Somebody always gets jobbed on National Letter of Intent Signing Day.
Sometimes it is a kid already in a program. His coach yanks his scholarship after signing the Next New Thing to take his place.
Forced to deal with the 25-per-year scholarship limit, SEC coaches renege on scholarship promises – asking kids to “grayshirt” instead. A “grayshirt” doesn’t come to school until the second semester, thus postponing the start of his career for a season.
Alabama pulled the scholarship out from under at least two players this season after previously undecided players opted to grab Crimson Tide scholarships.
Running back Justin Taylor committed to Alabama, only to learn last month that Nick Saban didn’t have a 2012 scholarship for him. Rather than “grayshirt,” he signed with Kentucky.
“If you look back on it, you see that it was a numbers game [with scholarships], that Alabama really wanted to sit out because of the numbers,” Stanley Pritchett, Taylor’s high school coach, told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “It kind of makes you mad, but you also feel good that he didn’t go there. Because if he had gone to Alabama, he would’ve probably just have been another number.”
Defensive lineman Darius Philon was another victim. Like Taylor, he was recovering from a knee injury.
CollegeFootballNews.com columnist Barrett Sallee had this take on it:
Philon, an Alabama commit since September, announced that he was ‘undecided’ between Alabama and Arkansas, then put on an Alabama hat, but later signed with the Hogs in the afternoon. Teammates later confirmed to AL.com that Philon was asked to grayshirt by Alabama.
If you ever needed proof of why oversigning legislation had to be adopted - and probably improved, here’s your reason. It’s a business and I get that, but no player should have to go through that embarrassment - especially embarrassment - especially embarrassment caused by adults who say that they have the player's best interest at heart.
CRUMMY EFFORT OF THE NIGHT
The Toronto Raptors failed to scored 20 points in any quarter while falling to the Celtics 100-64 at Boston.
What was Dwane Casey’s message to his squad?
“I told the team, for the rest of your basketball career, remember how this feels tonight, getting beat by 40. I can’t remember getting beat by 40 and it’s the worst taste you want to have,” Casey said. “That’s something you never want to forget. You take that, you learn from it, you build from it. You never want to feel it again.”
FROM THE TWEETDECK
Adam Schefter: “Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow. Six more weeks of winter takes us right up to NFL free agency.”
Mark Whicker: “Groundhog came out, Blake Griffin dunked him.”
The Fake ESPN: “Lamar Odom thought he saw his own shadow this morning, but further inspection revealed it was just the outline of Khloe's right thigh.”
Jayson Stark: “How could Vlad Guerrero & Johnny Damon not have jobs on Groundhog Day? It's about $$$. Teams say they're still looking for deals around $5M.”
The Fake ESPN: “Starving Charles Barkley accidentally ate Punxsutawney Phil, plunging us all into eternal winter.”
Tripping Olney: “HEARD THIS: IF YOU REALLY LEGITIMATELY BELIEVE THAT A GROUNDHOG INFLUENCES WEATHER PATTERNS, PLEASE GIVE ME SOME OF WHAT YOU'RE SMOKING.”
FROM THE BLOG-O-SPEAR
The Lost Lettermen offered this tale from the Letter of Intent day:
Three-star linebacker Jawand Blue, formerly a Virginia Tech recruit, changed his mind Wednesday and will play for ACC rival Miami (FL).
Needless to say, the Hokies weren’t happy about it. The Twitter feed of the Palm Beach Post’s Matt Porter detailed the reaction of assistant Charley Wiles, who was informed of Blue’s decision over the phone.
The tweets were as Porter overheard that conversation between Blue and Wiles and the reaction ranges from rude to sad to pathetic.
Among the things Wiles reportedly told Blue were:
- “You lied to me.”
- “This doesn’t make any sense. I’ve never felt more betrayed or lied to.”
- “You want to go to a program that wins bowl games, a clean program, that dominates the ACC?”
- “It would be a blessing for you to go away for school. I promise. You’ve got homeboys here… We need you. We’re counting on you.”
We realize that losing a recruit on National Signing Day is a nightmare come true for college coaches but they really should maintain a level of maturity and dignity when dealing with teenagers picking a college – no matter the results.