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Old 12-29-2013, 10:25 PM   #1
trapper82
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Default Why I think Tennessee's class of 33 is against the rules

Warning - Long
If you don't want to read, don't, no biggie.


This topic was bogging down a recruits thread, so instead of continuing there I thought we should make another thread for it. The issue is how Butch Jones' is recruiting a class of roughly 35 total kids when both the NCAA and the SEC now have rules with a 25 player cap. The answer was given before, so I will quote it here:

Quote:
The Rule
quote:
13.9.1 Letter of Intent – Limitation. Each SEC member institution is limited to signing 25 football prospective student-athletes to a National Letter of Intent, Conference financial aid agreement and/or institutional offer of athletics financial aid from December 1 through May 31st of each year. [Adopted 5/29/09; effective immediately; revised 6/3/11; effective August 1, 2011]

The possible Loop Hole

quote:
The dates are critical, because the SEC bylaw collides with a new NCAA rules interpretation that impacted this recruiting cycle. Academically eligible student-athletes who plan to enroll early (in January) are now allowed to sign aid agreements with universities as early as Aug. 1.

Tennessee had a flood of players sign aid agreements last month — perhaps a half-dozen players or more. Why is this significant? By the letter of the law, those players wouldn’t count against the SEC’s signing limit. They’re freebies, if you will.

Now, make no mistake: This loophole, if it’s real, doesn’t affect the scholarship limitations. But it would give Tennessee more flexibility than teams that haven’t yet discovered the loophole.

For example, let’s say five players sign aid agreements before Dec. 1, 2013, and enroll at UT in January.

UT can count back at least five scholarships against 2013 because that year’s class was under the 25-man limit. So that’s now 10 that wouldn’t count against the SEC signing limit

Jones has said he wants to welcome 14 mid-year enrollees in January. If the Vols were able take 10 of those players “off the books” for the purposes of the SEC signing rule, they could sign another 21 players to traditional Letters of Intent in February.

Grand total? 35.

Here is some more info:
http://www.ajc.com/weblogs/college-r...ing-loopholes/

What about those two loopholes?
The first has to do with the financial-aid agreements. Under the SEC’s “over-signing” bylaw (which went into effect around two years ago), schools are limited to signing 25 prospective student-athletes (PSAs) to a National Letter of Intent and financial aid from Dec. 1 to May 31 each year. This year, a new NCAA interpretation allowed kids who have been approved to enroll early to sign financial-aid agreements beginning on Aug. 1. According to Woodberry, the first loophole could be kids who signed before Dec. 1. “They’re freebies, if you will.”
My argument was that the rule itself is sadly ambiguous because it uses "and/or" which legal documents are supposed to avoid if at all possible. I have highlighted that part below:

Quote:
13.9.1 Letter of Intent – Limitation. Each SEC member institution is limited to signing 25 football prospective student-athletes to a National Letter of Intent, Conference financial aid agreement and/or institutional offer of athletics financial aid from December 1 through May 31st of each year. [Adopted 5/29/09; effective immediately; revised 6/3/11; effective August 1, 2011]
A quick Google search of how to use and/or will tell you simply not to:

http://www.slaw.ca/2011/07/27/grammar-legal-writing/

Review that as you wish. To start with, let's take a look at the actual definition of and/or:

- either or both of two stated possibilities.

Let's give some examples of phrases that use "and" separately from "or."

1a. I am going to the store for milk and eggs.

Pretty simple really, you expect me to return with BOTH milk AND eggs.

2a. I am going to the store for milk or eggs.

Again, pretty simple. For whatever reason, you expect me to return with milk or eggs, but not both. Maybe the store doesn't have both, maybe I don't have enough money for both, but the or tells you I am only going to return with one.

3a. I am going to store for milk and/or eggs.

Now you aren't sure what to expect when I come home. I could have milk, I could have eggs, or I could have milk AND eggs. What I should say is "I am going to the store for milk or eggs, or both," since that is what I really mean.

Now, let's use those same examples with three choices:

1b. I am going to the store for milk, eggs, and coffee.

I should arrive with all three.

2b. I am going to the store for milk, eggs, or coffee.

I should arrive with one of those three choices.

3b. I am going to the store for milk, eggs and/or coffee.

In this statement, depending on the context, I may be saying that I will certainly be returning with milk and either eggs or coffee, but not both. Maybe I mean I am going to return with some combination of the three of those, possibly including all three. Or, maybe I actually meant to say I will only be returning with one, in which case I should have used 2b above. Since 2b would be the proper and clear way to say that, let's remove it from our choices. Which leaves us with:

1c. I will be certainly be returning with milk and possibly bring eggs or coffee, but not both.

2c. I will bring some combination of milk, eggs, and coffee, maybe even all three.
________________________________________

If you are still reading, this is where Tennessee can be in trouble. The only way you know for sure if I mean 1c or 2c is by asking me or looking at the context of my broader conversation. The term and/or is naturally ambiguous, which is why it is avoided. Let's break down the NCAA and SEC rule with this in mind:

Quote:
Each SEC member institution is limited to signing 25 football prospective student-athletes to a National Letter of Intent, Conference financial aid agreement and/or institutional offer of athletics financial aid from December 1 through May 31st of each year.
Playing the part of milk, eggs, and coffee, we have:

- A National Letter of Intent

- Conference financial aid agreement

- Institutional offer of athletics financial aid

Let's pause for a second and remind ourselves of the clear purpose of the rule: to stop over-signing by limiting the classes to 25 per year. Tennessee fans want to focus on the dates in the statement above, but those dates only modify one of the clauses. In these readings, you will see why the 25 total limit supersedes the dates given for the institutional aid. If you notice, the phrase "25 football prospective student-athletes" is modified by these three clauses, but it remains the same. The main point of the rule was to limit each school to 25 athletes per year. With that in mind, here are a few possible renderings of their rule if you want to parse that and/or:

1d. You can sign 25 total athletes to a NLOI and Conference aid or Institutional aid, but not both.

In this situation, the 25 total athletes can sign a NLOI or have some type of aid given to them, either through the conference or the institution. The total number of these athletes in this case must still be 25, whether they are counted for receiving aid or for signing a NLOI.

2d. You can sign 25 total athletes using some combination of NLOI, Conference aid and Institutional aid.

This again makes the number 25 paramount, and would not allow them to go over 25 in this class regardless of the method.

Either one of these renderings could be used to say that Tennessee has far too many recruits to fit into this guideline. What is also telling is how the other schools are currently behaving:

http://sports.yahoo.com/ncaa/footbal...k/2014/all/all

Here are the schools with over 25 commitments:

Tennessee - 33
Miami - 29
Florida State - 26
Virginia Tech - 27
Arizona - 27
Baylor - 26

With the exception of Miami, all are hovering just around 25. Accounting for non-qualifiers and possible changes of commitment, you should probably say those with 26 or 27 are right where they should be. For instance, Florida State has Dexter Wideman, and who knows what he is going to do? If he flips to South Carolina which some are already predicting they are back at 25. The closest school to them is Miami at 29, and Miami is really known for following the rules and such. Even so, no one else is over 30. No one else is even AT 30. And Butch apparently doesn't want to stop at 33 as he has aimed for a class of 35. And do remember, the NCAA had as part of our punishment that we could only take 22 commits for a few years, down from the usual 25. In other words, they used the standard of 25 maximum signees per year as part of a punishment, so believe it or not I am pretty sure they are serious about this 25 max number.

Now either one of two things is happening. Either Butch Jones found a loophole no one else in the country found and is exploiting it to the hilt, making the NCAA and the SEC look like chumps in the process, or all these other programs know that what he is doing isn't going to fly and they are staying away from it. Does anyone believe that Urban Meyer, had he really not thought of this before, wouldn't do it now that it was known that for one year you can loophole the system and not suffer a penalty? What about Nick Saban? He could get an extra few 4 or 5 star recruits if he wanted to just like Butch Jones if all of this is legal, but he chooses not to? Basically any school with scholarship room could do this if its legal to do, and they don't seem to be doing it. Why? Maybe Butch and his staff did find it before anyone else, but no one else in the country is playing along?

Now if I were a Tennessee fan, I would be a little worried. Given that no one else is doing what you are doing, and the clear purpose of the rule is to limit each class to 25 signees, you are basically daring the NCAA and the SEC to do something about it. Maybe they will pass on punishment, they have certainly done so before. But you would be the first ones to challenge this relatively new rule, and do it so obviously as well. You are also the only ones, as best I can tell, who are going this route. Makes the punishment a little easier when its just one team. And they aren't even hurting someone that has really done well on the national stage lately, as that is the usual time they choose to look the other way. I would be worried, were I you.

Having written all of this, if there is some other rule is he actually using to exploit the system, then none of this really matters.
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Last edited by trapper82; 12-30-2013 at 12:16 AM.
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