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Headlinin’: SEC’s anti-oversigning push targets grayshirts, early enrollees

Matt Hinton
Dr. Saturday

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Making the morning rounds.

Looking for the clampdown. A week after we learned that SEC commissioner Mike Slive was preparing to introduce anti-oversigning legislation at the upcoming SEC meetings in Destin, Fla., the Athens Banner-Herald has wrangled some of the specifics of Slive's proposal, which will reportedly seek to:

• Cap annual signing lists at 25 players, down from the 28-man cap mandated in 2009 by the so-called "Nutt Rule."
• Expand the annual limit to cover all players who sign between Dec. 1 to Aug. 1, covering everyone who joins a team between the end of one season and the beginning of the next. (The current cap only applies to players signed between the first day prospects can sign a letter of intent in early February and the last day they can sign an LOI, May 31.) That would include early enrollees who arrive for the spring semester in January, who are currently back-counted against the previous year's limits.
• Count all players who enroll in summer school against a school's scholarship numbers for the fall, to curb "grayshirting" of players who are already on campus at the start of the season in a last-second attempt to get under scholarship caps.
• Give the SEC office more oversight of medical hardship exemptions that keep injured players (and "injured" players) on scholarship without counting against the NCAA's 85-man limit for the entire roster.

…among other proposals targeting basketball. While those changes would clearly close some popular loopholes, they still wouldn't prevent a school from outright cutting a veteran player to make room for newcomers if push comes to shove. [Athens-Banner Herald]

Alle wegen leiden naar Idaho. Boise State's roster this fall will include not one, not two, but three natives of Amsterdam in key roles, thanks to a pipeline forged by former Boise assistant Romeo Bandison, an Amsterdam native who moved to America to play high school football and ended up being drafted by the Washington Redskins out of Oregon. Current Broncos Geraldo Hiwat, Cedric Febis and Ricky Tjong-A-Tjoe all followed the same route out of Amerstadam in search of better competition after dominating youth club leagues back home, and Hiwat and Febis will be counted on as the heirs apparent to graduated star Titus Young and Jeron Johnson at wide receiver and strong safety, respectively. [Rivals]{YSP:MORE}

For you? No. I'm only thinking of the children. Arizona Sen. Jon Kyl said Tuesday he is denying the Fiesta Bowl's request to return a $3,000 campaign contribution — though the contribution may have been illegal — opting instead to donate the money to the American Red Cross for tornado relief. "In the past, when I have learned that funds have been improperly contributed to my campaign, I have donated them to charity," Kyl wrote in a letter to the bowl. "And since the Fiesta Bowl now acknowledges impropriety, that's what I will do." An aide for Sen. John McCain, who received more than $19,000 in "private" contributions later reimbursed to Fiesta Bowl employees, said the senator was following suit. [Associated Press, East Valley Tribune]

Happy trails, part one. Louisiana Tech has permanently suspended two former SEC transfers, wide receivers Tim Molton and Ahmad Paige, for undisclosed violations of team rules. Molton is a former three-star signee with LSU in 2008; Paige is one of many celebrated vagabonds from Tennessee's disappointing 2007 class. They combined last year for 315 yards and four touchdowns on 26 catches. [Shreveport Times]

Happy trails, part two. In other comings and goings, four Troy players were declared academically ineligible earlier this week, among them the Trojans' top two returning receivers (Jamel Johnson and Chip Reeves) and a part-time starter at cornerback (KeJuan Phillips) who topped the depth chart coming out of spring practice. A fifth Trojan, reserve defensive end R.J. Roberts, was also booted for an undisclosed violation of team rules. Hear o children the wisdom of coach Larry Blakeney: "You can lead a horse to the water, but can't force them to drink it." [Dothan Eagle]

Quickly… Nebraska quarterback Kody Spano is giving up football after an injury-plagued career that included two ACLs tears in a six-month span in 2009 and a shoulder injury earlier this year in spring practice. … Tate Forcier's latest transfer targets include USC and Auburn, as well as some more realistic destinations. … Auburn lays down new turf at Pat Dye Field. … And commissioner be damned, Houston Nutt is going to fight for his right to oversign to the bitter end.

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Matt Hinton is on Twitter: Follow him @DrSaturday.

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