The immoral NCAA does not care about illegal acts by college athletes or have rules to prevent colleges from signing more recruits than they have scholarships available and then taking them away from existing football players or new recruits.
The root of the oversigning problem is that the NCAA changed the rule in 1973 from four year scholarships to annual ones. This allows the colleges to take advantage of their student-athletes and some colleges take advantage of this more than others.
This is especially the case in the southeast, but not with the USC Trojans, who value their student-athletes and treat them fairly.
The SEC has a reputation for pay for play, while their buddies in the NCAA look the other way.
Southeast colleges typically sign more football recruits than the NCAA 85-player scholarship limit. The SEC averaged 103 scholarship signees over the past four years, highest of any conference.
This requires that they take away scholarships from existing football team members who have met all academic and football requirements or from incoming recruits.
They do this without any conscience or integrity because they don’t tell the players about this possibility before they accept a scholarship.
Here is an interesting video about this OTL: Over the Limit problem.
Young student athletes pledge their amateur careers to the school of their choice, and in return the schools pledge to house them for the next four or five years. But this is a lie.
The NCAA rulebook states athletic scholarships are limited to one academic year. Yet, if they transfer to another Division I school when their scholarship is taken away they have to sit out a year.
The NCAA does not put the student before the athlete and either do many southeast colleges.
The USC Trojans don’t do this. This is the same football team that has been unjustly called cheaters recently for the NCAA sanctions including false and unprecedented findings and sanctions.
The NCAA had no problem giving most of the punishment to the current USC football players who were in junior or senior high school at the time of any violations.
The Trojans have not signed more than 18 players in three of the last four years. Furthermore, USC played with about 70 scholarship athletes in 2010.
There would have been five more, except the NCAA sanctions allowed unprecedented transfers without penalty and the Trojans gave a full release to two highly-ranked incoming players. Of course, this would have still been 10 less than the NCAA limit.
USC allowed the nation’s number one recruit in 2010, OL Seantrel Henderson, a full release to transfer to Miami (former athletic director Paul Dee headed the NCAA committee of infractions against USC) and the Trojans badly need offensive linemen.
Miami’s greed cost a scholarship to be taken from an existing Miami player.
Other examples of the difference between USC and these southeast colleges involve two top 2009 Trojan linebackers.
The first is the Frankie Telfort four-year scholarship that USC honored even though he never played. He had a congenital medical problem and was declared unfit to play. The Trojans have honored his scholarship even though they need the linebacker slot very badly.
Another great athlete and linebacker, Jarvis Jones, from this 2009 recruiting class sprained his neck in the eighth game of the 2009 season. He had a great freshman season up to that time.
However, the USC doctors would not clear him for spring practice, but continued to honor his scholarship. He asked for a full release to transfer to Georgia who had doctors that would clear him, and this was granted.
USC has sent more football players to the NFL than any other college team. The Trojans’ integrity and concern for its football athletes is one more reason for recruits selecting them over southeast colleges.
There are very good reasons for the expressions: “Trojan for life” and member of the “Trojan family.”
P.S. Here is another article about the competitive advantage gained by the SEC through their oversigning practice: SEC Champs Tainted by Oversigning Loophole??? A Sports Illustrated article also does a good job of addressing the problem: Oversigning offenders won't be curbed by NCAA's toothless rule. Alabama Nick Saban's surprising rationalization of oversigning is also interesting: Decoding Nick Saban's surprising diatribe in defense of oversigning. On June 3, 2011, the SEC President's voted to limit signing classes to 25 against the wishes of all their coaches in recognition of the problems with SEC teams.