Former LSU commit Elliot Porter was excited about playing for the Tigers and head coach Les Miles. That was, of course, until Porter was recently summoned into Miles’ office and told he was no longer going to receive a scholarship to play football.
At least not right away.
Miles informed the offensive lineman from Waggaman, LA, that he was chosen to be grayshirted, a process where he would be delayed from receiving his football scholarship until, most likely, next year.
“He just told me that they didn’t have room for me. I moved out of my dorm today and I am now back home trying to figure everything out. It’s been a rough 24 hours,” said Porter after learning his future.
Twenty-seven players signed letters of intent to LSU for the 2010 recruiting class, but the NCAA only allows twenty-five scholarships to be given. However, there are loopholes to the rule and some coaches take full advantage of them.
If a student enrolls early, his scholarship does not count toward the twenty-five player cap. There is also the probability that one or more of those commits will fail to qualify academically, get into legal trouble or just plain not show up.
In LSU’s case, all twenty-seven signees met the requirements, which meant two players needed to be cut. Unfortunately for Porter, he was one of them.
When asked about grayshirting Porter, Miles stuck by his decision. “He might take his time to come in shape and to benefit his body and compete,” said Miles.
In Miles’ opinion, Porter may not have been ready to play, could have been out of shape, or wasn’t expected to make an immediate impact. It really doesn’t matter because those reasons are subjective. Here’s a fact: Miles promised Porter a scholarship given he qualified academically and met all the requirements, which he did.
Despite all of that, the responsibility cannot lie entirely on Miles, either.
As seen with various high profile schools all over the country, the NCAA constantly stresses the “student” in student-athlete. But college football has evolved into a big business where decisions may not always been in the best interest of the student.
By taking no action the NCAA demonstrated that what happened to Porter is perfectly acceptable, leaving him hanging out to dry.
“I want to be somewhere that I am wanted,” Porter said. “I understand how things are going at LSU, and they didn’t have room. To me what happened today wasn’t fair. But it’s how things go. It’s a business. And I fully understand that now.”
It’s a lesson Elliot Porter shouldn’t have had to learn.