Over-signing update: SEC coaches prefer to stick with current 28 rule

Destin, Fla. — Georgia football coach Mark Richt was obviously uncomfortable with the position he’s been placed in here at the SEC Spring Meetings. Fairly or unfairly, the perception is he has become the face of opposition for over-signing.

That’s not entirely accurate, he said, though he does favor any limits that prevent student-athletes from being wronged in the scholarship process.

“First of all, I think everybody should have a right to manage their own numbers,” Richt said before going into the football coaches meeting Tuesday. “I think every university should he able to do that. All I’ve said is if you sign 25 guys and there’s only room 20 and, after summer, you have to tell two or three of them they have to wait until January and they’re shocked, I don’t think that’s right. . . .

“That’s all I’ve ever said about it. I’ve never accused anybody of anything.”

Football coaches and athletic directors here are discussing a “roster management package” that could place further limitations on the number of football players signed in each class and address practices such as grayshirting. Just last year the league adopted the 28-25 rule, which limited to 28 the total number a school could sign while keeping the number that could enroll at 25.

Based on interviews of coaches before they went into their first meetings to debate the topic, the majority seem to believe that rule is just fine like it is.

“Obviously [over-signing] has been the big talk the last couple of weeks,” Tennessee coach Derek Dooley said. “Like any piece of legislation, I think we have to be careful not to get caught up in the frenzy and over-legislate. . . . I think the 28 rule eliminated excessive over-signing. There’s loopholes, so now let’s close those loopholes.”

Said Ole Miss coach Houston Nutt: “I think the 28 is just right. If you had a cap at 25, you better be right. That’d be very, very hard to do.”

Nutt is, of course, considered the poster child of over-signing. It was after he signed 37 players in 2009  that this issue began to receive national attention.

“I think that’s unfair,” he said of his “poster-child” perception. “I get a lot of credit for that. But if you do your research you’ll find that was the only time I did that. I didn’t have any problem with the 28.”

A recommendation will be sent to the presidents for vote on Friday.

Basketball debate (updated)

The other major issue on the front burner this week is what to do about SEC men’s basketball. There is strong consideration not only to change the seeding format for the SEC tournament. Commissioner Mike Slive said discussions of eliminating East-West divisions will continue but won’t be implemented this season since schedules are already set.

“That’s something we could do right away for next year if that’s the will of the group,” Slive said of re-seeding the tournament. “Obviously the basketball schedule is already set, but I would hope we have some dialogue throughout the fall. Our ADs meet in August and they meet in December so there’s some time to do it.”

There will also be future discussion of and expanding the conference schedule to 16-18 games.

Georgia coach Mark Fox believes change is imminent.

“I think we have to look very hard at going away from being in divisions,” he said. “Two years in a row our Western Division champion was left out of the NCAA tournament. I’m not saying we have to have change but I think it will happen.”

Florida coach Billy Donovan is a proponent of keeping divisions but then seeding the tournament based on RPI.

“That will encourage schools to play a competitive non-conference schedule, which is what the commissioner said he wants,” Donovan said.

Other stuff . . .

Speaking of over-signing, Richt said the Bulldogs were fully aware Spalding defensive tackle Chris Mayes would have to go to junior college. He does not expect any other casualties from the 2011 signing class. “They’re all in the fight,” he said of achieving freshman eligibility. . . .

Fox said he favors the baseball rule for college basketball. That is, players are permitted to turn pro out of high school but otherwise must remain in college three years.

“If they go pro out of high school, let them,” he said. “There’s not many that are really ready to do that. If not, I think three years is fair. I think there is momentum for that in college basketball. Unfortunately, I don’t think there’s much momentum for it on the NBA side.” . . .

Auburn coach Gene Chizik on defending the BCS championship: “January 10th is so far in the rear-view mirror for us it’s gone. We’re not returning a lot of guys that started on last year’s team. But the guys we have are excited and passionate about trying to do it again. Our coaches and players know what it looks like now.” . . .

Florida coach Will Muschamp on being one of numerous former Georgia players (along with Mike Bobo, Brian Bohannon, Kirby Smart, Travis Jones) now excelling as coaches. : “Unfortunately for Georgia fans we’re a lot better coaches than we were players. That reflected on Coach Goff’s record. But I think we all really enjoyed football, being around the game, the mental aspect of the game. All of us were overachievers,  the typical blue-collar guys that’s got to go out and work harder than everybody else to have any success on the field. I think most coaches that were players were that kind of guy. And most of our father’s were coaches. Again, you’re kind of brought up in the game.”

55 comments Add your comment

Dawg Tired

May 31st, 2011
4:52 pm

Houston Nutt’s defense: “I only did it once.” He’s obviously brilliant.

Dawg Tired

May 31st, 2011
4:54 pm

Enter your comments here


May 31st, 2011
4:57 pm

good article. I’m fine with over signing as long as the recruits know its a possibility. And I agree with the 28-25 rule.

Dawg Tired

May 31st, 2011
5:00 pm

Sorry for the blank submit. Why am I not surprised that Nick “I will not be the coach at the University of Alabama” Saban is close friends with Jim “the liar” Tressel?

Dawg Tired

May 31st, 2011
5:03 pm

Birds of a feather do flock together.

Sour Grapes

May 31st, 2011
5:19 pm

Again nothing but a few coaches whining because some coaches have figured a way to maximise their roster to its fullest potential. The coaches and universities that mostly are whining havent won a championship. Bwah Bwah Bwah…..


May 31st, 2011
5:22 pm

I doubt that much change will come out of the meetings because eight out of twelve SEC coaches are oversigners and if they’re willing to go on the record as such even though they lie about what it really is, that suggest that they have the blessing of their AD’s, and Mike Slive is just as motivated by money as the sleazy oversigners.

Oversigning is just the latest example of how sleazy College football is becoming.

GT Alum

May 31st, 2011
5:27 pm

Sour Grapes -

A member of the win at any price club. Remind me not to engage in any business dealings with you.


May 31st, 2011
5:36 pm

I don’t see what is so hard with making a rule that you have to designate up front which of your signees will or may be gray shirts before they sign. If a kid comes in knowing he is gray shirting, then I see no harm in that. (This is what Richt does) But if one comes in thinking he is “one of the 25″ and then gets gray shirted, that is not right, because he could have been part of someone else’s 25 and enrolled right away.

Sour Grapes

May 31st, 2011
5:39 pm

GT Alum- Dont worry I dont do any type of dealings with losers like you . Go pull for your local pee wee league where one might be available to not keep score and are supporters
of doing away with dodge ball on school playgrounds.


May 31st, 2011
5:40 pm

Kudos to Richt for not throwing athletes under the bus like Saban, Spurrier and others! What a disgrace!!


May 31st, 2011
5:45 pm

I agree with Nature boy there should be truth in that LOI on both sides if you sign as a part of a class you should be a part of the class and not asked to wait. An athlete should be able to take a coach at his word that he is on the team that year because that is his one shot at signing without sitting out.


May 31st, 2011
5:46 pm

Where do Brian Bohannon and Travis Jones coach?


May 31st, 2011
5:59 pm

Travis Jones is a Saints Assistant


May 31st, 2011
6:02 pm

CO. B.Dog Thanks

Dawg Tired

May 31st, 2011
6:08 pm

Do sour grapes make good wine? Are they good fro anything?

GT Alum – I suspect that Sour Grapes the blogger doesn’t “do business” with anyone. “Doing business,” as you no doubt know, requires one to have some sense.


May 31st, 2011
6:52 pm

You know Will can talk all he wants, he was raised in high school days, where his father coached and taught. Got a break, and UGA took care of him. I know deep down that he knows what being between the hedges means, but he will only meet us between the river in Jacksonville. Thank is why College football is great, and the Thrashers are leaving town. When folks wake up and realize that hey, this is southern football in this area.

[...] read full news Published: Wed, 01 Jun 2011 01:09 In category: VideoTags:Over-signing: SEC coaches prefer to stick with current 28 rule (VIDEO) [...]

The Ole Ball Coach

May 31st, 2011
7:16 pm

Oversigning is still not right – sign 28 kids a year for 4 years and you get 112 with 85 the max
on he roster. so you still cut 27 players in a 4 year time frame.
You know that happens and you know it is wrong!

GT Alum

May 31st, 2011
7:22 pm

Dawg Tired -

I was going to add a line about but I don’t think I have to worry about that, since I don’t engage in business that takes place on street corners, but I declined.

GT Alum

May 31st, 2011
7:34 pm

Sour Grapes -

Why play if you don’t keep score? I’m not one of those anti-competition types. If I was, I probably wouldn’t be on the sports page this much.

I was raised to have integrity, to believe in doing things the right way. Besides, I want to beat someone fair and square. I don’t want them to be able to whine about how they got cheated, and I want to win because I earned it, not because I got away with something. You sound like the type of person who just wants the rewards, regardless of whether you deserve them or put in the work to earn them.

That’s why I was a member of a team that won back-to-back national titles in high school. Because we practiced hard and were determined to win.


May 31st, 2011
7:38 pm

When does the S.I. come out?


May 31st, 2011
8:00 pm

Seriously, for all the Saban haters, find me a single(that means one) current or former Saban signee that complained about gray shirting. Saban tells these players up front that they may end up gray shirting. That is why you will not be able to find that example. Has he had players transfer, sure, when you are talent loaded and you are 3rd or 4th on the depth chart, you might want to go somewhere that you will get playing time. Notice they all end up transferring down, not to other BCS schools because they ended up not developing into BCS caliber players. Yes, I do know about the 1 year wait for transferring to another Bowl Subdivision team.

For those whining about his “taking up for” Tressel, he did not excuse his actions, just said that as a friend, he hated to see this happen to the man. That mean old SOB, burn him at the stake for having compassion.

Now continue with your baseless drivel.

Chip Towers

May 31st, 2011
8:39 pm

sogadog: Brian Bohannon is at Ga. Tech and Travis Jones is with the New Orleans Saints.

Sour Grapes Fan

May 31st, 2011
8:50 pm

Sour Grapes,

I’d definitely choose you as a business partner because you’re clearly aware of the fact that having the very best horse in the race increases your percentages of suceessfully meeting the business’ goals, or the team winning championships! And if you think college football is not a major business, then you’re simply lying to yourself. I’m going to always be looking for the very best to take the what’s been done and raise the bar to a higher standard of where to go. Certainly, this can be achieved by someone already on the team; however, if they’re efforts are not conducive to making that happen because they have a scholarship already, then they would be replaced, as would any one else working in a professional setting! This is their “job” currently. And everyone should surely know that you don’t keep a job based on something you did before to get you to the point that’s been reached. It’s not being “mean”, nor is it to “hurt” someone’s feelings. It’s simply the formula used by those who are successful! And don’t waste your energy typing about their age and lack of understanding because they’re “kids”. Many same aged kids are fighting a war currently, and they had no problem understanding their contracts! RTR!!!

Vince Lombardi

May 31st, 2011
8:57 pm

What goes around, comes around. Welcome UGA to Tech’s SEC situation ala 1964.


May 31st, 2011
9:26 pm

The rest might qualify, maybe

May 31st, 2011
9:32 pm

At least richt doesn’t like over signing, but when you expect 4 not to qualify & 3 to be kicked out of school but only 3 don’t qualify what’s a guy to do?

Jealous dawg fans

May 31st, 2011
9:43 pm

Ya’ll need to get over your obsession and hatemongering of Saban. It aint healthy for ya.

Too Many Excuses by UGA fans

May 31st, 2011
10:12 pm

Keep Removing my comments there, the truth hurts and the facts are the facts.


May 31st, 2011
10:14 pm

It’s funny that these coaches who want to continue to allow oversigning are the same coaches who take other team’s castoffs and the same coaches who refuse to suspend players unless the public forces them to. They are win-at-all-costs coaches.

jello arm

May 31st, 2011
10:17 pm

Hey Sour Grapes Fan,

You’re a complete moron. These are college kids getting a scholarship. They aren’t professionals.

Now go back to pretending that you’re a successful businessman.


May 31st, 2011
10:21 pm

At least in football they generally honor the scholarship for 4 years, even if the athlete shows no ability to contribute on the field. In baseball you either produce or your pushed out. Check the roster of any sec baseball team and see the turnover yearly. Perno used to be considered one of the worst in the country. If they treated football players like they do baseball players they would never be allowed to recruit at any high school in georgia. I’m guessing this goes on in every other non revenue producing sport.


May 31st, 2011
10:43 pm

I think coach Richt, if there is anyway morally possible, should take the gloves off for a few years and show just how dominating UGA could be if we did the things these other coaches do. You know like when Saban takes a newby in and introduces him to the guy he is going to be replacing even if that player has only been at Alabama for a couple of years. O.K. thanks, but goodbye. Got to love Sabans business savy. And believe me it is just business. Oh and winning. can’t forget that little tid bit.


May 31st, 2011
10:50 pm

To Sour Grapes and Sour Grapes Fan. Then you damn well better be prepared to pay these guys what they are worth. And now, don’t you back up from your business savy and say “well theyre getting a free edumacation” Bull hockey sticks. Not the ones you’ve retired early for one reason or another. The way you guys think, that is exactly why there is corruption in the game now. Idiots.


May 31st, 2011
10:57 pm

I paid $32.67 for a XBOX 360 and my mom got a 17 inch Toshiba laptop for $94.83 being delivered to our house tomorrow by FedEX. I will never again pay expensive retail prices at stores. I even sold a 46 inch HDTV to my boss for $650 and it only cost me $52.78 to get. Here is the website we using to get all this stuff, http://GoGetBids.com


May 31st, 2011
11:01 pm

What’s the over/under on whatshizname that left the Gaytors taking the “The” OSU gig?
Make Saban play with 85, he’s just another 7-5 guy.

[...] post by webmaster@technorati.com and software by Elliott Back Comments [...]


May 31st, 2011
11:32 pm

Well ladies when I win another national championship and Georgia is losing to Valdosta in the booger eaters classic in Snellville you will change your tune.

Would not matter if Richt oversigned he wouldn`t know how to coach them anyway.

Tressel is a fine man. Just got caught. Oh well.


June 1st, 2011
1:06 am

And my girlfriend doesn’t want to let me get the Booty Love either. She says it Hurts too much and the SEC coaches are crying the same song too.
Pay ALL the HEAD coaches as much as an equally year tenured Professor. If Saban and the like don’t want that, then let them go find a new job in the NFL.
Without the SCHOOL there is NO College FOOTBALL, but without college football there is still the University.

It Ain't Rocket Science

June 1st, 2011
7:09 am

The NCAA I believe will end up getting into this over signing problem. Even the big ten recognized it was a problem and instituted their own rules, to monitor it more closely. I wouldn’t expect the majority of the SEC coaches to want to rein in the problem, because of the success it allows them to obtain. UGA is lucky in that we have a good moral coach who does care about the kids, but it also hurts s, I guess in recruiting, if you want to look at it that way.
I am surprised the NCAA hasn’t already done something about it, but they are really just concerned about money, and the SEC winning the last five BC bowls, makes them hesitant to change anything, and possibly disrupt the cash flow.

A Fan

June 1st, 2011
7:35 am

Baseball does it all the time, bring in to many players in the fall only to send those you dont want to middle georgia

Mtn Dawg

June 1st, 2011
7:57 am

I think oversigning is simply a bad idea. It happens but is abused by some.

I also believe SEC Divisional play in basketball should be abandoned. How can you win a division in a major conference and not go to the big dance. It may work in some conferences but there is an imbalance in the SEC. SEC East rocks!

It Ain't Rocket Science

June 1st, 2011
8:03 am

If the NCAA does away with gray shirting, wouldn’t that solve most of the problem anyway? That seems to me to be the big point of contention anyway, right?


June 1st, 2011
8:05 am

Why don’t everyone simply say, “We are discussing this because of Saban’s practice of oversigning every year”?


June 1st, 2011
8:40 am

I would NOT want to be Sour Grapes’ partner because he lacks the ability to even understand the problem, which leads me to believe he would not have many solutions. I don’t need an immature partner who looks at obvious situation with nothing more than emotions and partisanship.

The problem NEVER has been a few coaches whining. The coaches that don’t over sign, never have, going way back, so why is this on the agenda at the entire conference meeting NOW?

And if its just good clean competitiveness, why on earth would the commissioner of the most competitive conference mess that up? He wouldn’t touch it with a 10′ pole. Certainly not in a very public meeting.

How about this: how about you do about 10 minutes of research and figure out why this is being brought up at the SEC meeting, get back to us. OR just stick with your obvious agenda in the first place.


June 1st, 2011
8:47 am

Cmon Richt, grow a pair.


June 1st, 2011
8:50 am

Someone mentioned Saban and compassion in the same sentence. ;)

While I don’t think Coach Satan is the worst culprit here, that honor going to Nutt, Puktrino, and Darth Visor, he is definitely complicit. I wouldn’t buy a used car from him.

“Everybody else is doing it.” No they are not. Besides, remember what your mama said about that.

“It’s OK as long as the kid knows going in.” No it isn’t. Since when does the average 17 year old know what’s in his best interest? Especially after Nick Saban just finished blowing smoke up your o-ring.

Bottom line is first and foremost these kids are supposed to be STUDENT-athletes not athlete-students. This is not the NFL we’re talking about. I can not help it if your state cannot produce 25 kids who can read and cipher. That is no excuse to hand out offers like candy and later cull the ones without a perfect wrapper.


June 1st, 2011
8:56 am

I also would to add, that it seems to me that the folks who most often make these amateurish comparisons between College Athletics and Pure Business strike me as the people who sound like they have had the least dealing with either, certainly not of any high level. For too many reasons to name, the two have striking differences. There is a business side to College athletics but it hardly operates in a corporate model.

The most obvious being, if it were pure business, UGA and Texas should claim National Champs every year.


June 1st, 2011
9:03 am

Having coaches discuss oversighing is lke having your teenager discuss resonable cell phone use. If there is a way to abuse a rulle these are the people who will find it. Huston Nutt is one of the biggest abusers. This has to be a joke..