Solution to Oversigning

The NCAA is in place largely to insure fairness in collegiate athletics and to protect the amateur athlete. Sadly, in at least appearance, it has become more about the money than anything.

One of the biggest issues in my eyes in separating the balance of power in college football is inconsistent rules across conferences regarding oversigning.
While the SEC has changed up their practices of late with regards to this issue, there is still quite a difference between them and the rest of college football.

Coaches such as Nick Saban and others, have turned this ability to oversign into a way to essentially hold try outs for players, and push those who don’t cut it either out the door or into medical scholarships where the player doesn’t ever play.

The NCAA is in place largely to insure fairness in collegiate athletics and to protect the amateur athlete. Sadly, in at least appearance, it hOversignedas become more about the money than anything.

One of the biggest issues in my eyes in separating the balance of power in college football is inconsistent rules across conferences regarding oversigning. 
While the SEC has changed up their practices of late with regards to this issue, there is still quite a difference between them and the rest of college football.

Coaches such as Nick Saban and others, have turned this ability to oversign into a way to essentially hold try outs for players, and push those who don’t cut it either out the door or into medical scholarships where the player doesn’t ever play. Les Miles at LSU even had a player a few years ago enrolled in school, living in the dorms, and then told there was no scholarship available for him (Elliot Porter).

The reduction in scholarship limits from 95 to 85 several years ago did a great deal, at least initially, in spreading talent around. It enabled the non-BCS conferences to scoop up some of the talent that there was no longer room for.

While that has worked for the most part, the oversigning issue has certainly proven to counteract that.

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The End Around (2/9/12)

Across The Court: Michigan State (Eleven Warriors)image

eBay Watch: Schembechler Snaps (MVictors)

Kirk Ferentz talks Iowa staff changes (ESPN B1G Blog)

Most Valuable Player Rankings: Wide Receiver (Big Ten or Bust)

Ohio State parts ways with Jaamal Berry (Dr. Saturday)

Quick Hitters (MGoRecruit)

Rivals 100 Breakdown for 2013 (This is Michigan Football)

Videos, Notes & Quotes: John Beilein after Michigan’s 62-46 win over Nebraska (UMHoops)

Previous Editions:

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No Man Is More Important Than The Team

Let me preface this article by saying at the outset that this piece is not about rehashing or re-prosecuting Rich Rodriguez. No one wants to move forward and concentrate on the present and future more than I do. With that said, it is critical to take a look at the past in order to provide perspective on the current situation and what to expect in the future.

Several of the comments made by Brady Hoke (watch video) during last week’s Big 10 Media Days highlight an issue that has received little attention. While much has been made over the issues that led Dave Brandon’s decision to remove Rich Rodriguez, one factor has largely gone unmentioned by the mainstream media. While the sub .500 record, annual losses to Ohio State and Michigan State, and embarrassingly bad defense all played a major role, the single biggest factor was likely Rodriguez putting himself and his coaches ahead of the football program. This is not to suggest that Rodriguez did not care for his players. Contrary to popular opinion Rodriguez is not an uncaring individual or an evil person. Throughout his 3 years at Michigan, Rodriguez displayed a high degree of concern for both his players and their families. The attention and support given to Brock Mealer by the football program is just one illustration of who Rich Rodriguez is as a person. Going above and beyond for several of the families at Motts Children’s Hospital provides yet another example. Juxtaposed to the selfless Rich Rodriguez is the football coach who was as interested in selling himself and his system as anything else. Rodriguez’s approach in public appearances and recruiting was grounded in self promotion. From the pep rally designed to garner support for the coach instead of the team, to public events and fund raisers with fans and alumni where Rodriguez sold what he, his system, and his coaches could do for them and the football program. A similar approach was used in recruiting where kids, especially on the offensive side, were primarily sold on the advantages of playing for a “master of the spread.” While academic prowess, personal development, and the University as a whole was used a recruiting tool, those attributes served as tertiary pitches to recruits. Kids were sold less on the University and what a Michigan experience could do for their lives going forward and more on the ability and personal profile of Rodriguez and his staff.

The way Rodriguez approached his job is something that must have weighed heavily on the mind of Dave Brandon when it came time to make a decision. Above annarbor.comeverything else Rich Rodriguez was in it for himself, ahead of the University and ahead of his players. Having a coach who put the players and the University above everything else was something that likely influenced both Brandon’s decision to remove Rodriguez, and who Brandon decided to pick as the next coach. While Jim Harbaugh and Les Miles were both contacted by Brandon, neither coach ended up taking the job. Like Rodriguez, both coaches project the image of a coach bigger than the program at their respective schools. Neither coach showed a willingness to put Michigan above themselves or their careers. Harbaugh’s interest in the NFL was well known even before Michigan made contact. Miles showed only a passing interest in the job, taking the interview with Dave Brandon on advice from his agent. This is not to suggest that either coach was unworthy of the job or unable to succeed at Michigan. There are many coaches who have succeeded while running their program on a cult of personality. Coaches like Steve Spurrier and Bobby Petrino have always put themselves out in front of their programs and each has enjoyed a high level of success. The critical thing to understand is the thought process the guided Brandon’s decision and what he was looking for in his next coach.

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Dear Les Miles Supporters…

Dear Les Miles Supporters, Michigan Football Head Coach Speculation

On November 20, 2007, Lloyd Carr announced that he would be stepping down as the head coach of the Michigan Football team effective after their bowl game. Bill Martin, U of M’s Athletic Director at the time, then began a somewhat erratic search for a replacement outside the program. His search ended December 18, 2007, with the announcement that Rich Rodriguez would be taking over at U of M.

What happened exactly between those two dates has been exaggerated several times over. Several coaches names were mentioned during the time frame that were no where near getting offered the position. As much as I would like to point the finger solely at the media and websites creating “views” with their rumor-mongering, some of the responsibility belongs with the candidates.

Les Miles created the belief that Michigan was after him, leveraged him returning to his alma-mater, and scored a contract extension in the process. I still remember to this day hearing multiple insiders say that Miles was a non-factor in the search, only to see Kirk Herbstreit reporting that Miles coming to U of M was a done deal. Who do you think told Herbstreit this fairy tale?

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Long Cold Winter

The following is by UMGoBlue.com Forum Member GoBlue75

Dear Fellow Michigan Fans,

Like most of you, I bleed Maize and Blue so it is excruciatingly painful to watch the current state of UM football (and basketball, but that’s another thread) after enjoying nearly 40 years of enviable success. However it must Schembechler Hallbe realized that this current situation is the result of years of poor decision-making around Schembechler Hall and cannot be remedied overnight – it will take years to undo the damage and return Michigan football to past levels of success. A combination of arrogance and over-confidence in the traditional Michigan brand of football gradually eroded the solid foundation that Bo produced in the 1970’s and ’80’s – and now we are seeing the harsh result of these sins.

For too long, Michigan assumed the best talent would flock to Ann Arbor solely because of the traditions of the Big House while ignoring the fact that other teams were playing a more exciting brand of ball and youngsters were being exposed to more teams via tv, while Michigan was losing to USC and other passing teams with alarming regularity, and suddenly its the 21st Century and Lloyd Carr doesn’t seem like the coolest guy on earth to go play football for … especially with all these fast exciting offensive teams around on the West Coast and elsewhere. Suddenly, playing in the Big House, in the cold, for Lloyd, does not look like the best option to most kids – this is when Michigan football began to decline, way before Rich Rod got here. We are just now seeing the result of what began 8-9 years ago… before most Michigan fans were even aware there was a problem brewing.

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