Tuesday, May 31, 2011

One roster fits all

This EXPAT doesn't care if Steve Spurrier can't find enough good football players who can pass USC entrance requirements. This EXPAT doesn't care that Nick Saban is suddenly worried about the longterm future of the SEC.

All college football teams vying for national championships should play by the same rules when it comes to the size of their rosters.

All schools are limited to having 85 scholarshipped players. Yet, the SEC, as do several other bigtime conferences, allows oversigning, which means its top conference schools sign dozens more football players to scholarships over a five-year recruiting window than, say, the Big 10, which does not. The SEC has won five national championships in a row. This is not a coincidence.

Finally, after years of scrutiny, the SEC is again looking at the practice. Why the NCAA hasn't already settled this controversy is more proof of the freefall of credibility from which collegiate sport's governing body now suffers.

What the SEC intends to do is anybody's guess. Most of the teams oversign. Florida, Georgia and Vanderbilt do not. This is a decision that should be made by the university presidents. Maybe it will. Then again, the lines between academic and athletic concerns have been rubbed out for quite some time.

Besides, it will be interesting to see how far the schools will curb back the football programs, when a new TV contract is in the offing that will make them all even richer than they already are.



Brandon said...

You can't look at numbers just in one year. There are times when the NCAA permits more if [a] happens the year before, or [b] happens this season. I know in South Carolina's case, they signed more this year than any other SEC team. They also dumped some scholarships from previous seasons and some recruits graduated hs early and entered college early--which counts for the previous years--to help balance it out.

The NCAA definitely monitors this. If it seems like someone is getting away with something, they aren't. Otherwise the NCAA intervenes.

J said...

Brandon - your statement "They also dumped some scholarships from previous seasons" is at the heart of the issue. Most SEC schools do this, and it's the way they go about it that is unseemly. Alabama was recently outed on ESPN for basically making up injuries for players that they needed to get off scholarship to make room for a better player. There's no way 'Bama is the only one doing this. I'm sure Auburn and several others do so as well. And given the NCAA's laughable judgment that it was OK for THE Ohio State to play their suspended-for-this-season players in the Sugar Bowl, it is no stretch at all to imagine over-signing and forcing out of students on scholarship at SEC schools to be completely off their radar.