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Spurrier, Nutt And Petrino Tell WSJ Oversigning Ain’t All Bad; Spurrier Validates Big Ten Fans’ Jeers

Add The Wall Street Journal — yes, The Wall Street Journal — to the long list of media outlets who are shining a light on the practice of oversigning.  In today’s report, they allow three SEC coaches (naturally) to defend the practice:

(Steve) Spurrier said oversigning is “helpful” because so many of the players in the state come from underprivileged backgrounds and may not qualify academically.  He said the Big Ten, which has curbed oversigning for decades, is making a mistake by doing so.  “I think that really hurts them a lot,” Spurrier said.  “They end up giving scholarships to a lot of walk-ons.”

Arkansas coach Bobby Petrino, who signed 31 recruits in 2009 and is a few players over the 85-player NCAA limit at the moment, said oversigning is fine if coaches are forthright about it.  “I don’t see it as a bad thing unless you’re being dishonest or waiting until the last minute, which eliminates their visit opportunities with other schools,” he said.

Houston Nutt, Mississippi’s coach, signed 31 players in 2008, 37 in 2009, 25 last year and 28 last month.  He said oversigning is sometimes “necessary,” mainly to plug holes.  This year, he said, two cornerbacks — Jermaine Whitehead and Floyd Raven — defected at the last minute.  “Now I’m sitting here without two corners.  You just can’t have this perfect world of, “We’re gonna sign 22 this year.”

Well, actually, yes you can.  No other leagues oversign players en masse like the SEC.  Amazingly in his above defense of the practice, Spurrier has basically given credence to what Big Ten fans have been yelling at SEC fans since this became a hot topic on the internet last year — “We could win titles too if we oversigned players.”  Congrats to Spurrier for validating the anti-SEC insults of fans of other conferences.

Now let’s face facts.  Anyone out there who is for oversigning is for it only because it aids his favorite football team over at Hometown U.  No rational, decent person can possibly like the idea of stringing two kids along for one roster spot… unless a win or two in the fall is the result.

If an SEC coach who’s paid millions of dollars a year cannot win within the limitations of a 28-man signing class — if he can’t fill all of his team’s needs with a 28-man class — then that coach should not be making millions of dollars a year to coach in the best conference in America.

Oversigning isn’t necessary in the Southeastern Conference.  When a third of the NFL’s draftees over the last 20 years come from the SEC’s nine-state footprint, there’s enough talent available without oversigning.  When one league has nine of the nation’s 20 highest-paid coaches and nine of the nation’s 21 largest athletic budgets, that league has enough advantages to continue winning big even without oversigning.

If SEC fans and coaches say that the practice is necessary, then they’re only feeding the nation’s perception that the SEC will do anything and everything to win games.  Mike Slive and most SEC presidents are aware of that fact.  Which is why we expect the SEC to bring the era of oversigning to a close at this year’s conference meetings in Destin. 



  1. [...] Some SEC coaches say oversigning isn’t that big of a deal. Others will disagree. (MrSEC) [...]

  2. [...] 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 [...]

  3. [...] far as to say that the Big Ten has actually made a mistake by trying harder to curb oversigning.  “I think that really hurts them a lot.  They end up giving scholarships to a lot of walk-ons….That’s just amazing.  And his handling of Lorenzo Mauldin also took a toll on [...]

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