this is not the way to treat a recruit esp. someone like Ricardo who has been a positive PR machine.

But, is this response really necessary?

"Jesus H. Christ. I can't believe there are people out there who actually think like this."

As you've discovered, there are people out there that think this way (and, most likely, have additional 'dumb' thoughts). But, why get so worked up? Honestly, if your response would suddenly impart some wisdom onto said 'dumb' thinkers, I'd be right behind you screaming; "Yeah! What Magnus said, you dumbfuck!" but it doesn't work that way. It just makes me cringe some times. I like being on this board and reading various ideas/thoughts (some pretty good, some not-so-good). But, there are times that I wish I hadn't read thru the responses due to the vitriol.

But, I guess if I ask you to "tone it down" you aren't "Magnus" (and that's not a slam) anymore and have become untrue to yourself (and this board, for that matter). I guess I'll just have to continue to wince while reading (and not just because of what you type - some of your stuff is very insightful and helpful [to me]).


November 27th, 2009 at 10:50 AM ^

telling them 'we've got a scholarship for you and give you our word it'll be there for you in August,' isn't. Just want to get down with what's acceptable around here. And no one has yet suggested a better way of getting more than 25 in accept to hope the NCAA hasn't changed the rule about assigning early enrollees to previous years. I would agree that assigning to previous years would be preferrable, if allowed, but it may not be.

So let me phrase what I'm proposing this way, lets say Grimes, Murphy and Furman take or have taken the last three spots, and Tony Jefferson and Big Tex want to commit too. What do you propose?


November 27th, 2009 at 10:57 AM ^

You tell Tony Jefferson and Jatashun Beachum that they missed the boat. Or you tell them that the class is filled up and if they want to come to Michigan, they have to come as preferred walk-ons.

Grimes and Murphy could very likely be a part of this situation. Michigan is their clear leader, but they want to wait until signing day to announce. If Michigan gets to 23 commits and can only take 25 (or if they get to 26 and can only take 28), then Rodriguez will call them up and say, "If you don't commit before someone else does, you two might be left out in the cold. If you want to come to Michigan, you need to tell me ASAP or you'll lose your spots."


November 27th, 2009 at 1:06 PM ^

Magnus -

Cullen was a silent commit since last May.

It's not a stretch to speculate that Grimes and Murphy are silent commits as well, and they (as well as the coaches) want to make a splash on Signing Day by publicly attracting attention to their commitments.

In that case, we're down to one spot, and it'll be interesting to see who gets the last scholly (especially if no one de-commits).

Maize and Blue…

November 27th, 2009 at 11:09 AM ^

as long as the class is down to 25 by fall enrollment. This leaves wiggle room in case someone doesn't qualify or if someone decommmits. In other words, you worry about it after the fact and say come on down gentlemen we'd be glad to have you.
Best case scenario, as I have heard you can still back them into last year's class which had only 21 meaning we could take up to 29 if four are EEs. This would involve not offering some players fifth years unless there is attrition. If you can't then we will be short on scholarship numbers for a while, but will be able to continue signing full classes.
Ricardo Miller has been the greatest example of what a true blue commit should be. He has done his best PR to get others to join the class and as far as I'm concerned is a prime example of what it means to be a Michigan man.


November 27th, 2009 at 11:15 AM ^

I guess I'm more comfortable with this response:

"The real message is this: the idea is stupid."

But that's just me.

"Fancying it up with modifying statements and such dances around the issue, and if the OP realizes that this kind of thinking is unequivocally dumb, then perhaps he will stop thinking it or at least stop typing it in a public forum."

OK, I can see the "let's be direct" position. But, the OP doesn't realize that this is unequivocally dumb. He/she threw the idea out to see if it would "stick". It didn't. But, to keep someone from typing an idea in a public forum, even tho they don't think it's 'dumb', smacks of elitism (at best). Sometimes, proposing an idea that's roundly criticized is a way of learning.

We're getting way off topic here. I see your position and I hope you see mine. Thanks for 'listening'.


November 27th, 2009 at 11:47 AM ^

First - There is no evidence of a rule change!! I have scoured the web and I have thoroughly read the NCAA rules for 2009-2010. There is a proposed rule change which will be voted on in January that would subject all schools to a 28 schollie cap for oversigning. It is intended to prevent an Alabama situation where they sign 30 and run off 5 from the current roster. It doesn't prevent applying early enrollees to the previous class. BYU already has 26 players verballed and several others have 25 and are still recruiting. Michigan boards are the only web sources worried about this phantom rule.

Second - The only way they could become preferred walkons is if they paid their own way into school since we have already been recruiting them. The NCAA distinguishes between recruited players and invited players. "Recruited players" are players who were invited for official visits, frequently called, and visited multiple times by coaches (I assume all of the players mentioned would qualify). If a recruited player receives any institutional money of any kind including academic scholarships, or grants they will still be counted against the scholarship numbers if they ever suit up in a game. If they suit up within the first two years they will count back to the year they were recruited; if they suit up after two years then they count in the year they suit up. "Invited players" are preferred walkons, who weren't formally recruited but a coach called or visited and let them know that they were encouraged to come out for the team. These players are admitted just like any student and finance their tuition anyway they can. They don't count against scholarship numbers even if they have institutional money.

Blue in Yarmouth

November 27th, 2009 at 12:16 PM ^

This is the guy I chose to believe on the subject because he actually did research the rule and qouted his findings from the rule book in his post. No one else has shown me any evidence to make me believe that such a rule change has taken place. Therefore, we should be able to get a few more players assuming we get some early enrolees.


November 27th, 2009 at 7:53 PM ^

rules. I kind of wonder how Eso Akunne was able to get a basketball scholarship in his first year as a walk-on. I know the bball coaches saw him numerous times, but maybe they never had hosted him on an official, and maybe the understanding always was that he was going to be a walk-on.


November 27th, 2009 at 12:20 PM ^

The overall preferred walk on idea brought up by the poster is completely untenable. It would absolutely destroy any of the goodwill that Michigan has to achieve with potential recruits (imagine someone telling you that an agreement was in place for your grant-in-aid and then reneging on it). So there's that.

I have yet to find any evidence of the rule change to a firm capped 25 on the interwebs similar to umhero above. Can someone please contact the NCAA compliance people or Bruce Madej for comment here? I'm fairly certain they are less likely to have a response for the .ca emails...

Happy Thanksgiving (American version)


November 27th, 2009 at 7:05 PM ^

So I think the coaches need to identify recruits--Vinopal? Murphy and/or Grimes? Mehrer? Maybe even R. Miller, since he's here already and as loyal blue as one can be-- who are willing to wait until fall to get their scholarship, and promise them it'll be there waiting for them.

How exactly is this different from what we're doing right now? Most of our 2010 signees won't enroll until the fall.