What is going to happen with the late signers. If signing after the official day becomes a trend, how many coaches might push an athlete to grey shirt to get a highly touted late signer. This could get worse
SEC associate commissioner Greg Sankey says a group of conference athletic directors will study the issue of oversigning and present possible solutions at the SEC’s spring meetings in Destin (which actually take place in early June this year).
The SEC has caught a lot of heat over the issue of oversigning in recent weeks. Most leagues allow it, but being the home to five national champs in a row — and the numeric leaders on the oversigning front — the chickens are coming home to roost in the SEC’s coops. Florida president Bernie Machen (photo at left) isn’t happy about that fact, either.
“I don’t think the rule we passed is going to solve the problem,” Machen told USA Today. He was referring to the “no more than 28 signees” rule that the league put in place last year. The rule has since been copied by the NCAA. But schools are still able to get around that 28-man decree.
“There are still universities that will oversign and it’s going to end up with a student-athlete being left out. I think we either have to get the universities to be more serious about it, or the league and the NCAA are going to have to pass more stringent punishments for those who do oversign.”
Machen laid the blame for the continuing problem at the feet of his fellow SEC presidents. “Every president sat at the table when we had that discussion (about the 28-man rule). For some reason, some of them are not stepping up and stopping it. Imagine what would happen if in the general student body admission process, the same thing happened. If you admit a student in early February then you tell them in early July that we’re not going to have a spot for you. The public wouldn’t stand for it, and I don’t believe, if we put enough sunshine on this, the public will allow this to happen, in intercollegiate athletics.”
Get ready to see the SEC stamp out oversigning completely before next February. Machen, commissioner Mike Slive and most other league presidents can’t like the fact that their league has become a punching bag over this issue. Especially — as we pointed out today — when the league doesn’t need to oversign to win.
The guess around here at MrSEC Headquarters is this: You’re about to see your last 30-man signing classes in the Southeastern Conference.
And Big Ten fans will have to find something else to complain about as the SEC goes right on winning.