Spurrier: Big Ten ‘really hurts’ itself by not oversigning


It’s been almost exactly one month since National Signing Day came to a close, but one of the topics that continues to gain momentum among fans, media and even college presidents, is the practice of oversigning recruits.

And no one has done it better — or, at least, gained more notoriety for it — than the SEC.

Two year’s ago, the SEC placed a 28-LOI limit for conference members on signing day after Ole Miss signed a staggering class of 37 in 2009. The NCAA adopted that limit for this year’s class.

But schools continue to oversign. South Carolina and Arkansas signed 30 and 31 recruits this past signing day, respectively. In all fairness, both Clemson and Florida State out of the ACC signed 29 recruits this year.

The Big Ten has long shunned the practice of oversigning. In the past decade, only Michigan State and Minnesota have ever signed more than 28 recruits in a class. That’s not to say the Big Ten hasn’t had their fair share of “morally reprehensible” moments (see the A.J. King incident), but by and large, oversigning hasn’t been an issue.

South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier doesn’t see it that way.

“I think that [not oversigning] really hurts them [the Big Ten] a lot,” Spurrier said. “They end up giving scholarships to a lot of walk-ons.”

Spurrier also claimed the act was “helpful” because so many in-state players fail to qualify academically.

So has Arkansas coach Bobby Petrino.

“I don’t see it as a bad thing unless you’re being dishonest or waiting until the last minute, which eliminates their visit opportunities with other schools,” Petrino said.

Yeah, because Petrino wouldn’t know anything about dishonesty

To address Spurrier’s comments, it’s hard to believe walk-ons are hurting Big Ten programs. Whether a player is a five-star recruit, or a walk-on, coaches are going to put the best 22 players on the football field.

It’s a talent disparity. There are more athletes in south now than in years past and they’re staying in the south to play football.

As for oversigning itself, college football is a business and coaches make business moves. There’s just not a lot you can say to defend oversigning, especially if players are removed to make way for guys like Jadeveon Clowney, who held off declaring their intentions to make an announcement on their birthday.

Unfortunately, oversigning is not a black and white issue, and there is not enough space in this blog to cover all of its facets.

WVU RB Donaldson in concussion protocol, out for Baylor game

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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

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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.