Georgia Bulldogs head coach Mark Richt spoke out against the practice of “oversigning” at a Q&A session with Georgia fans on May 11. Richt made it very clear that he will not engage in oversigning.
Oversigning in college football occurs when a team goes over the maximum allowed scholarships (85) for a given year. For each season, each Football Bowl Subdivision team has 25 new scholarships to hand out. If handing out the full complement of scholarships means a team goes over the total of 85, a coach might ask a player to “grayshirt”, or sit out until the next school semester. The program could also release the player altogether.
Richt did not name the names of any SEC head coaches but in talking about oversigning, he commented, “I think that’s an awful thing to do, I think that’s the wrong thing to do. And it’s nothing we’ve done since I’ve been at Georgia.” Richt has been at Georgia since 2001 and has had players grayshirt before and doesn’t see an issue with it as he says he’s always been upfront with players about it.
But here's the rub, if you grayshirt anyone, you've oversigned, period. It means you had too many guys on scholarship and not enough spots for them. It isn't against the NCAA rules to do it. I wish we could just pay the players and get over this amateurism pretense the NCAA wants us to believe in.