Brian Cook is at best lazy and at worst a liar. He either is too lazy to do research, or deliberately ignores data to further his point. The latest case is a polemic against oversigning penned against the University of South Florida.

Cook just invents “facts” in his polemic. In the case of South Florida, when signee Kamran Joyner Joyer has troubles getting his transcript approved, Cook goes on the attack. He insults South Florida’s academic intergrity, “South Florida is an institution ranked ‘tier 3’ by US News and World Report. There they idle amongst such luminary I-A football leaders as Oregon State and Mississippi State, schools that will admit anything mountainous with a pulse as long as it has managed to scrawl an X on a junior college diploma.”

That is a LIE. The very website Cook cites rates South Florida as “MORE SELECTIVE” with only 49.6% of applicants gaining admission. All Cook needed to do to discover this fact was to click one more link at US News & World Report. Or did he read that and just ignore it? For comparison, Tulane (ranked 51 by US News) accepts 44.4% of applicants and SMU (ranked 66) accepts 50.1% of applicants.

Further comparison for those in Alabama, UAB is a top tier research institution according to Carnegie, but admits 76.7% of students and is ranked a Tier 3 in the US News rankings.

In simple terms, Cook is wrong when he insults South Florida. If he is wrong on this, what else does he get wrong?

He writes, “It’s not because he’s an academic risk in the eyes of the NCAA: he’s been given the go-ahead by the NCAA clearinghouse. He is fully qualified. This is strange and unexplainable.”

No it isn’t strange or unexplainable.

The NCAA doesn’t determine admission standards for its member institutions. The NCAA legislates minimum standards to compete in intercollegiate athletics that sometimes exceed and sometimes are below the standards of its members. One wouldn’t be shocked if Vanderbilt wouldn’t admit someone cleared by the NCAA. Why should we be shocked when South Florida is reluctant?

Because it furthers Cook’s agenda.

If Cook had bothered to READ the stories on this signee, he would have discovered this: “Coach Leavitt has been great through all of this, and we respect everything that he’s done,” said Joyer, “but with the academic committee, it’s kind of ridiculous. He’s a local kid, and committed because he’s local, and his uncles and five other relatives all graduated from USF. Now he won’t be a Bull”

But that isn’t helpful to his tirade. Cook writes without any evidence, “South Florida signed 29 players when they had 23 spots and is in the process of deleting players they find undesirable.”

There is only one thing to say to this. BS.

The player said this had nothing to do with the coach, but Cook imputes this to the football staff and not to the academic side of the University. He does so without proof and with Joyer’s explicit statement saying the coach supported the player.

The Internet fails as a reliable forum for the exchange of information because it lacks fact checking. There is no greater example than Brian Cook.

The Sporting News should be ashamed to have its name associated with this. Cook owes South Florida, its coach Jim Leavitt, its alums and its students an apology. The Sporting News does too. The Sporting News owes South Florida an apology for the reckless manner in which it published incorrect information.

Are there no standards at the Sporting News? We must hold the Sporting News (and whatever is published on its site) to a higher standard than a typical blog. The organization has put its name on whatever is published, and has an obligation to make sure what it publishes is truthful. Will it correct this? Will it do the right thing?

65 thoughts on “Brian Cook is lazy or a liar”

  1. Open letter to Brian Cook.

    Money and notoriety only go so far.
    Dont be a shmuck and think that the means justify the end. They dont.
    Every ounce of credibility you trade off is a pound of respect you will have to earn back at a later date. To believe otherwise is mere foolishness on your part.
    Evidently, you think that if you sling enough mud at others some of it might stick to them.
    You cant sling mud with out getting it all over yourself. Sadly, (when it all gets said and done) you end up looking just as unpleasant as the people you are slinging mud at.
    And that will be the story of Brian Cook. A promising young man who sold his journalistic integrity for a quick buck.

  2. Thanks for this entry- it’s important for bloggers to police themselves against idiots like Cook. It’s true that USF has the lowest APR in the BCS. Because of that, the administration created a committee that decides on borderline guys like Joyer, who was fully qualified, but under normal circumstances, wouldn’t get into USF. The committee already turned away one good DT prospect- Kyhri Thornton (who went to Southern Miss). The presence of that committee is a preventative step to make sure that there aren’t any academic casualties in the future. Because of the committee, the NCAA didn’t punish USF for the APR score. In the future, when our APR is better, we may let more borderline guys in.

    The other big impact of this situation is that Joyer’s little brother is the best fullback in the nation, as a junior. He was really hot for USF, but now he might be turned away by the treatment of his brother.

    Thanks again for this post. It’s kind of funny that an Alabama blog would be the defender of USF after what Nick Saban said two years ago (that we take non-quals, which wasn’t true because no Big East school can take them). And the low APR was from guys transferring away when we jumped from CUSA to the Big East- they’ll be off the books next year.

  3. Thanks for exposing this guy for what he is. Shocked that the Sporting News will put their name and reputation behind Cook. Guess he figured he could accuse South Florida of this and no one would call him out. Wrong again Mr. Cook. At least he’s consistent.

  4. Thanks for the feedback. Cook’s bluster and consistent failure to provide any evidence (empirical data, not wild conjecture) renders everything he writes on oversigning as nothing more than a joke.

    The largest problem here is that the Sporting News has allowed the smear against South Florida to stand. After 24 hours, the publisher has not corrected or otherwise repaired the reckless inaccuracies written by Cook.

    One additional note, Cook’s school is Michigan, and the university admits 50.3% of applicants, according to US News & World Report. Notice the comedy in that? Michigan is less selective on admission than the school he attacked. Should we just assume Michigan sucks? Of course not. I know two of the doctors my family uses were Michigan grads (later professors at UAB) and are NOTHING like the rude and childish Mr. Cook.

  5. “Michigan is less selective on admission than the school he attacked.”

    But US News has Michigan as “Most Selective” and USF as “More Selective”.

    Well, those statements can’t BOTH be right. And since you’re basing your argument strictly on acceptance percentages and not the quality of the accepted students, I’m gonna have to side with Brian Cook.

    If the dean of Tulane bans something it stays banned!

  6. Actually Chester, we are both right in this case.

    The % of accepted applicants is higher at Michigan than USF according to US News & World Report, but US News & World Report did include the U of M as most selective.

    I think the point is that Cook distorted or deliberately ignored what US News & World Report said in an attempt to smear USF as an institution that had no academic standards.

    See the problem?

  7. You have no idea what you’re talking about.

    “UAB is a *top tier* research institution according to Carnegie…”

    uuhhhh, UAB is NOT a top tier institution. as you quoted, it is a 3rd rate school in the US News rankings whose peer institutions are UAlbany, UMontana, UtahSt, Bowling Green, Balls St and Western Mich U.

    USF is not a highly selective school. If you are basing your judgment on acceptance rates, than you are a bit off base. There are over a dozen factors that go into the USNews rankings that make them a bit more robust than simply going by acceptance rates.

    The fact that you compare Vanderbilt to USF is laughable. Why not just compare Stanford to Chico St? Dartmouth to UNH or Harvard to Alabama?

    And what is Cook’s agenda? It’s simply to illuminate the oversigning phenomenon that allows kids like this to be booted from campus 6-7 weeks before Fall classes start even though they have done nothing to deserve it.

  8. Dude… Seriously… You are obsessed and kind of embarrassing yourself.

    If you had EVER read anything Brian Cook wrote OTHER than the 3 items based on Alabama’s over signing fiasco, you might see that he is 10x the writer and researcher you could ever hope to be. Thus, he gets asked to write for established publications and you… well you write things like this.

  9. Uhh Michigan Arrogance, UAB is rated in the top tier of research institutions by the Carnegie Foundation. (in fact, Carnegie ratings are highly important in academic circles–holding a professorship at a top research school is an accomplishment.)

    US News & World Report isn’t the only agency that rates colleges and universities.

    My point on UAB was to give further clarity to the issue–UAB is far more likely to accept anyone off the street than USF. In fact, USF accepts a lower percentage of applicants than schools like West Virginia or even the University of Alabama, according to the US News & World Report data.

    In higher education, the percentage of applicants accepted is a traditional standard to gauge the exclusivity of a school. There is a reason Harvard’s acceptance rate (or for that matter Oxford or Cambridge) is much lower than public institutions like Michigan or USF or UAB, etc.

    Again, the point isn’t if Michigan or Harvard or California is better than USF–the point is that USF rejects over half of all applicants.

    That shows Cook was either lazy or a liar when he wrote the Sporting Blog essay. Focus on the core issue. Cook was wrong when he said USF accepts everybody. Clearly, based on his own source, it does not.

    Why is that so hard for Cook’s fans to accept?

  10. @lawl

    Is Brian Cook a good writer?

    Yes. His prose is often elegant. However, almost everything he writes is full of vitriol. That isn’t necessarily bad, but it makes it hard to take anything he writes seriously.

    As for me, I ran a newspaper for almost a decade. Then ran a magazine for a couple of years. I’ve had hundreds of thousands of words published. I don’t claim to be a very good writer, but I can honestly say I’ve made a living my entire adult life as a writer.

    Thanks for reading. 🙂

  11. 1) the applicant pool between Michigan and UAB or USF is substantially different. Michigan applicants also apply to NW, stanford and the ivies. looking solely at acceptance rates is stupid.

    2) the core issue is not acceptance rates at USF, but rather over signing in college athletics.

    3) just b/c they are a ‘top tier’ research institution does not make it a selective university. there are plenty of small schools (the seven sisters as an example) that are 10x as selective but are not classified as ‘research’ colleges b/c they don’t have a lot of expenditures in STEM or any other research fields. UAB is a fine place to go to school, but it’s acceptance criteria is no where near those of Harvard, NW, Michigan or vanderbilt.

    4) USF does not accept everybody. since it is not a community or Jr college, that is obvious. its applicant pool, however, is not very good based on, well every objective measure. sure they reject 50% of applicants. that doesn’t mean much when your applicant pool consists of the 35-50th %ile of HS graduates.

    5) based on their NCAA-low APR score, it is pretty clear that they have not, in the past, had any reservations about accepting any level of student athletes. now, after signing 85+X students to their football team, they are being uncharacteristically (and unfairly, IMO) selective.

  12. You agree USF doesn’t accept everyone and that clearly refutes Cook’s insult.

    My point on UAB was to illustrate it takes lots and lots of people–more than USF. The insult would’ve been better directed at UAB (a school with its own APR problems.) However, UAB is a good school. I’d suggest USF is a good school too–unlike how Cook smeared the institution.

    The point is Cook distorted USF’s academic standards in an attempt to make it look bad in regards to oversigning. Unfortunately, someone bothered to actually read the US News & World Report instead of just accepting Cook’s blarney on the matter.

    Is oversigning a problem? Not in this case. The beat reporter even said USF is offering WALK ONs scholarships, and that Cook is wrong on this matter.

    Cook desperately WANTS to have some evidence of the deleterious impact of oversigning. He overreached on USF. Even the player says this isn’t about football, but about transcript issues.

    Facts and Cook don’t seem to go together when it comes to his crusade against oversigning.

    If Cook would toss fewer insults, and have actual facts (not conjecture) then it would further his cause. That is really all I’m asking. EVIDENCE. Real evidence. Quotes from a player saying “I got screwed!” Is that too much to ask?

  13. offering WALK ONs scholarships? that is shocking, considering they signed enough FR this year to put them at 90+/85 s’ships.

    if you consider USF and UAB to be ‘good schools’ then I don’t know what else to tell besides raise your expectations a little.

    USNews puts USF at a 3rd rate school. that’s all there is to say.

    and i don’t think proof would consist of unpleasant quotes from a player. the ends don’t justify the means.

  14. You do know there are other rankings besides US News & World Report? Right? Like the Carnegie Foundation, etc.

    Are USF and UAB equal to Duke or Vandy?

    No. But, it doesn’t mean they aren’t good schools. I didn’t say very good or great. (Again, I pointed to UAB to show a school with APR problems that has a significantly higher acceptance rate. Cook’s insult more likely applied to UAB than USF. Also, I used UAB to illustrate the acceptance rate issue in terms readily understood by a local readership.)

    Proof necessarily consists of actual people willing to go ON THE RECORD to say they were mistreated. That is kind of how journalism (and for that matter the legal system and social science research, etc.) works. We need actual testimony of people saying they were mistreated before we can consider something true. (Even with actual testimony to something, the testimony must then be evaluated before we know if a thing is true or not.)

    In the case of South Florida, the guy Cook says is getting mistreated isn’t. He praised Coach Jim Leavitt. Hardly the action of someone being screwed in an attempt to balance the scholarship limits. The school awarded a walk on a scholarship. Hardly the action of a school having trouble getting under the limit. The facts of this case tend to refute his point. Right?

    Cook has been moaning about oversigning for over a year, but can’t produce one piece of proof that it has injured anyone.

    Is that too much to ask? Shouldn’t he have proof before insulting people like USF?

  15. So, it’s OK for you to write a Philippic diatrabe against Cook, but not OK for Cook to criticize USF for oversigning and then pulling a kid’s scholly offer two months before school starts?

    You refer to “Cook’s agenda” so often that it sounds like a mantra, but you fail to include your own agenda: “proving” that your beloved Alabama has done nothing wrong by committing one of the grossest oversignings in the history of NCAA football.

    Alabama’s gluttony at the expense of students who signed LOI’s in good faith is wrong, and there is nothing you can do to change it. Attacking bloggers with integrity such as Cook only show you to be somewhere on the foodchain between “whiner” and “hypocrite.”

    What’s really funny is that Alabama, despite it’s lack of integrity, still can’t get past LSU and Florida in the same year. Until Saban actually accomplishes something at Alabama, your defense of his willingness to sacrifice numerous student-athletes for his agenda will continue to ring hollow.

  16. Tater,

    Can you prove those assertions? Has Saban screwed any player?

    Because if you can’t produce any player who substantiates what you wrote, then kindly STFU. 🙂

    As for USF, they didn’t pull his scholarship. READ please. The kid asked out of his LOI since the ACADEMIC committee was having problems with his transcript. The coach wanted the player, but the academic guys were worried he wasn’t going to be a strong enough student based on the transcript problems.

    Now, if the player supports the coach and the school isn’t having a scholarship issue (the beat reporter writes it isn’t a problem, and the school offered a walk on a scholarship), can we say the player was mistreated by USF?

  17. One more thing Tater, my agenda was to illustrate Cook doesn’t know what he is talking about.

    In the case of USF, he didn’t read the story and then went off on a rant.

    Kind of like every oversigning post he has ever made.

    Until he produces a few players who could verify they were injured by oversigning, all he is doing is spewing insults on the Internet.

  18. I guess I just find it convenient that USF (a school not well regarded academically and whose APR scores are the NCAAs lowest apparently) let go of an NCAA qualified kid 7 weeks before Fall classes start in a year where they oversigned their incoming FR football class beyond the 85 limit.

    Based on their general academic rep (mediocre at best) and their past APR scores (lowest among all NCAA D1-A), USF hasn’t turned down any students who, A) have a HS diploma or equivalent AND B) are qualified thru the NCAA clearinghouse AND C) can play football at the D1-A level.

  19. Michigan Arrogance,

    Thanks for the reasonable outline of your feelings. If Cook outlined his thoughts in his posts without the insults, it would be easier to take it seriously.

    It does look convenient, but it doesn’t fit the facts (as they now stand.) One reason I fault Cook, he didn’t even read what the kid had to say before attacking USF.

    Anyway, thanks again for sharing your thoughts. More of this would create a consensus on oversigning.

  20. So we are expected to believe that everything is so right in Michigan you guys can go around correcting everyone else?
    No, I dont think so.
    You guys cant even outshine the likes of Mexico to save your Auto industry. If Cook really wanted to make a difference he might put his blog to use to HELP Michigan, (as opposed to pointing out what others are doing wrong in an effort to make himself feel better about the shitty state of affairs in the “Hillbilly State”)
    Hang your head in shame you intellectual poser/Sage wannabes.

    I’am finished with you now. You can go back to the Blog world’s version of Jerry Springer (COOK) and tell him how brilliant he is for his civic slight-of-hand.

  21. Can you say obsessed? You guys should just get over the fact that MGoblog criticized your lord and savior Nick Saban. Cook used evidence to back up his arguments, something that writers tend to do.

  22. Not to be an ass, but Cook used NO evidence. In this recent attack on USF, he didn’t even READ the stupid article.

    1. USF isn’t facing a scholarship problem as the school awarded a walk-on a scholarship. Hardly something a school in a crunch would do.

    2. The player asked for the release and NOT the school. Again, Cook distorted what happened by accusing USF of being the party who caused the release from the LOI.

    3. The player continues to PRAISE Coach Jim Leavitt and lay the fault not with the football team, but the University’s admissions department.

    I’ll say it again, Cook tried to use this to support his hatred of oversigning, but he failed to do anything other than show he is too lazy to read and do research or he is a liar.

    Take your pick. I know what I think.

  23. One last thing regarding evidence.

    For Cook to be taken seriously on this subject, he needs to produce student-athletes who have actually be harmed. Until he can do this, with the student-athletes speaking out about what happened, there is no proof of the things he alleges.

    Once we get to the point where we know people are actually being mistreated, then we can engage in a fuller discourse about the ethics of this type of behavior.

  24. Cook’s agenda is somehow to prove oversigning is bad. However, he is intent on doing this without providing evidence.

    I’ll challenge again, once we establish people are actually being hurt (not hurt in Cook’s imagination) then we can debate the benefits and problems of such a system.

    From there, I bet most college football fans could reach a consensus on this matter.

    My goal in this post (and in most of the others on this issue) has been to point out how Cook proceeded on assumptions instead of facts. Also, Cook’s hateful rhetoric (like the smear on USF’s academic standards) detracts from his point. The Sporting News must be held accountable for the hate spewed on its website.

  25. You say that Cook’s agenda is somehow to prove that oversigning is bad. Misplaced modifiers aside, it’s pretty clear that you mean to say there isn’t an inherent problem with oversigning.

    Why is that?

    I mean, to me, the problems with oversigning are clear as day, and myriad at that. These are kids who likely will end up not being able to play anywhere else (at least for several years, anyway) due to NCAA transfer rules, and on top of that, they are being left holding the bill for a college education they might not be able to afford without a scholarship. And that’s just to start.

    The type of evidence you are searching for is ridiculous, particularly in light of the nature of oversigning. Why should student athletes have to come forward to the press and say “I’VE BEEN HAD!” for this argument to have any merit? In short, bad business is bad business regardless of whether the customer decides to come forward and do something about it. The same thing applies to collegiate athletics.

    There is plenty of evidence, but you choose to ignore it and/or change what you feel is “acceptable” evidence for the matter at hand.

    Call it a “smear campaign” or call it “investigative journalism.” Either way, I think it’s fairly obvious to everyone that is not an Alabama fan that you and every other Crimson Tide fan are just upset that Cook specifically used Saban’s class from last year was as an example here, and are now grasping at straws to make it look like you’re somehow defending the nation’s “premier academic institutions” (yeah, you know, USF and Harvard are on the same level) against this growing smear campaign. Sure.

    Unfortunately, it clearly looks like the SEC administrators agree with Mr. Cook.

  26. I’d also like to challenge you to explain how one provides empirical evidence to show that oversigning is bad.

    It’s pretty clear that this is a matter of moral opinion that is not provable with numbers. You know, in the same way that homicide is pretty universally considered “bad.” I’m pretty sure no one ever put together a number-based report on why homicide is “bad” before it was considered a crime.

  27. Wow, actually needing proof that someone gets screwed is ridiculous? I’m glad real journalists require proof before printing stuff.

    I’m not sure oversiging is bad, because we have yet to see ONE SINGLE student-athlete say they were screwed by it.

    Furthermore, academic scholarships awarded for academic merit require specific progress and continued excellence. Why shouldn’t athletic scholarships be based on similar continued merit?

    Before I decide if oversigning is bad, I want to know how many players are actually injured by the process, and then to explore IF oversigning is in the interest of the university. When that is determined, I can judge if it is a good or bad thing. We need to know the impacts (real not what Mr. Cook imagines) before we can analyze this topic. Is that unreasonable?

    As for me, I’ll continue to point out when Cook insults, smears or otherwise lies about this issue. I’ll also call for the Sporting News to apply journalistic standards to its blogs.

    As for the SEC, oversigning is still allowed; however, it can’t attain the level of Ole Miss from the most recent class.

  28. Empirical evidence would be several former student-athletes who could say they wanted to continue on scholarship, but were booted to make room for new recruits, OR, new signees who were forced to grayshirt or find a new school because of oversigning.

    In the USF case, the player specifically contradicts Cook’s assertion. This is why I want the players at issue to confirm they were screwed. Cook just assumes. I want confirmation.

    It isn’t that hard to get. A real journalist would call several of these athletes and probe for information and get quotes from the athletes to buttress the story.

    Honestly, is actual testimony from injured parties too much to ask?

  29. Has it seriously never occurred to you that a player who got screwed would avoid bashing his former coach? Perhaps in an attempt to land a scholarship at another school he decided bashing his former coach was a bad idea. The lack of a player quote is hardly damning evidence against the con side.
    The fact is USF signed more guys than they had spots for. Alabama did too last year, and I am sure plenty of other schools have done so. Maybe in Alabama’s case and USF’s case the numbers worked out and there was no wrongdoing. But at some point a team signing six guys too many isn’t going to get six legitimate departures and they will cut someone. Even if in your world oversigning has always worked out, someday it will screw a kid.

  30. Someday?!?!?


    Oh My God!

    I guess someday someone will get screwed in Las Vegas!

    Quick. Close it down! Because someday!

    In theory, oversiging is bad. In theory, communism was good.

    Theories are great. Evidence is better.

  31. Why might someone have a “hidden agenda” against oversigning? Oversigning sucks because it screws kids over. Accusing Cook of being disingenuous for secretly planning to overthrow the evil regime of oversigning just sounds ludicrous.

  32. Oversigning is good for a coach and a team as far as the ability to win goes. Not so good for players. JMO.

  33. Oversigning sucks because it screws kids over.

    And of course you can provide specific instances where a kid was screwed over?

    You can’t?!?!?

    See, I want PROOF that it screws kids over, and so far, nobody has offered that.

  34. Cap…… If you honostly think that oversigning on purpose does not negatively affect the recruit who gets his scholarship yanked out from under him because he isnt panning out on the field, then you are in a state of denial. And if I did take the time to research it, I would find soem instances, and you know I would.

    Get your head out of your butt.

    Oversigning is a Universities insurance policy that they will have a solid class. Nothing more , nothing less.

  35. This Ballplay is the problem. IF players were screwed people like Cook, who has been ranting about this for over a year, would have found evidence of this injuring players.

    What makes you think players get their scholarship yanked? I’ve seen players put on medical scholarship (they still get their education despite not being able to play football), transfer to a new school (getting to be on scholarship there), etc.

    I’ve yet to see proof that any player has ever been screwed. Now, even if players were screwed, it would then be useful to know how many and how often. Then we could judge the process.

  36. Brian Cook’s vagina is in desperate need of a good shave.

    He simply points out the flaws in every other program, simply to cope with the fact that his program is below the ranks of Notre Dame. They’re terrible and the sad truth is, a once proud football powerhouse is now a national punchline.

    Richer Rod is not going to save that program from mass destruction, but instead only make it worse. If he’s not fired in three years, he’ll bolt to some D-3 school without saying goodbye, but who can blame him? After all, Michigan is the Mississippi of the North, and why stick with a program that is only going to get worse?

    The gap between the Big-10 and Michigan is growing even larger, and they can forget about EVER beating Ohio State for the remainder of this decade and the next.

    It sucks to be you guys!

  37. Show some evidence where some released players due to oversigning are happy. I will guaruntee you that you would have a harder time finding a former player with something positive to say than I would have finding one saying something negative..

    Richer Rod. If Rod is given a couple more years he will own the pathetic Big Ten.

  38. Oh, and Ohio State is the national punchline. You are 0- what against the SEC ?

  39. Ballplay, I’m not trying to prove oversigning is good. I’m simply saying that if we are going to take some sort of leap and declare it evil (which is what all those Michigan and a few Auburn fans are doing) then we should at least do so based on evidence.

  40. Please read… and laughably don’t attempt an excuse…
    Let’s see: misdemeanor = star player caught on campus with crack/weed = disciplinary measures; crime = 2nd/3rd string guy with same offense kicked off team for breaking team rules. Does that equal “being hurt by oversigning”? It happened last year, it’ll happen this year. It’s pathetic. Also pathetic, knowing you’ve signed such quality character guys that you can count on 10 opening a door for you to kick them out each year. Oh, and don’t get a hangnail you might have to redshirt.

  41. Why haven’t disgruntled kids come forward?
    A) If you’ve been kicked off for “violation of team rules”, (that likely gets looked the other way on for better players) what are you going to say, “I’ve been screwed!”. Probably not, because the quick homer answer will be, “You did it to yourself.”
    B) Saban comes to you and says, “Son, you haven’t progressed like we thought you would, I hate to see you not play, I’ve got friends at some smaller schools…”, and you decide instead to trash your coach and screw yourself out of an easy transfer?
    C) Maybe the tutors stop be as helpful to you, and you’re not smart enough to realize it (since you’re getting help in the first place) and blame yourself for your academic letdown.
    Do we need to go on? If you think it doesn’t happen, you’re naive. Lack of proof, based on a “complainer” doesn’t mean oversigning is problem-free. The abuse potential is enormous. There have been several kids come out with luke-warm statements, the kind where you know they’re being restrained in their words. Good luck finding someone who likely is only at Alabama, or any other school for that matter, because it was a way out of a shitty life, who is going to complain. They didn’t get the opportunity in the first place by going through life complaining.
    This is why the NCAA – whose job it is to worry about the STUDENT-athelete will step in if the conference commish’s don’t. The people responsible KNOW it’s an issue, why can’t U?

  42. Badabing……….You nailed it.

    Cap…..What about whats right and wrong ? The Saban is supposed to be the epitome of morality and an exemplary human being isnt he ?

  43. If you think it doesn’t happen, you’re naive. Lack of proof, based on a “complainer” doesn’t mean oversigning is problem-free.

    So, lack of proof is proof?

    Is that like “proof of Trotsky’s farsightedness is that none of his predictions has yet come true?”

    Also pathetic, knowing you’ve signed such quality character guys that you can count on 10 opening a door for you to kick them out each year.

    So when people go on medical scholarship that is low character? Please.

    The reason this is a non-story is that you can’t provide any evidence this has ever injured anyone.

    Until you do, you are just babbling. Proof or STFU. 🙂

  44. Scholarships are given to players for 1 year. Each year that scholarship has to be renewed. If a player is concerned that he might not have the ability to maintain that scholarship for the full 4 years at a university such as Alabama he needs to go elsewhere.
    We can all sit here and bitch and moan about how unfair it is that players don’t get their scholarships renewed, but they know going into it that it is a year by year thing. Instead of crusading to save all these poor children who lose their scholarships why doesn’t Cook focus on the debacle that is Michigan football right now. OH WAIT!! By pointing out all the faults of others and all of the injustices that are going on at all these other vile institutions that aren’t Michigan, Cook can avoid talking about the worst UM team to ever take the field.

  45. You have no idea what you’re talking about, schollies don’t need renewed yearly. Only 5th year seniors need “extended” an new offer. The “whole point” of this ongoing argument is that some coaches are finding ways to selectively “take away” schollies from sub-par players by using double standards favoring towards saving better players.
    BTW I could care less about Cook. The one pointing out a problem isn’t responsible for it, coaches like Saban are.
    The FACT (since Cappy likes facts) is that right now Alascama is 10 over. 10 over, knowingly when they recruited and took the LOI’s. Now we will sit and wait to see what 3rd stringers will get kicked off for J-walking, swearing, toenail fungus etc. Bet you it won’t be a top-notch guy who gets the boot.
    I’m happy the NCAA can see the “facts” or “proof” without having to sacrifice some complaining kid. Because they’re realists and can infer something bad is happening, they’ll fix it.
    It’s OK Cappy, I won’t hold your lack of inference against you; not even all such accomplished “journalists” as yourself have ALL the skills they should.

  46. R U Serious, you don’t know what you are talking about. College scholarships are renewed YEARLY. Read some before spewing stuff on the Internet please. 🙂

    From the NCAA:
    Is an athletic scholarship guaranteed for four years?
    No.Athletic scholarships, like most merit-based scholarships, are limited to one academic year. Athletic scholarships may be renewed and the school must notify the student-athlete in writing by July 1 whether the athletic scholarship will be renewed for the next aca-
    demic year. Individual schools have appeal policies for scholarships that are reduced or not renewed. In most cases, the coach decides who gets a scholarship, what it covers and
    whether it will be renewed

  47. BTW RU Serious, I never claimed to be accomplished. In fact, I’d say I was anything but.

    However, I do know enough to research before I spew stuff on the Internet or in print. 🙂

  48. It must be nice to live in a black and white world, you know, technicalities that rule the day, need for proof, believing the one fact you dredge up to support you trumps all…
    OK, they “technically” need renewed, but that’s not how the system (to anyone with a real-world understanding of it) works. How ’bout you show me some proof of ANY college coach telling a recruit up front that they’re offering a 1-year schollie? **The only time you’ll see this is a borderline walk-on/grey-shirt who may get a one-year “look” offer. I.E. maybe one guy a year.
    All of your 3 star and up type recruits are given the assumption that they are there for 4 years, or this wouldn’t even be an issue.
    If it were black and white like in your world, all programs would take 25 each year then say “See ya” to the worst 15 returning players. There would be no need for player cuts/suggested transfers, etc, they’d just openly say “you’re cut”.
    Show me proof of where Saban told anyone that last year. Better yet, why didn’t he do it to a few days ago before July 1 this year if it’s that simple? He didn’t? No, because he knows it doesn’t work that way in the real world, and he’s not stupid enough to do it, as it would piss off kids and hurt his recruiting.
    Also, you have completely ignored a rather large piece of info in your own citation. The “July 1” deadline prevents coaches from making their desired cuts late in the summer after they get their oversigning hands on the incoming guys to assess them better. So, once the schollies were “renewed” by July 1, as in a few days ago, all current Alabama guys can feel “safe” for this year? I think not.
    As for spewing, I’ve seen your stuff, you would definitely know what spewing is about.

  49. LOL RU Serious, you don’t like facts do you? I point out it is COMMON knowledge even among recruits that scholarships are ONE YEAR deals (the NCAA info is from a handout on academic scholarships available at and the national letter of intent website.) If a player is too stupid to read that, well, …he’d fit right in the blogosphere where people don’t read stuff before ranting. 😉

    Anyway, the July 1 deadline is important. Why do you think we heard about some players moving to medical scholarships close to that date?

    My best guess (based on conversations I had with a person familiar with coaching in the SEC) is that the numbers were worked out between the end of spring practice and the start of the first summer term. We don’t know what Saban has in mind because he is secretive. That isn’t good or bad, but it does make it more difficult to judge what is happening behind the scenes.

    Your assumption is that kids are CUT; however, that isn’t verified by players actually being CUT. What we know is players have moved to medical scholarships, transferred or left the program in the past. Now, that could change this year. I wouldn’t be shocked if it did or didn’t. However, I’d like to KNOW something is happening before I get outraged about it. 🙂

    BTW, I don’t have to show anyone proof. I’m not the one screaming something is IMMORAL. When you offer an opinion that conduct is bad, the burden of proof is on you to verify your position. That is how civilized society works. If you argue for a position to change the status quo, you get the burden of proof. So far, you are failing.

    Again, show me players truly cut, and then we can judge the ethics of oversigning. I’ll be waiting…

  50. I have another fact that you porbably won’t like….Alabama has signed 2 of the top recruiting classes in the nation over the past 2 years. If all of this was a concern for the incoming players and if in fact Saban is such a horrible person, don’t you think the kids would go to another university? You’re sitting here defending people that haven’t asked to be defended. All of this is based on the possibility of something bad going on. This sounds like a prime case for the ACLU.

  51. “After all, Michigan is the Mississippi of the North, and why stick with a program that is only going to get worse?”

    If you have such amazing foresight, I guess you should be thankful that RR didn’t end up going to Alabama after your school offered him a position as HC. I mean, I figured that Alabama was headed straight for the shitter after losing to ULM and going 7-6 in 2007. I almost couldn’t blame Nick Saban for cutting corners just to please the impatient rednecks.

    Saban oversigned. He has to count on having players cut. If it’s by 1 or 2 players, then it’s not too outlandish to expect a few players to leave, but it’s still wrong. Football was part of the arrangement for these student-athletes. And at least for some of these kids, it’s the path to the NFL. It’s simply wrong to cut a sophomore–or even someone who hasn’t even started school–to make room for others.

    I would rather be the “Mississippi of the North” than Alabama in the South any day. And just so you know, “the median household income in Ohio, the poorest state represented by the Big Ten, was $4,500 higher than the average median income for all the SEC states last year.”

  52. You guys are missing it, I don’t know how because I’ve said it repeatedly. He won’t “cut” anyone. Why? Because cutting people that everyone else in the college football world knows has 4 years (not 1 year at a time) looks BAD. Why do you think the media makes a point out of saying how good a coach is when a player suffers a significant injury and has no chance of playing again (ala Antonio Bass), yet the coach keeps him on schollie? The coach doesn’t “have to”, but he does – if he has integrity – because everyone knows he was offered 4 YEARS!! What Saban will do is use lame reason, like a 4th stringer missing a team meeting, or a campus alcohol offense to boot a lesser talent that he would never think of booting if he were a starter. Wait and see.
    Your propensity to wrap a whole argument around 1 fact (i.e. that you are the only one who believes this 1 year schollie thing, or that one metric like admissions rates classifies a whole universities admisssion policies) that you keep pointing to as the end-all be-all is what leaves you looking amateurish; which ironically is how you like to fault everyone else – saying they jumped in to soon, after looking at too little, not fully understanding the issue. Your just spewing the same fact over and over. Good luck with your season, try not to rejoice too hard as the 10 remaining “cutees” find themselves in jail/developing unexplained medical mysteries (in July yet, not even after spring practice!!)/suddenly desiring a degree from Alabama State A&M Tech or whatever because they think it’s a better life choice.
    It’ll all find it’s way back to you before long.

  53. RU Serious,

    I’m not the only one who believes the one year scholarship. Just because fans (like you) are ignorant of the rules doesn’t mean people involved with college football are ignorant too. Players know much more than you give them credit for knowing. And the data is there in the NCAA’s own handout to players. Sorry you don’t like facts. 🙂

    As for players being cut after injury, you do know players placed on MEDICAL scholarship don’t count against the 85 limit and still get to finish their education at the school? That is one way players who can’t play again are taken care of by institutions.

    Are transfers always the coach’s fault? Why is it when a player on Saban’s team transfers that it is imputed to be his fault? I know oversigning critics will say the oversigning encouraged it. But, transfers happen without oversigning and aren’t a problem–why then must we impute a problem when oversigning is present, and absent any additional fact to prove the assumption?

    And unlike you, I’ll close with a sincere wish for you to enjoy your football season.

  54. Cap, Bama IS oversigning. While it may not be illegal, its morally wrong. You know it . I know it. The whole world knows it. For you to say it isnt shows your crimson goggles are at full capacity. You will NEVER EVER EVER convince me that someone offered a scholorship out of high school thinks for one second that its on a year to year basis. Thats crap from word go ….End of discusion

  55. LOL, if people are too stupid to read the contract and the information given them, then it is their fault. The LOI website is explicit the agreement is a for ONE YEAR.

    Oversigning isn’t immoral because nobody is hurt by it.

    If you believe someone is hurt by it, prove it. Show us an example. Show us more than one example. Until we know someone has been hurt by it, it is speculation, conjecture and wishful thinking.

    I don’t have on crimson goggles. I’m simply demanding proof that this injures people before I rant about it. That is a completely reasonable thing to do.

  56. So one last question then; try to answer with a legitimate, thoughtful response… If everyone so widely understands this one year thing, then why is the NCAA now tracking APRs, which you must know lead to disciplinary measures? They hold schools accountable for the total number of kids who don’t matriculate, whether due to academic failure, criminal dismissal, transfer out of the program, revoked schollies (cuts), leaving early for the NFL etc? Why on earth would the governing body care to include some of these aspects if they were on the up-and-up? Abusing programs like USF, Alabama, and a growing number of others will eventually realize they screwed themselves as 10+ kids a year start feeding into these totals, whether the kids themselves complain, or as you assume, are just dandy with it. The only thing that will save them is their own commishs. You want sincerity? Try to be sincere yourself and honestly admit either A) you’re the biggest homer in the world if despite NCAA and SEC leaders acting on this issue, you still feel it’s fine; or B) you are anything but sincere and just like pushing logical responders buttons

  57. Sorry it took me so long to reply today. I was buried in work. Anyway, this is a good question.

    I do like pushing people’s buttons. And I’ve gone after oversigning largely because I don’t believe those on a crusade against it know what they are talking about.

    My HONEST view is that limited oversigning is fine. It is common to sign a recruit and the recruit KNOW that he will grayshirt. John Parker Wilson was signed that way back before Saban ever thought of coming to UA.

    I also think limited oversigning is fine because I know coaches tell borderline recruits they can sign even if the chances are low they will qualify. When this happens, it is my experience in talking with coaches and recruits, that the players are told how things will unfold if they qualify or if they don’t. There is much more disclosure with at-risk students than most people know. It isn’t always perfect, but that doesn’t mean oversigning is bad.

    One other thing about oversigning, attrition is common, and signing a handful of extra players to replace the ones you expect to go on medical scholarship isn’t a bad thing. It is a sound business decision.

    I do like your mention of APR. I think retention and graduation should be important goals for college athletics. I was told the retention element of APR is one of the biggest reasons a coach can’t just purge his roster of troublemakers when a coaching regime changes. I think that is a legitimate requirement for teams to get players to earn a degree.

    Semantic point: Matriculate is to be enrolled at a college, not to graduate from college.

    However, your assertion that Alabama is in APR trouble is wrong. Alabama’s APR is 955, which isn’t too far away from the SEC’s best score in football-Georgia with a 965.

    Also, the cutting players thing is one of the things that irritates me. Players aren’t being cut. When an injured player who can’t play is put on a MEDICAL SCHOLARSHIP, that is fair to the player and the football team. This is one of the reasons I’ve asked for specific names of players who weren’t treated fairly. It would lend credibility to arguments to further restrict teams who abuse this method of dealing with scholarships.

    One last thing as I’ve rambled tons. Why should student-athletes be entitled to four years of scholarships when other merit scholarships are reviewed every year? The NCAA wants student-athletes treated like every other student. Why should these football players who don’t perform get to keep their scholarships?

  58. Cap,
    Thank you for your call on Cook to apologize to USF. I believe this pompous grandstanding on the academic integrity of ones Alma mater is ridiculous. In this instance, Brian Cook’s flagrant misrepresentation of the facts caused harm by defaming a burgeoning athletic and educational institution. Maybe its not Harvard, but the Bulls could take the Crimson on the gridiron without a doubt. I remember in the not too distant future that Saban and Leavitt had a little tiff, all the more reason I appreciate your stance on this “journalist’s” piece. And a piece it is.

  59. “In this instance, Brian Cook’s flagrant misrepresentation of the facts caused harm by defaming a burgeoning athletic and educational institution.”

    Ahaha. A burgeoning educational institution? Wow. You keep on letting in half of the dim wits from one of the worst education systems in the country and yeah, you’ll definitely become the next Yale.

    God, idiots are just flocking to hang out with each other. Circle jerk of idiots.

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