Players unaffected by over signing was a good thing

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, October 25, 2017

When it comes to recruiting for football teams, colleges should not lose track of how many scholarships they have available.

On National Signing Day, many high school athletes across the country sign letters of intent to a Division I, II, III or junior college program.

As the football programs received the letters of commitment, they also have to keep track of the scholarships they have available, because they’re only allowed so many.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

This past February, Pearl River Community College’s football program received a one-year postseason sanction for over signing five football players to its roster. That means that even though the team could have went on to the playoffs, they are ineligible this year due to the oversight.

Luckily, for those five individuals who were signed over the limit, they were able to stay on the team and attend college, which sometimes doesn’t happen.

There have been cases throughout Division I programs where players were affected by this situation and unfortunately for them, they could only stay in the program if they accepted a walk-on spot.

The biggest known case was in 2009, when former Ole Miss Head Coach Houston Nutt signed 37 student-athletes, above the limit of 28.

Another case involved former Ohio State receiver James Jackson, who was also affected when that football program over signed players.

When a college offers a student-athlete a scholarship to represent its program, they should remember that they are not just signing an athlete. They are also bringing in a student who believes they will get the education they need to help them for the rest of their life, and that’s something a college football program shouldn’t take away just because they lost track of numbers.

It’s our hope that the efforts put in place by PRCC will prevent future instances of too many scholarships being offered, resulting in the team being ineligible to play in the post season yet again.