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Friday, January 21, 2011

Hereby Georgia, the under-signed?

File this under just-in-case-you-were-wondering.

The issue of teams over-signing has gotten a good deal of attention lately: Teams are limited to 85 total scholarships, and 25 new scholarship players. But a lot of teams get around that by signing as many players as they want, and then getting under each limit through a variety of ways that many see as unseemly.

Current players sometimes get a push out the door to get the program under the 85 number. And some recruits don’t qualify, or are gray-shirted, to get around the 25 number. (Basically, a team can sign as many players as it wants. The NCAA limit is on actual enrollment.)

Not that this is a new practice: Bear Bryant used to sign every player he could, saying that he’d prefer a key guy was sitting on his bench than starting for the other team. Eventually the NCAA cracked down, limiting scholarship allotments until it arrived at the 85 number in the 1990s.

So what is Georgia’s scholarship breakdown? Here you go:

- After the additions of Jay Rome and Malcolm Mitchell, Georgia has 21 commitments. Its remaining top targets are RB Isaiah Crowell, DE-LB Ray Drew and NT John Jenkins.

If all three signed, that would leave room for at least one more recruit, and more if someone doesn’t qualify. (Christian LeMay and Chris Conley, who enrolled early, could also count towards last year’s number, but I’m not sure. Either way, it doesn’t look like it matters.)

- As for current scholarship players, Georgia now has 62 by my count, after the departures of A.J. Green and Justin Houston to the NFL, Tanner Strickland to early graduation, and Marcus Dowtin and Nick Williams to transfer. Of course scholarships are renewable on a year-to-year-basis, but for the sake of clarity, let’s say all players currently on scholarship remain so next season.

- That adds up to 83, and then 87 if Georgia goes all the way up to the freshman limit.

So that would be two over the scholarship limit – again, only if the Bulldogs enroll the limit of 25 freshman. Plus, it’s hard not to foresee a recruit or two not qualifying, or another player or two leaving for some reason.

I should point out that the Bulldogs had a few juniors “become seniors”, such as Charles White and Ben Harden. None of them ever said they were pushed out, but it’s very common for every program to have little-used players leave early.

Still, as the issue of over-signing gets more attention, clearly Georgia is not an egregious offender. If at all.


Regular Guy said...

I think a coach should realistically shoot for a number of 87 or 88 players every year with the addition of his recruiting class, because it's almost impossible to not lose at least 2-3 players to natural attrition like not qualifying, transfers, etc. If a coach is targeting 87 or 88 players, I don't consider that oversigning, I consider that to be a wise (and ethical) use of resources. But when you're targeting like 95 players like some schools, that's not very ethical to me. There's no way you're going to reach 85 by natural attrition, and when you get into the shenanigans some schools pull, it's not legit.

I'd like to see a hard cap of 88 players ON signing day, then of course you'd have to be down to 85 by the time the kids all enroll. But take however many scholarships you have available on signing day, subtract that from 88, and that's how many LOI's you would be allowed to accept.

PTC DAWG said...

Leave oversigning to the classless win at all cost programs.

I want to win the right way.

Regular Guy said...

Sorry, just realized I worded the last sentence of my post above incorrectly. Meant to say take the number of players you currently have on scholarship (on signing day), subtract that from 88, and that's how many LOI's you can accept.

Taylor said...

Couple things:

There are a few walk-ons who are on one-year scholarships that are renewed year-to-year based on how many we have to offer and level of contribution aka if they are earned.

Also, Conley and Lemay will count towards last years class, not this years. Due to both players being enrolled in the same academic year as the class of 2010, they are part of that class's number. So in the end, we have 19 guys committed leaving room for 6 more, though we'll probably only take 5(drew jenkins crowell and maybe a surprise or two).

One more thing: at the point Chris Mayes, DT out of Griffin, is set to go GMC, though there's a possibility he could get his grades in order this final semester. Keep in mind, too, that we picked up Dexter Staley and are going to sign and place him as well.

Anonymous said...

I'm proud that we don't oversign, but I worry that it puts us at a competitive disadvantage. Seth, any idea if McG will consider proposing an SEC rule to limit the practice (say, to Regular Guy's common-sense limit)? I doubt it would ever pass as long as guys like Saban and Nutt are signing 35 guys a year, but I'd at least like to see it offered up as a statement.

Anonymous said...

dexter staley?

Anonymous said...

UGA should oversign anyway because half of them end up in jail . We can weed out the Thugs so to speak with this practice.

Anonymous said...

PTC Dawg is a kool aid drinker... Richts Boys Home of the South aint getting it done either if you havent noticed.

Anonymous said...

Anon 8:25- you got enough sour grapes to fill a wine barrel. Closet Bama fan?

I'm getting sick of this conference said...

Mike Slive is too much of a chicken sh*t to do anything about it. He's there to ride the gravy train and ride it hard.