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Recruiting Coordinator Ed Orgeron was National Recruiter of the Year last year, and his skills will be needed more than ever now
The scholarship math is complicated because there are so many unknown variables, including the number of transfers, players leaving early for the NFL and members of the 2011 class that may not qualify academically.
However, reasonable assumptions can be made to determine the number of scholarships most likely available for the 2012 class.
Since USC signed only 23 players for the class of 2011 (with eight early enrollees counting toward the class of 2010), that leaves two scholarships available under the 25 scholarship per class limit.
Those two extra scholarships can be used for junior college players or early enrollees during this recruiting cycle, allowing head coach Lane Kiffin to bump that total of 15 players up to 17, subject to remaining under the 75 scholarship limit.
But the 75 scholarship limit is the real constraint.
You can bet that Kiffin has done his own scholarship math and it may look something like the following:
USC current scholarship players (including 2011 class members not qualified yet): 82
Less: Graduating seniors: 13
Less: Transfers assumption: 2
Less: Juniors who may leave early (candidates QB Matt Barkley, OT Matt Kalil, S T. J. McDonald, DE Nick Perry): 3
Less: 2011 class players not qualified academically (possibly Antwaun Woods, J.R. Tavai, Steve Dillon): 2
Total: 62 (since 75 is the maximum, this leaves 13 scholarships available)
Given the unknown variables, let’s optimistically assume two other slots become available and 15 scholarships will be filled in the USC 2012 recruiting class. The minimum number of scholarships is six if there are no transfers, players leaving early or 2011 non-qualifiers.
It should be noted that scholarships are renewed annually. USC has never taken advantage of this to take a scholarship away from a player who was meeting all academic and football requirements, unlike the SEC conference, which has the worst record of oversigning in the country.
Therefore, let’s assume that this does not happen in spite of the unfair NCAA sanctions.
If the NCAA has any integrity and USC’s appeal is granted, then there will be five additional scholarships.