The answer to the latter is "yeah, probably." The former, though, let's take a look.
At first glance, the SEC's new recruiting regulations, which were voted on and passed earlier this week, seem to be very reactionary. While that's pretty typical of rulemaking in multibillion dollar industries, these rules seem to be - or, rather, are - very directly the result of things which have taken place more specifically under our Houston Nutt administration.
The first rule aims to curb the controversial practice of oversigning, something the Rebels have caught flak over since Houston Nutt's 38-member 2008 class. Schools will now be limited to 25 signees, and that's it. No more of the "sign 28 but only give scholarships to 25" deal which we've grown accustomed to. That means that grayshirting, amongst other practices, will likely no longer occur.
I Google Chatted (which is AIM for grownups) with Juco earlier today to ask for his ad hoc analysis of the rule. His points were brief, but I think they were good ones. Bulleted, with some annotation, they are as follows:
- This certainly does not benefit Ole Miss whatsoever. For the past several seasons, we've needed the promise of scholarships, playing time, and other opportunities to attract either the recruiting contingency plans of the Alabamas and Floridas of the conference, or to give us leverage with academic risks. We're going to have to completely reevaluate our recruiting strategy.
- This does benefit programs like Florida, who can sign all of the high-rated prospects they'd like, and hardly worry with academic casualties come signing day. They can continue to be choosy, whereas the paupers of the conference will have to both beg and choose.
- One should also think about the Senquez Golsons out there. This could drastically harm the chances of any baseball player who is considering holding off on the pros while he plays football in college because those players won't get SEC offers anymore if there's no room. This may sound silly, but it's an occurence that is more common than people may realize.
- Houston Nutt's farm system, b.k.a. the Mississippi junior college system, won't nearly be as beneficial as it has been. The notion of "signing and placing" is all but dead because of these rules. I do realize that we still get most of our athletes out of high school, and many of the juco guys we've "placed" haven't signed later - but on the other side of that coin there's Randall Mackey, our likely starting quarterback this fall, who signed with Ole Miss out of high school before being placed at East Mississippi Community College.
- Finally, there's the blatantly dickish removal of the graduate-student exception that allows players who have earned degrees to transferto an SEC and use any remaining eligibility immediately. We can call that one the Jeremiah Masoli rule. Yeah Mike, way to clamp the fuck down on a 4-8 football program. The only negative impact of the Masoli "scandal" was negative press which, if you live in the Deep South, is something you're fucking used to by now.
So, readers, your thoughts? How do you feel about oversigning (I feel like we've discussed this, oh, a dozen times or so)? The new rules? Jeremiah Masoli?