Friday, February 6, 2009

Going above and beyond

I mentioned last week that North Carolina was looking at an epically large recruiting class -- 29 recruits had already committed, and a couple more were considering the Tar Heels. Fortunately for those recruits (and even more so for the players already on the team), 29 was the final tally.

Regardless, I was quite critical of Butch Davis. But Davis' efforts paled in comparison to those of Houston Nutt, who hauled in an astonishing 37 recruits at Ole Miss.

I haven't had a chance to look at the roster and see if there's room for a full 25-man class, but it doesn't matter. 37 does not equal 25, and it's not even close. It's been pointed out that players who enroll early can count toward the previous year's class if it had fewer than 25 recruits, but here's the problem: Ole Miss had 31 recruits last year.

South Carolina was another offender this season, finishing with 29 recruits and getting kicked out of a high school in the process.

And I'm not even sure how this is possible, but somehow Troy has 39 recruits signed, as well as one more who has committed but hasn't officially signed his letter of intent.

I'm not trying to beat a dead horse here -- I've already said my piece on blatant oversigning -- but with eight schools signing 29 or more recruits this year, this epidemic seems to be spreading.

I'll give the Big Ten credit for trying to limit this problem by instituting a cap at 28 scholarships and requiring an explanation of each recruit past 25 in a given class, but why should one conference be at a disadvantage because it tries to be fair to recruits?
According to numbers compiled by the recruiting service, SEC teams lined up an average of 101 commitments during the four-year period from 2004-07. Big Ten teams averaged 85 recruits in the same period.
I'm firmly behind mgoblog on this one: If a school can't explain where a scholarship is coming from, the NCAA shouldn't allow a recruit to be locked into that spot.

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