Florida president blames fellow SEC bigwigs for oversigning

0 Comments

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.”

WVU RB Donaldson in concussion protocol, out for Baylor game

west virginia football
Lee Coleman/Getty Images
0 Comments

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) West Virginia running back CJ Donaldson is in concussion protocol and will miss next week’s home game with Baylor after he was injured in a loss to Texas, coach Neal Brown said Tuesday.

Donaldson remained on the ground after he was tackled on a short gain in the third quarter of Saturday’s 38-20 loss to the Longhorns. His helmet and shoulder pads were removed and he was carted off the field on a stretcher. After the game he was cleared to travel home with the team.

“He’s recovering,” Brown said. “There is a strict return-to-play (policy) that we have to follow here and I’m zero involved in it. All I do is ask the question. They don’t even start the return-to-play until they’re symptom free.”

Donaldson, a 240-pound freshman, leads the Mountaineers with 389 rushing yards and six touchdowns, with an average of 6.9 yards per carry.

West Virginia (2-3, 0-2 Big 12 Conference) is idle this week and hosts Baylor (3-2, 1-1) next Thursday, Oct. 13.

Taulia Tagovailoa says he visited brother, Tua, over weekend

Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports
0 Comments

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Maryland quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa was able to visit his brother, Tua, last weekend after the Terrapins’ game against Michigan State, he said Tuesday in his first comments to reporters since Tua left the Miami Dolphins’ game against Cincinnati last Thursday with a frightening head injury.

Taulia played in Maryland’s win over Michigan State on Saturday but was not made available to the media afterward. He said Tuesday he was able to go to Florida and spend some time with his brother, who suffered a concussion four days after taking a hit in another game but was cleared to return.

“He’s doing good, everything’s fine,” he said. “My biggest thing was just seeing him and spending as much time as I can with him. I came back Sunday night.”

Tagovailoa said he appreciates the support for his brother.

“My brother’s my heart. He’s someone I look up to, someone I talk to every day,” he said. “It was just a hard scene for me to see that.”

Tagovailoa said he was in constant contact with his mother about his brother’s situation, and he was finally able to talk to Tua on Friday night.

“I really just wanted to go there and just spend time with my family, hug them and stuff like that,” Taulia Tagovailoa said. “But he told me he’s a big fan of us, and he’d rather watch me play on Saturday. … After that phone call, I was happy and getting back to my normal routine.”

Tagovailoa indicated that his brother’s injury didn’t make him too nervous about his own health when he took the field again.

“I guess when that happens to someone like my brother, or when anything happens to one of my family members, I don’t really think of how it will be able to affect me,” he said. “I just think of: `Is he OK? How’s he doing?”‘

Although it was a short visit to Florida, he said he and Tua made the most of their chance to be together.

“I just wanted to make sure he’s healthy and stuff, which he is,” Taulia Tagovailoa said.