May 22, 2011

Roundtable: Is oversigning a big problem?

At the College Football Roundtable each week, we ask each member of the college football coverage staff for his opinion about a topic in the sport. This weekend, we have two roundtables - one Saturday and one today.

TODAY'S QUESTION: SEC commissioner Mike Slive told the Columbus (Ga.) Ledger-Enquirer last week that he will propose NCAA "legislation" that would deal with oversigning (the NCAA limit is 25 recruits per year, but numerous schools, including many in the SEC, exceed the limit). Your thoughts?

Olin Buchanan's answer:
Frankly, oversigning seems to be the easiest issue there is to deal with: Simply eliminate loopholes that allow a player to sign with one class but "count back" toward another. Set a hard limit at 25 signees per year. If a program signs a player who doesn't qualify academically, that's a tough break; your class will only include 24 players then. That will put a greater emphasis on academics. And isn't that what college is supposed to be about?

Tom Dienhart's answer:
I think oversigning is flat-out wrong. Why? The horrible practice is all about coaches gathering as much talent as possible and running off players deemed not good enough - even though they were promised a scholarship. It's also a huge advantage for schools to bring in extra players. If schools in one league stick to the 25-man limit on National Signing Day over a four-year period and schools in another league ink 28 each Signing Day for four years, that's 12 extra players for a school to have on campus to evaluate and use to battle against unexpected attrition.

Mike Huguenin's answer:
Frankly, I don't see oversigning as the scourge on college football that many say it is. That said, if Slive wants it done away with, any "legislation" would be simple: The NCAA's yearly limit is 25, so just enforce that limit. One reason for oversigning is to protect against recruits who don't meet academic requirements. You want to know the easiest way to protect against that happening? Don't sign "student"-athletes who have severe academic issues.

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