Florida president blames fellow SEC bigwigs for oversigning


Last year, the SEC made headlines when the conference adopted a rule stipulating that schools would be limited to 28 signed letters of intent between National Signing Day and May 1 — affectionately referred to as the “Houston Nutt Rule“, referring to the Right Reverend’s 2009 class of 37.

The NCAA adopted the rule this year.

But that hasn’t stopped SEC schools from continuing to oversign their recruiting classes. In 2010, Auburn and LSU oversigned their classes by 4 LOI’s and 1 LOI, respectively. We haven’t even hit National Signing Day 2011 yet and already South Carolina has more verbal commits than the 28-LOI cap.

To meet the 85 scholarship limit with 25 new athletes enrolled in the fall, programs can still grayshirt an incoming player, send an them to the JUCO ranks, or revoke the scholarship of a current player (by definition, scholarships are “one-year contracts” renewed based on merit).

And Florida president Bernie Machen says it has to stop.

“There are still universities that will oversign and it’s going to end up with a student-athlete being left out,” Machen told the USA Today. “I think we either have to get the universities to be more serious about it, or the league and the NCAA are going to have to pass more stringent punishments for those who do oversign.

“Every (SEC) president sat at the table when we had that discussion. For some reason, some of them are not stepping up and stopping it.”

First of all, I wouldn’t bet Terrelle Pryor‘s 2008 gold pants that the SEC is going to govern themselves on this one because nowhere in college football is competition as fierce as it is in the SEC. Secondly, all 12 members had a chance to follow the rule last year and two of them didn’t with no punishment.

That leaves the NCAA (gulp).

According to the NCAA’s website, their core purpose is to “govern competition in a fair, safe, equitable and sportsmanlike manner, and to integrate intercollegiate athletics into higher education so that the educational experience of the student-athlete is paramount.”

At this point, we know those are just meaningless words. Machen wants action. Or, at least, a level playing field. Whether he gets it remains to be seen.

“Imagine what would happen if in the general student body admission process, the same thing happened,” exclaims Machen. “The public wouldn’t stand for it, and I don’t believe, if we put enough sunshine on this, the public will allow this to happen, in intercollegiate athletics.”

Hokies QB Brewer a gametime decision, but RB Williams out for the year

Michael Brewer
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Virginia Tech has been playing just about the whole season without starting quarterback Michael Brewer after the Hokies signal-caller broke his collarbone in the first game of the season. Now, Brewer is on his way back to the field. Brewer has been medically cleared to return to practice in Blacksburg. It may still be another few weeks until he gets back in a game for Virginia Tech.

Brewer broke his collarbone in Virginia Tech’s season-opening loss to Ohio State. Once he left the game, it seemed the Hokies were unable to give the defending national champions much of a fight for a second straight season. He was originally expected to miss eight to 10 weeks of action, which would have meant a return for a Halloween game against Boston College as the earliest likely date. Virginia Tech has a bye week after the Boston College game, meaning Brewer could then be available for a Thursday night division game against Georgia Tech on November 12. Considering all of that, the chance Brewer might be available to play this Friday night against N.C. State is quite a pleasant surprise for a Virginia Tech team in need of some help after dropping to 2-3 after a second straight loss last weekend. Andy Bitter of The Roanoke Times says Brewer could be a gametime decision for Frank Beamer.

The outlook is not quite as possible for Hokies running back Marshawn Williams. Williams will be out for the rest of the season after reinjuring his left knee in practice in late September. It is the same knee that was surgically repaired last December. Williams can use this season as his redshirt season as he has not played in a game this season. He will still have three years of eligibility remaining when he returns to the team next fall.

Mike Leach discusses presidential candidates, political correctness, pizza and says WSU has better facilities than Oregon

Mike Leach

wherever and whenever Washington State head coach Mike Leach opens his mouth, we will be listening. In a recent radio interview with John Canzano, Leach shared his thoughts on the presidential races heating up, the need to remove political correctness and the superior athletics facilities at Washington State compared to what is offered at Oregon.

Leach offered his take on the current status of the GOP race, saying if Donald Trump continues to rise that some other candidates will soon back out and others will “kiss the ring and hope for cabinet positions.”

I think honestly the single biggest issue in this election and country for quite some time is you have to eradicate political correctness. Unless it’s eradicated, you know, we can’t move forward.”

On the topic of football, Leach was asked what has held Washington State back from becoming a winning program. Leach reflected on the steps the program has taken to improve the program, which has seen improvements with facilities that have helped through recruiting, although Leach said it’s been tough because acquiring the talent has been a slow process. He was quite proud of Washington State’s facilities though.

“We have the best facilities in America, certainly within the conference, including Oregon,” Leach said. “We’ve had those for a year that helped accelerate the recruiting effort.”

Given a chance to back peddle from that statement, Leach, as you might expect, did not rescind or amend his previous comments.

You can listen to the full interview here. It is a good listen. He also wants to know where the best pizza place in Portland, Oregon is. You will learn he likes New York style pizza.