May 29, 2009
Why is this Longhorn fan so happy at this week's Giro d'Italia? Maybe he's a fan of academic integrity. (Via EDSBS, naturally.)
After flirting with the notion earlier this week, the SEC -- each one of whose 12 members has brought in at least one recruiting class above the 25-player enrollment limit in the last four years, including half the conference this year -- officially dropped the hammer on gross oversigning this afternoon, capping the annual signing day binges at 28 scholarships per team. The only other conference with a similar cap already in place is the Big Ten. But Sports Illustrated's Andy Staples says that once the South falls, the rest of the country is bound to follow suit (emphasis added):
After 37 letters-of-intent rolled in on national signing day, Ole Miss coach Houston Nutt cracked, "...there's no rule that says we can't sign 80."
Now there is, and if the conference that is home to the highest percentage of oversigners bans the practice, it's a safe bet that presidents of schools in other leagues will follow suit. "The presidents and chancellors view the letter-of-intent as a commitment to the institution from a student-athlete that is academically capable of being admitted and contributing athletically," SEC commissioner Mike Slive said.
That's a major ... well, not change in philosophy, exactly, but a crucial clarification that should rein in some of the creeping excess inherent in hoarding players that have no chance of joining the team the following fall. Ten of Rivals' top 25 recruiting classes in February surpassed the 25-man bar, six of them from the SEC. That will be enough of that, then.
But hopefully there is still no rule reining in the creeping excess of your offseason weekends. Only 14 Saturdays to go until kickoff! Start ramping up now, wherever you are.