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Oversigning Still A Front Burner Issue

If you think all the hubbub about oversigning is going to go away, think again.  Last week The Wall Street Journal decided to cover the controversial topic.  Today, Mike Herndon of The Mobile Press-Register dives in.

All of this is set to come to a head for the Southeastern Conference at its league meetings in Destin, Florida this spring.  With folks like Florida president Bernie Machen saying the practice is “reprehensible” from a moral standpoint, you can bet that there will be a strong internal push for the SEC to outlaw oversigning… creating a hard 28-man cap on the league’s football recruiting hauls. 

The league’s coaches, however, will do their best to convince their bosses not to act too rashly.

“I really don’t know what everybody is so up in arms about,” Nick Saban said last month.  “This is something that people have done in college football for a long time and it’s not illegal.”

But not everyone does it.  In fact, no other league does it like the SEC does it.  The Big Ten has taken the lead on this issue and Ohio State’s Jim Tressel holds a view that’s quite different from Saban’s.

“We’re probably conservative in more ways than just play-calling.  We’ve ended up under 85 (players) because we don’t want to over-commit.  To me, the worst nightmare would be if you’ve got to tell someone, ‘We can’t fit you.’  You’re talking about a young kid’s life.”

And that’s the issue.  The Big Ten (and other leagues) hold the moral high ground when it comes to oversigning and the powers that be in the SEC aren’t likely to allow other leagues to hold any kind of high ground — moral or otherwise — over their own conference.  For that reason, we expect the league to nix the practice.

Still, you should expect plenty more debate over this one as we countdown to Destin.

 


2 comments
Jaws2
Jaws2

After this past season, the last thing I want to hear from Tressel is his thoughts on doing the right thing.

David
David

I suspect the SEC will eliminate the "sign and place" practice somehow. You can still advise kids on jucos and keep them in the loop without messing around with LOIs for kids who have no shot at qualifying.

The Big10 redshirts a TON of players, which means they have to keep their signing numbers down. The SEC has a lot more kids that see the field immediately, which does mean they move more kids through the program. So the Big 10 would love to see the SEC move towards their model, but it's not happening.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] held out as some sort of paragon of virtue), but I thought I’d pass it along anyway – here’s John Pennington’s rationale for why the SEC will ban oversigning in June: … The Big Ten (and other leagues) hold the [...]

  2. [...] was that argument John Pennington pushed yesterday about the Big Ten holding the moral high ground?  He may want to [...]

  3. [...] and unfair.”  So said the man who withholds all that internal information back in February.“I really don’t know what everybody is so up in arms about,” he also said in February.  “This is something that people have done in college football for [...]



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