Are SEC coaches ready to endorse Derek Dooley with positives of over-signing?
Can I get a second? Are any SEC coaches ready to publicy endorse Derek Dooley's outspoken belief that over-signing is good for student-athletes? We asked a few and ... (AP)
Last month, Derek Dooley blasted the SEC’s new “roster management” rules to address over-signing.
Summary: The attorney-turned-football coach at Tennessee made a heck of an argument that you can read here. Dooley said “over-signing is good for the student-athlete” and claimed “98 percent of the time” it benefitted recruits. He also said the SEC’s head coaches (himself included) “failed” to communicate the positives of over-signing to the media and general public.
Was the leader of the Big Orange Nation correct?
We thought Dooley made some points worth asking around about. After all, if you remember, the SEC coaches voted 12-0 against the new rules last spring before they were bulldozed by their bosses, the school presidents.
Who wanted to sign a petition in favor of over-signing? We interviewed a few of his SEC contemporaries, explained DD’s talking points, and asked if they were ready to give him a public endorsement or sign a petition that we’d start for him:
- UGA’s Mark Richt: “I don’t want to get into that discussion [about what Dooley said]. It really is a moot point. It doesn’t matter. We know what the rules are now, so let’s go by them and get after it.”
- Kentucky’s Joker Phillips: “I know of some positives with over-signing. But you had a couple of negative things that happened. And those negative things happened to 18-year-olds. It didn’t happen to us coaches. The thing the school presidents got upset about were happening to 18-year-old kids. It was not their fault, you know? When college coaches negatively affect the lives a couple of 18-year-olds … that’s why it was blown up because of who it was. It was happening to kids, therefore it became a big deal. I agree [with Dooley] and I really liked the old rules. But I’ve been in the Big Ten, too, where you could only sign the number that you had … not 25 in a year, but the number of scholarships you had available. We made that work there, and we’ll make the new SEC rules work here. The negatives come when you affect the lives of an 18-year-old. It gets blown up by everybody. And it should.”
- Texas A&M’s Kevin Sumlin: “I would say this [in response to Dooley]: The over-signing issue gets back to so many things. It’s about how you handle it as a coach. Anything is dangerous if you don’t handle it the right way. If everything is handled upfront the right way … and it’s explained to a young man where he is in the pecking order and he has not qualified … then I agree some [with Dooley] … It’s the communication that comes along with over-signing or the lack of communication that can get you in trouble. It was never a problem for us at Houston and it won’t be a problem for us here … because all those issues will be communicated upfront with a player, his parents, and his coaches.”
- Alabama’s Nick Saban: Saban hasn’t responded to the AJC’s interview requests but Dooley vouched for his mentor by saying “I know Nick Saban feels the same way I feel.” So we’ll take his word for it.
Now it’s YOUR turn. Are you ready to sign the Dooley petition? Why or why not? Please post your comments below.
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