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Elliot Porter learns tough lesson in college football

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.


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13 Responses to “Elliot Porter learns tough lesson in college football”
  1. Schexyoung says: Aug 11, 2010 11:47 PM

    I am glad he spoke out about it and I wish Elliot the best of luck as a Lsu alum.
    The process works both ways though. Every year commits give a verbal to a school and then screw a school on signing day by switching with no warning.
    College football needs an early signing period with the ability for recruits to decommit in the event a coordinator or head coach leaves.
    The system is broken both ways and it effects schools and recruits at every level.

  2. Balla says: Aug 12, 2010 12:34 AM

    Is les miles going to challenge Saban for asshole of the year in the SEC? It certainly appears that way.

  3. OpinionsNAholes says: Aug 12, 2010 1:16 AM

    You know how you fix this? You start putting the names of the coaches that are doing this out there in the main stream press. Let’s name names here. Miles, Saban, Urban, Houston Nutt…all these guys are pulling this shit. Then you get athletes to tell them to go take a flying leap and F themselves when they come calling to recruit.
    It’s completely inexcusable. If a kid signs a letter of intent with a school, then they better damn well honor it.

  4. Mike-F says: Aug 12, 2010 8:50 AM

    Schexyoung: Signing day switches have to be put in perspective. Those happen in February with plenty of time before the start of the season. We’re now 3 weeks away from the start of football season and the school year and the guy is told he’s on his own. Completely inexcusable. I agree with the rest of what you’re saying though.
    And Elliot Porter is right on…for many of these programs, it’s strictly business. For the casual fan though, if college football is just another business, it risks becoming a watered down version of the NFL. Much of what makes college football so great has nothing to do with the business aspects.

  5. Ben Kercheval says: Aug 12, 2010 9:27 AM

    @ OpinionsNAholes: Normally I don’t get too much into my own opinion on the matter, but you said it best…the kid signed the LOI. The program needs to honor that.
    It’s really not that complicated.

  6. blitz4848 says: Aug 12, 2010 9:48 AM

    This is a no brainer. The kids signs the LOI he can’t play anywhere else unless & until the school releases him. It should work the same way for the student athlete holding the college.
    The NCAA could cover this. If the schools want to gamble by over offering scholarships then that should be OK. For every scholarship over 25 the school looses 2 the following yr. They can then get the one extra they lost 2 yrs later. This way the school isn’t sanctioned but yet they can’t abuse the rule to stockpile talent without paying a short term penalty. This kid is now hung out to dry as most schools R in the same boat & have no scholarships available–if he can’t afford school on his own & that’s inherently wrong!!!!!

  7. DG0122 says: Aug 12, 2010 11:32 AM

    Wow, classy move Leslie.
    Mack Brown keeps a kid on scholly who was discovered to have a heart defect after he was offered, and you kick a kid out of the dorms on the cusp of the season. And sounds like it will happen to another one too. You are a piece of work!

  8. kdbroom says: Aug 12, 2010 11:52 AM

    Let’s be for real here, and get the facts straight.
    First, the kid was going to be delayed by one semester…that’s all. His scholarship wasn’t completely pulled, and he’d still have five years to play four seasons. A grayshirt is a delay of a promise, not a broken promise.
    Second, Les Miles let him out of his LOI when Porter said that he didn’t want to grayshirt. LM could have denied him and forced him to sit out a year. LM did the right thing and said “I understand, so if you want to sign elsewhere, you may do so. However, we still want you, and a scholarship is still awaiting you come January.”
    Third, he’s not hung out to dry because he is talking with other schools, major schools, and talking about taking a scholarship offer from them. He has been in discussions with Tennessee and Texas A&M. He has also visited Kentucky and Oregon. This kid is good enough to land at a good school if he doesn’t accept the grayshirt. Other kids may have been hung out to dry, but not this kid.
    The reality is that coaches are screwed either way. They sign 25, and 1 or 2 don’t qualify, fans gripe. They sign 1 or 2 over and all qualify, thus leading to a grayshirt, fans gripe. Their only hope is to be perfect and recruit a full class of 25 and be perfect on everyone. That’s a zero-defect mentality, and it’s unrealistic.

  9. kdbroom says: Aug 12, 2010 11:54 AM

    Les Miles kept his promise of a scholarship offer to a kid who had a neck injury in high school. The kid enrolled at LSU and never played. Yes, he is a piece of work.

  10. bradleygator says: Aug 12, 2010 1:34 PM

    Take note recruits of the southeast. This type of shabby treatment will never happen to you in beautiful Gainesville, FL. Once Pope Urban looks you in the eye, you can be certain that all he says will occur in exactly the manner he describes.

  11. Saban sees no unfair treatment with grayshirts | CollegeFootballTalk says: Feb 5, 2011 9:02 PM

    […] a player has become a controversial topic with the likes of former LSU lineman Elliot Porter being shown the door (kind of) by Les Miles after having his scholarship revoked. And while Miles’ actions fit more along the lines of […]

  12. marcinhouston says: Feb 6, 2011 2:57 PM

    The program can’t honor the LOI if they gave 27 LOI’s but the NCAA only allows 25 scholarships. Airlines do this too, assuming a few ticket holders will no-show, and occasionally it does not work out, and they cannot honor all tickets. The real problem is the NCAA rules. They should not allow a team to give out more LOI’s than they may be able to honor. The NCAA needs to modify their rules so that either the team is restricted to 25 LOI’s (which would make it much harder for players with risky grades to sign) or allow 27-28 LOI’s and in the rare circumstance that more than 25 actually qualify, allow the school to get a couple extra scholarships that year, taken out of their allottment for the next year, with no option to revoke. Otherwise schools in highly competitive conferences will be forced to continue to do this to compete, and then the programs which actually have the skill to pick the highest character players who don’t get in trouble with grades or the law as much will look like the lowest character programs having to revoke scholarships from those players.

  13. Slate Asset Blog Network » Blog Archive » The Most Evil Thing about College Sports » Slate Asset Blog Network says: May 18, 2012 3:17 AM

    […] receive financial aid to finish school.) Another roster management strategy, seen often at Alabama, LSU, and other SEC schools, is to rescind a promised scholarship just before the student-athlete’s […]

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