Friday, June 3, 2011

A Step in the Right Direction.

Mike Slive announced the SEC's plan for over-signing and roster management today. Needless to say. Nick Saban will not be happy. But he won't be the only un-happy coach. While not every head honcho in the SEC has practiced outright over-signing, they've all pretty much enjoyed the wiggle room of a 28 scholarship cap. Well, in what was a surprise to me, the SEC thumbed their noses at the coaches and went with the university presidents, restricting the scholarship cap to 25. Honestly, I'm glad they did it. I mean, I understand why coaches want every advantage they can get, but I can also admit it's a little fucked-up and probably not best for the kids involved. The coaches can talk expanding opportunities, but in reality they just want back-up plans in case a kid doesn't qualify. And if they all qualify? Do the math. There's a 125 roster cap, which means you might have signed but now you're cut. Translation: go fuck yourself, kid.

Besides the 25 scholarship limit, there were 3 other rules changes. Students who enroll in the summer count towards the fall's numbers, the conference will expand oversight of medical exemptions (medical red-shirts), and there will be a ban on the grad-school exemption for players that still have eligibility (Masoli rule). Overall, I feel like this is a step in the right direction and I hope we keep moving this way.

Slive further announced that he will present these rules to the NCAA in hopes they'll be universally adopted. Also, last season was a financial boom for the SEC, as the conference paid out over $18 million to its member schools.I guess winning 5 BCS titles in a row is a profitable business.

 For some reason, I kinda got off on an illegal benefits tangent here. So, keep reading below:

Pay for Play?
None of these new SEC rules addresses what has become the sexier, more scandalous story in cfb: improper benefits. And, honestly, I don't know how you would address this without an outside, law enforcement agency crackdown. By rule, NCAA athletes cannot work during the school year. Football players cannot work over the summer. Athletic scholarships cannot provide outside of tuition and board, unlike more discretionary academic scholarships. So, it's not that morally reprehensible for a kid to take a handout. But it does violate the rules. But the rules are violated everywhere. Boosters want to win. Coaches want to win. Kids get big heads. Entitlement creeps in. When you consider the socio-economic background of many cfb players - especially in the SEC - it's no wonder this is so prevalent.

Pay for play has been a suggestion on the table for years. now. Steve Spurrier has gone as far as to say he'd pay the 70 players that dress $300/game. But what will this fix? I say it'll fix nothing. We've gone beyond financial need and character flaws, here. Like I said before, entitlement's the problem. Your superstar QB (cough, Terrelle Pryor, cough, cough) will still think he deserves more than your second string tight end and will find a way to get it. And there will always be someone there waving the cash. The next step is a player - or their parent - selling themselves to the highest bidder (cough, cough, Cecil Newton).

Can these problems be solved?
 So, what do we do? Fuck if I know. But I guarantee it won't b people like Mark may and Trevor Matich who solve the problem.

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