Sunday, February 12, 2012

The Anger of Oversigning Is Not About Grayshirting

Many schools grayshirt players for various reasons.

Grayshirting is not the reason for the new signing rules in the SEC, but some Alabama fans want you to believe that.

The documented number of players the Tide has signed under Nick Saban was a driving force behind the term "Oversigning" becoming part of college football vernacular. It also pushed SEC Presidents to disobey their coaches wishes and push through caps on how many student-athletes can be signed in a class as well the conference office approving all medical redshirts.

Saban's counter argument is that cap rules take opportunities away from kids.

So does cutting backups and pushing them towards medical redshirts.

Offering a grayshirt is perfectly fine, but when it is done two weeks before National Signing Day and the reason given is an injury that occurred four months ago, I am skeptical. Especially when a recruit at the same position committed after the prospect, Justin Taylor, was injured. It just so happens the new commit, TJ Yeldon, is rated higher than Taylor by recruiting services.

Grayshirting was a convenient out for a program that recruited over a player.

That skepticism rises even higher when a recruit who has been committed for months to a school and places that school's hat on his head at a Signing Day ceremony only to learn that he no longer has a spot. Later that day Darius Philon signed with Arkansas, a school he had never visited because he had no reason to; he thought he had a spot secured with Alabama.

If Philon's spot was taken by the signing of Korren Kirven earlier in the day you would think a Tide staff member would have called and avoided an embarrassing situation.

Philon was essentially cut from Alabama before he ever stepped foot on campus as a student.

Tide fans have nothing to fear with the new rules. Saban is arguably the best coach in the country and with another strong recruiting class of 25-28 players is on the way Alabama will be competing for SEC and BCS Championships for years to come.

The new signing rules did not take away an opportunity from Justin Taylor or Darius Philon, they opened one.

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