Blog Entry

SEC changes tune, says no more oversigning

Posted on: June 3, 2011 6:22 pm
Edited on: June 4, 2011 11:37 am
Posted by Bryan Fischer

Oversigning. Roster Management. Initial counters. Transfers. Those were some of the buzz words as the SEC wrapped up their annual spring meetings this week in Destin, Florida ( colleague Brett McMurphy has been covering the meetings on his blog). Oversigning, a topic that has been debated at length in the media coming into the meetings, was expected to be one of the things the league actually took action on and that they did Friday afternoon.

The SEC presidents voted to approve several proposals that will be adopted league-wide immediately, with several expected to be forwarded for possible adoption by the NCAA. The most noteworthy of the proposals was reducing the annual cap on signees from 28 to 25. Several schools, such as Florida and Georgia, had already been abiding by the lower limit.

Current NCAA rules permit schools to take 25 "initial counters" per year (high school players who enroll at a school for the first time are considered an initial counter) but schools can sign up to 28 players to a letter of intent to take into account players who do not qualify academically.

Several SEC coaches developed a reputation of being notorious oversigners. Ole Miss head coach Houston Nutt signed 38 players in 2009 (though fewer than 25 actually enrolled in school), prompting the currrent limit of 28 signees that commonly became known as 'The Houston Nutt Rule.' All 12 of the league's coaches were also at the meetings this week and voted to keep the limit at 28 but were overturned by the presidents, who voted 12-0 in favor of the new rule.

"No one wants to win more than I do," commissioner Mike Slive told reporters. "But you don't want to win at the expense of young people. You want to win for them." 

The 25 signee limit is just one of several that will change the way the SEC (and possibly others in the future) recruits. Other new rules were adopted to address the number of signees, how players are counted when they enroll and having the league office oversee all medical scholarship exemptions. The conference also eliminated an exception allowing graduate students to transfer and not have to sit out a year. This rule will not start until October, allowing transfers considering SEC schools to still enroll without a penalty, such as former N.C. State quarterback Russell Wilson.

"You should stay at our institutions long enough to have the type of academic experience that you expect student-athletes to have," Slive said. "You shouldn't solely transfer in for an athletic experience."

All of the talk and actual change that came about in Destin this week is a remarkable turnaround for the conference. Last year the conference pushed through legislation related to how to count incoming players that essentially created a loophole to the 28 man limit and other changes related to counting financial aid. It was just two years ago that the SEC submitted the 28 signees limit to the NCAA membership, which was subsequently accepted and made a national rule.

Slive and the presidents didn't think about things or slowly phase in legislation, they made a hardline stance this week and said no more oversigning.

What does this mean going forward? At the moment, these proposals are limited to the SEC so Texas A&M or Washington can still sign 28 players in the upcoming class of 2012. Big Ten schools have already adopted even stricter signing rules and have been leading the outrage over oversigning for several years.

The deadline to submit NCAA legislation is in a few weeks so we'll know exactly what is on the horizon nationally but there's at least one or two SEC coaches going back to their recruiting board and making a few adjustments. Many of the league's coaches sign a player they know cannot qualify in hopes of placing him in a junior college and then getting him eligible. Starting this year, the so-called 'sign and place' kids will be no more.

Bottom line is you'll see 25 or fewer players actually sign a letter of intent with SEC schools come February. The days of kids getting squeezed out of a scholarship because of a coach oversigning appear to be over and no matter what you think of the oversigning debate, that's a good thing.


Since: Sep 22, 2006
Posted on: June 6, 2011 8:50 pm

SEC changes tune, says no more oversigning

Don't worry, Buckeye.....Ohio State is about to set some NCAA infraction records.  Just wait.

Since: Nov 25, 2010
Posted on: June 6, 2011 5:08 pm

SEC changes tune, says no more oversigning

In other news, the SEC voted to have athletes attend at least one class per semester. The voting was very close on this one.

Since: Aug 31, 2006
Posted on: June 6, 2011 4:14 pm

SEC changes tune, says no more oversigning

verified source ?? yer kidding rite?? SEC schools have had more 'major infractions' than anyone ; this from the NCAA web site  btw, "of  47 schools since 1991 with major infractions , only EIGHT are listed more than once--ALABAMA (3X) , MISS ST (2X) , some PAC TEN and BIG 12 schools along with FSU and TEX TECH.  notice NO  BIG TEN schools .  and if you think Auburn is innocent you live under a rock.  Yep our players sold some jerseys etc ; a far cry from 100k+ for the hesiman trophy winner to play or the mansion mr USC lived in , and Tress shoulda said something , he had to know it would surface   sooner or later. WHY give up @ 3.5 mil per yr , I dont know perhaps we will never know the real reason.  At least now  the SEC can no longer stockpile talent as in the past and maybe , just maybe some OTHER conference can win a national title ;-)

Since: Sep 19, 2006
Posted on: June 6, 2011 1:45 pm

SEC changes tune, says no more oversigning

"The days of kids getting squeezed out of a scholarship because of a coach oversigning appear to be over and no matter what you think of the oversigning debate, that's a good thing."

If anything, more kids now will get squeezed out of a scholarship.  If a school can only sign 25 players and 1 or 2 do not qualify academically, then where do the bigger schools pick up the slack?  Any of the second-tier players will have signed with a smaller school at this point (mid-August).  This trickles down to the fact that more 3rd tier players will not have scholarships available to them at Div. I schools -- and these are the guys that will be pushed out.  I promise you these 3rd tier guys will not get a scholarship from the bigger schools.

Schools oversign because many kids don't make it if they do not make it, then there will be open scholarships every year.

One more point about this...the kids know up front what scholarships are available to them and what aren't.  They are told up front that "if this kid signs with us" or "if this kid makes it academically in school" then they can choose to go somewhere else or greyshirt.

Since: Sep 22, 2006
Posted on: June 6, 2011 11:14 am

SEC changes tune, says no more oversigning

I'm sure all that raw data means something to you.  The problem is: it is undecipherable to the rest of us.  It would be nice if you had a verified source. 

Since: Oct 31, 2007
Posted on: June 6, 2011 10:23 am

SEC changes tune, says no more oversigning

You don't know what you're talking about: 

Schools from the SEC have been placed on probation the most (27 times), and have spent the most seasons under probation (61 seasons).

Legend: Sea (# of seasons conference teams have spent on probation), Tms/Yr (# of teams per season on probation)

Conference    &
Sea    Sea/Yr  InstancesBig 12     &nb
sp;     &n
bsp;     &
nbsp;     23     1.53     8

Sun Belt     &
;   11  &n
bsp;  1.10  &nb
sp;  4
;     &nbs
p;   61     1.05     27
Big Eight (Defunct)      37     0.86    18
Southwest (Defunct)    33     0.77    18
Big Ten     &n
bsp;     &
    44     0.7
6     19
Pacific-12    &
;  39      0.75    18
;    41     0.7
1    23
Mountain West     &
8      0.67    3
Big East     &
;     9      0.45    4
Atlantic Coast     
; 21    &n
bsp; 0.36    11
Conference USA     &n
bsp;    3     &nbs
p; 0.20    2
Western Athletic    &nb
sp;     8     &nbs
p; 0.16    3
;     &nbs
p;    6     &nbs
p; 0.10    3

Since: Nov 22, 2006
Posted on: June 6, 2011 3:34 am

SEC changes tune, says no more oversigning

You call SEC cheaters, but in fact Ohio State is now being rocked with one of it's worst cheating scandles in history. The SEC is by far the best conference in the country and have been very diligent in making sure it's member schools follow the rules.

Since: Dec 13, 2009
Posted on: June 6, 2011 12:12 am

SEC changes tune, says no more oversigning

Kudos to the SEC for making the right decision.  While I'm sure taking scholarships back isn't an every day thing, limiting the possibility is certainly the right thing to do.  That practice could really damage a young adult.

Since: Jun 4, 2011
Posted on: June 5, 2011 9:37 pm

SEC changes tune, says no more oversigning

can we please just get over it and enjoy osme good old american football like most people?

Since: Jul 21, 2010
Posted on: June 5, 2011 7:41 pm

SEC changes tune, says no more oversigning

That statement from an OSU fan. How funny is that!

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