Answer Wednesday! (Part 5)

A question here on whether USC does not give out enough scholarships.

Q: scinsc5 said:
According to the following schools had the following number of football commits for the 2006-2010 recruiting classes: usc(101), florida(120), alabama(135). Do you think usc made significant errors by not getting more players on scholarship during said recruiting classes and do you see the new regime attempting to get more commits per year? (Disclaimer: I assume it’s complicated and I do not know the number of scholarship limitations) Related/optional question, was usc too picky or were they simply unable to get players? It just seems like usc would be so much better right now if they had 20-35 more scholarship players on the current roster.

A: This is a hard question to answer without seeing the story. But based on what you say, listed “commitments.” Schools can get an unlimited amount of commitments and then renege on them or maybe a recruit commits and changes his mind. So I don’t find that stat too important.
The real stat is how many players signed scholarships. Every school gets the same (85) and is limited to 25 per year. Maybe Alabama had more commitments because there was a coaching change and Nick Saban dropped a lot of recruits. I don’t know. Lane Kiffin dropped two commitments from Pete Carroll’s class last year.
USC could not have 25-30 more players on the roster unless they were walk-ons. Some schools go through players a lot faster because they run them off too after a year or two of not playing. Hopefully, this helps.

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  • sureshot

    There’s more on this subject at

    Stewart Mandel (SI College Football Guru) wrote about it in this week’s mailbag edition. Funny how the SEC gets away with over-signing so many players. Personally, I think it’s morally corrupt to sign (and lock-in) more players than you can put on your roster. These kids sign with schools thinking they’ll be there for at least four years and then guys like Nick Saban and Houston Nutt cut them after a year or two because they didn’t get as big/strong/fast as they hoped they would. On the other hand, if the player wants to transfer to another school, he has to sit a year or move down to I-AA (FCS).

    The hypocrisy of the NCAA lives on!