Posted on: May 11, 2011 2:45 pm

NCAA: Rivals subscriptions still impermissible

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Ah the NCAA, always full of surprises. A little over a month after the association declared Rivals a recruiting service based on a new interpretation of a bylaw, they've followed it up with a slight clarification Wednesday morning. The waiver the organization issued is aimed mostly at non-revenue sports and exempts all sports but football and men's and women's basketball from the new rule. As a result, several scouting services used in sports such as volleyball that were in peril, are now allowed.

As a result, Rivals subscriptions for schools and athletic department staff are still considered an impermissible recruiting service.

Posted on: March 31, 2011 5:07 pm

Podcast: Ohio St., Fiesta Bowl, Recruiting & more

We react to recent news regarding Ohio State, the Fiesta Bowl, Auburn and Patrick Peterson. Plus, Recruiting writer Bryan Fischer joins us to discuss the top QBs and RBs of the class of 2012.

Posted on: March 6, 2011 10:36 am

3/6 Recruiting Roundup

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Heading out to the Los Angeles Under Armour camp later today to see some of the top talent in Southern California. Stay tuned for tons of stuff coming on the blog.

- Excellent look at the changes going on in 7-on-7 and high school recruiting by Pete Thamel of the New York Times.

- One of the top quarterbacks in the Tampa Bay area has returned to his team after disciplinary issues.

- Another Bay area quarterback is trying to make a name for himself by competing on the camp and combine circuit.

- A player with a familiar last name has signed a letter of intent with Utah, 6-foot-5, 350 pound Benji Kemoeatu.

- Auburn's Junior Day is today and they have a long and impressive visitor's list.

Posted on: March 4, 2011 4:28 pm
Edited on: March 4, 2011 4:34 pm

NCAA taking a closer look at oversigning

Posted by Bryan Fischer

The hot button issue of oversigning is no longer just being examined by the media, the NCAA is taking a closer look into the issue as well.

The Division I Football Issues Committee has agreed to monitor a recent rule limiting schools to signing 28 recruits to a National Letter of Intent (NLI). Coaches have only 25 scholarships per year to give out but may sign up to 28 in case several recruits do not qualify academically.

The hot button issue of oversigning becomes especially newsworthy when schools have to tell recruits that they are no longer welcome because there is not a scholarship available. South Carolina, for example, signed 31 players to a letter of intent in 2011. Coaches usually try to keep players committed to the school but will re-route them to a prep school for a year or grayshirt them by having them enroll in the spring.

According to the NCAA release, the administrator of the NLI, Susan Peal, says the NLI's governing body does not support the grayshirting policy some schools use. If a player is persuaded by a coach to grayshirt and does not wish to so, their letter of intent can be considered void and they may sign when another school.

The new rule on oversigning,, and the rise in ways around it are forcing the NCAA to take a serious look at the practices schools use when signing football players.

“This rule has only been in effect for one year, and we want to take some time to see if that’s the perfect number," NCAA Division I Football Committee Chair Nick Carparelli said. “Certainly, the committee will continue to monitor it, and we can re-evaluate to see if there is a more appropriate number if necessary.”

The NCAA is not the only group of people taking action to combat oversigning as several high school coaches are becoming proactive in trying to stop the practice by outright banning colleges from recruiting their kids if they oversign. South Lake High School (Groveland, Fla.) head coach Walter Banks banned South Carolina after one of his players, Jordan Montgomery, was told he could not enroll because of the numbers crunch.

“I cannot look a kid and their parent in the face and say you can trust what a University of South Carolina coach says,” Banks told The State newspaper.

The NCAA also issued a staff interpretation on a rule which clarified that schools may not give a prospect a scholarship indirectly, such as through a coach or a friend. Players cannot receive any written scholarship offer prior to August 1st of their senior year but often receiver verbal offers from coaches.

Posted on: March 2, 2011 12:37 pm

Kouandijo's view of Iowa changed with rhabdo case

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Last month on National Signing Day, Cyrus Kouandijo became a bit of a household name in the college football world. The offensive lineman out of Maryland high school football powerhouse Dematha originally committed to Auburn on signing day. He then quickly changed his mind, and over the next week there was plenty of speculation as to why Kouandijo had changed his mind, and where he'd end up.

Eventually Cyrus would choose Alabama, where his older brother Arie Kouandijo had spent the 2010 season as a redshirt lineman. Just another chapter in the Alabama-Auburn rivalry. Of course, there was a third school that had been in the running for Kouandijo's services, and that school was Iowa. In fact, in a recent interview with The Sporting News, Kouandijo says that Iowa was the front-runner pretty early, but it turns out that the outbreak of rhabdomyolysis amongst 13 iowa football players after an offseason workout swayed his decision.

"At first I really, really, really wanted to go to Iowa," Kouandijo answered when asked where he was leaning in the fall. "I even told my best friend that I was going to Iowa. But when everything went down with them with the workouts and all, that was different. I had a bad vibe when I went there. Alabama may be far from home, but Iowa—living-style wise—it’s just out there and just not me. I wouldn’t have been able to thrive in that environment. I love their coaches and I love their team, but it was really just out for me."

I must admit that I do find it odd that Kouandijo's view of Iowa City itself changed. After all, the school was located in the same place before so many football players had to be hospitalized. So it seems that Kouandijo began looking at the school through a different lense following the rhabdomyoysis outbreak. After all, it's not like Tuscaloosa or Auburn are in the middle of giant metropolitan areas themselves.
Posted on: February 16, 2011 2:13 pm

Cal coach: recruiting begins with Internet sites

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Few elements in the world of modern-day college football are as controversial as the Internet's now-ubiquitous recruiting services and recruiting rankings. Some fans consider them an excellent gauge of a team's future talent; some consider their evaluations worthless. Some consider them a distracting blight that feeds the egos of young athletes and builds (or lowers) expectations for a program based on nothing more than wild guesses; some see them as a fun, engaging, necessary diversion that helps pass the offseason grind and makes fans more informed to boot.

But one of the biggest questions surrounding recruiting rankings (like those by our Maxpreps colleagues and Tom Lemming ) has been: do they matter to the people in college football who, you know, matter? Though it's only one very small response as part of a much larger Q&A, an answer given by Cal linebackers coach and recruiting coordinator Kenwick Thompson at a recruiting-centric Bear fan gathering (as recorded by California Golden Blogs ) suggests that, yes, on some level they do.

According to Thompson , the recruiting process at Cal begins with the Bear coaches examining "data" from Rivals and Scout as well as a third (unnamed) recruiting service. It's that data which helps Thompson and the rest of the staff create a "dossier" of potential recruits which the Bears may or not pursue according to the team's needs.

Thompson's not the first coach to admit that he's aware of (or even using) the recruiting services. Larry Coker's Miami staff reportedly bypassed much of their own evaluative process in favor of simply using Rivals rankings. Auburn recruting coordinator Curtis Luper once said of the rankings that "if they're keeping the score, you want to win, right?" Penn State assistant Jay Paterno wrote himself only last week that some coaches have been so fixated on recruiting rankings that they've become willing to oversign to make sure they stay near the top of them.

This is not to say that Thompson's Bears or any staff are letting the recruiting services do their work for them. From the rest of Thompson's Q&A, it seems clear he and Jeff Tedford's staff are using the "data" collected there only as a starting point, with plenty of evaluative legwork still to do afterwards. But it also seems clear that the recruiting sites are very much on the minds of FBS coaches, and that yes, the information they provide --unless the Bears are the only ones, which seems highly unlikely -- is being put to some kind of use by programs at or near even the top of the college food chain.

Love them or hate them, what you can't say about the recruiting services is that they aren't having an impact on the landscape of college football.

Posted on: February 8, 2011 10:52 am

Doyel: Parents should be a solution in recruiting

Posted by Bryan Fischer

The football signing period had one or two stories of parents interfering with their sons’ recruitment this year. CBSSports.com national columnist Gregg Doyel takes a look at the world of recruiting and says the parents should be the solution, not the problem in recruiting.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com