Signing Day 2012 Coverage
Posted January 31, 2012
MeanGreenSports.com will have the most extensive, minute-by-minute coverage of North Texas football recruiting available. We'll be at it all day Wednesday, beginning at 8 a.m.
MeanGreenSports.com will have a page devoted to signing news, updated throughout the day with all the signings as well as player bios and video highlights. We'll be in the coaches' offices, looking over their shoulders as the signed National Letters of intent come in and are verified, and we'll have a live chat to discuss those signings and take your questions.
In the afternoon, we'll cover Head Coach Dan McCarney's signing-day press conference, which will stream live via Mean Green Premium beginning at 1 p.m.
Changing the NCAA Landscape, Part 2 (I Waited Weeks For This?)
Last fall, the NCAA was all set to make a series of changes to its rules, changes alleged to be major. Potentially seismic. Things like multi-year scholarships and payment of student-athletes. Things that would have a dramatic impact on every collegiate athletic program. Great fodder for the ESPN talking heads.
My intent was to do a column discussing those changes weeks ago, but it's been delayed and delayed while waiting for the NCAA to finalize at least some of those changes. Fast forward to the end of January, and now the NCAA has tabled 75 of 90 proposed changes - including the big-news issues - until the spring.
Wow. The NCAA makes Congress look efficient.
Okay, so what has the NCAA accomplished? And how will it affect North Texas?
On the eve of national signing day, a change that could impact the Mean Green is Proposal 2011-43, a change bitterly opposed by SEC coaches and aimed squarely at their recruiting tactics. Beginning in August 2012, bowl subdivision football programs can only sign 25 prospects per year. No more signing 30 or 40 kids and sorting them out later.
SEC programs have been especially guilty of this, signing more players than they have scholarships and later determining who will actually get scholarships. The rationale behind it is that some kids will fail to qualify academically, so the school has ready-to-go alternatives. The truth is, it's a great way to keep players from signing with your competition, and it's incredibly unfair to a kid who signs in good faith and is left out a few months later.
The upshot is that a significant number of prospects who would have signed with an SEC school will instead be in search of another university, swelling the pool of top-tier players available for programs in non-automatic-qualifier conferences. Good news for schools in non-AQ conferences - and for the kids who will know that a scholarship (and a better shot at playing time) is waiting for them.
As for the tabled rule changes, they'll come up again in April. After that, the NCAA says there will be a one-year moratorium on new rules while they clean up the existing rule book and deal with outdated or unenforceable statutes.
But pardon me if I don't hold my breath waiting for those really big, major, seismic, sweeping changes to happen. And I'm sure not going to promise to write about it.
David Pyke is a 1982 graduate of North Texas, the creator of the website meangreenworld.com, a former journalist and now a member of the media-relations staff of the UNT Athletic Department. He offers an inside view of happenings in and around Mean Green athletics.
Previous Editions of Green Land
December 8, 2011: Weighting For Football
November 23, 2011: Changing the NCAA Landscape, Part 1