Blog Entry

Florida president vocal on recruiting issues

Posted on: February 1, 2011 12:03 pm
Posted by Bryan Fischer

It’s more common than you might think, especially as coaches look to load up on recruits to fill their rosters to the brim. Grayshirting, as it’s commonly known, is one way to get around the NCAA limit of 25 scholarships per year. By asking recruits to enroll in January, they would count against the previous year’s class if some recruits didn’t qualify or sign.

Of course, if a full class signs, the grayshirts are left out in the cold. That’s something that is not only wrong for a coach to do but morally reprehensible according to University of Florida president J. Bernard Machen.

“The universities, with full knowledge of what they are doing, extend more athletic scholarships than they have,” Machen wrote on “These schools play roulette with the lives of talented young people. If they run out of scholarships, too bad. The letter-of-intent signed by the university the previous February is voided. Technically, it's legal to do this. Morally, it is reprehensible.”

Machen, who was president at Utah before taking over at Florida, also called ending student-athletes’ scholarships early, “equally disgusting.” Despite the president’s stand, former head coach Urban Meyer did extend grayshirt offers out to players here and there. So far, new head coach Will Muschamp has not.

Given that the SEC is the most prominent conference where these practices go on, kudos for Machen for being frank, honest and speaking out against a practice that certainly affects student-athletes lives for years to come.


Since: Mar 20, 2007
Posted on: February 2, 2011 10:55 am

Florida president vocal on recruiting issues

Here is anothere example of the SEC getting all the focus for an action all conferences engage in.  LSU was, for some reason, singled out last year by the ESPN (who televisises Big 10 football - so much for objectivity) show for greyshirting even though they only had 2 greyshirts.  That is less than Michigan, Ohio State, Wisconsin, Florida, Auburn, Alabama, USC, Miami - the list goes on and on.  I wonder why they didn't talk about the Big Ten which actually had the most greyshirts last year.  Weird.  Essentially, if you see it on ESPN, not it to be biased for the Big Ten (11, 12)/against the SEC.

Since: Aug 24, 2006
Posted on: February 2, 2011 10:30 am

Florida president vocal on recruiting issues

Well, I must tell you that my opinion of Machen has changed.  Slightly.  I give him credit for taking a stand on his issue, because its a bad thing and the NCAA should outlaw it.  Overall I think he's still generally spineless, if he had any real sack he would have cleaned house after all the arrests over the past few years, but I gues that's in the past.  Maybe now that he has a new coach and can take some control of the issue, and can stop he nonsense that he let Meyer get away with.  For that, I give him credit.  By the way, where's his athletic director on this?  Oh yeah, he has no spine either.

Since: Sep 14, 2010
Posted on: February 1, 2011 6:16 pm

Whats That Saying About The Pot & The Kettle

Whats is that saying about the pot & the kettle. Under meyer looked at as some walk on water great coach the UF was as bad if not worse then LSU is at grey shirting.

Since: Mar 7, 2007
Posted on: February 1, 2011 4:02 pm

Florida president vocal on recruiting issues

A grey shirt is a recruit who signs in Feb 2011, but waits until Jan 2012 to enroll. His scholarship counts against the 2012 enrollment.

Grayshirt is another new term and is applied to the prospect that signs a letter of intent in February, but doesn't report in the fall with his teammates. He delays entry to college until midyear, i.e. January. That NCAA five-year clock doesn't start ticking until the player enrolls as a full time student, so gray-shirting is really a delayed version of red-shirting. For Example, Texas Tech, signed 34 players in February 2006, but NCAA rules prevent them from enrolling more than 25 to start the fall. Some of those nine other players gray-shirted during the 2006 fall season. They cannot enroll in college as full time students, can’t receive their scholarship, nor practice. It is like getting an extra year of practice, because most of these players don’t see the game field until two years later and they have the advantage of going through an extra spring practice.
A green shirt is a recruit who graduates early from High School and enrolls in Jan 2011 before he signs in Feb 2011.  He can count against the 2010 enrollment.

Green shirt is a relatively new term and is applied to that high school senior that forgoes his spring semester in high school to enroll in college in January. Green means “go” as in “go early”. More and more you see high school seniors pass up their final semester to get to campus early.   If a player (or the college staff), thinks he may be able to play right away as a freshman, it provides him with the opportunity to go through spring practice, learn the system, and get acclimated to being on campus. Obviously that takes some prior planning on the part of the player and his parents to insure he can graduate from high school early.

Since: Sep 19, 2006
Posted on: February 1, 2011 3:16 pm

Florida president vocal on recruiting issues

Nice story on ESPN today.  Les Miles declined the interview.  Oversigning & letting upper classman go, taking away their scholarships.  Bad story for Les & the Tigers program.  He's accused of being the worst. 

Where is the Ssh 4 Brains NCAA when this type of $#!+ is going on.  I guess the NCAA is really not for the individual athlete & doesn't give a damn who's feeling & lives are ripped apart. 
I guess it will come to another "Meat on the Hoof" a book that hurt Texas & Royal back in the early 70's after Texass won the Nat'l Title.  Gary Shaw published his auto-biography story & other teammates run off for their scholarships. Oklahoma reaped big benefits from that book, which probably made Shaw a large chunk of money.   

I guess I'm still naive.  But,  this did shock me.  My question is.  If a University discontinues scholarship aid because they stumble across another athlete they would rather have is that spurned athlete ineligible if he transfers to another NCAA program?
It would be nice to see the list of the programs that do the most oversigning & discontinuing young mens scholarships. 

Lost some more respect for the NCAA for allowing this type of stink!!YellFrown

Since: Mar 9, 2009
Posted on: February 1, 2011 3:00 pm

Florida president vocal on recruiting issues

A grey shirt coming in would start school this year meaning they enrolled already in Jan 2011... The coach recruited him to be a part of the 2011 freshman class, but he counts against the 2010 scholarships if some players were not eligible or did not sign. 

The practice you refer to may be practiced as well and may be considered a different form of grayshirting but the most common form is to apply the scholarship to any previous years scholarships.

Since: May 5, 2008
Posted on: February 1, 2011 2:56 pm

Florida president vocal on recruiting issues


Let's take most kids.  They go to a HS that maybe has a few hundred in their graduating class.  Then head to college where they may have classes with a few hundred kids.  Talk about culture shock...

a- kid finishes school in May, heads to college for the summer to start workouts in weightroom and running.  At the end of summer he takes a week or two off then back to school for 2 a days.  Then school starts and student athlete is expected to maintain grades in a new environment under much more stress than he has ever encountered.  Plus football every day.  And this ends in 1st week of December at the earliest followed by final exams and hopefully the 1st semester student will be eligible when it is over....

b- kid finishes school in May, has some time to relax with friends and family.  Has time to work a part time job and personally train to keep in shape.  Has 6-7 months to adjust for college life.  Heads to School in January and starts school with weightlifting and some running.  About 20 practices in the spring then some time off finals and then summer workouts for 1st year of competition....

Now for the super athlete who might play as a freshman, "A" sounds good.  but for most "B" would be the best scenario.

Since: May 5, 2008
Posted on: February 1, 2011 2:45 pm

Florida president vocal on recruiting issues

I do think the facts are a bit miscommunicated in the article.

1st,  a grey shirt is coming into the NEXT recruiting class not the previous one.  So if a player signs a letter in 2011, tomorrow, he IS NOT allowed to start school until next spring, 2012 and counts against the 2012 scholarship limit.

2nd, a grey shirt is typically offered to a player that based on his HS grades and physical abilities would be best suited to "hone up" for college life. 

is this any worse than the player who finishes HS and goes to some "military" school to play ball for a year while taking his senior class load again????

give me a break!

Since: Mar 18, 2009
Posted on: February 1, 2011 2:01 pm

Florida president vocal on recruiting issues

As most of us know, the NCAA nor the SEC care to do much about programs who continue to push the envelope and/or break rules/guidelines meant to create the fantasy called a "level playing field" for all NCAA programs and conferences.  It has become almost laughable to expect the NCAA or their little brother, the SEC, to do anything impactful other than negotiating contracts for the sole purpose of generating income.  Sort of like appealing to congress to do something instead of just talking about it, which is obviously what they do best, talk about things and each other.

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