Scholarships and Spaz
Maryland is currently under NCAA sanction due to their failing APR score. They are only allowed 82 scholarships this season. Urban Meyer is designing his entire recruiting plan and rebuilding plan around the Buckeyes' five scholarship penalty. Scholarships are precious commodity in college sports as they represent the lifeblood of a program. As of today BC has 82 scholarship football players. Given historical attrition we will probably be down to 80 scholarship players by our season opener. Why other schools are fighting penalties and scholarship limitations, we are essentially penalizing ourselves. Of all the complaints about Spaz, this might be the most overlooked and the most inexplicable.
I know I've complained about this idea many times, but that is because four years into the Spaz era I still don't understand it. BC prides itself on graduation rates. That means you honor scholarships for four years and you find guys who can hack it in the classroom. Because of that we cannot be as cavalier with scholarships as some football factories might. But "banking" scholarships was never as prevalent under Coughlin, Henning, TOB or Jags and we still managed to graduate kids and honor four-year commitments. Spaz has said he likes the buffer because it allows him to reward walk-ons and accept transfers. But even those justifications don't hold up under scrutiny. In his four years we only accepted two transfers (Parsons** and Grant). Banking also allowed us to have a space for Dave Shinskie. But those rare occasions amount to less than one scholarship a year. Why not use the other three or four annually?
Rewarding walk-ons has its place. When a guy contributes significantly he deserves the same privileges as the scholarship players. But like transfers, we just haven't had that many. Since Spaz took over, Hampton Hughes and Mike Morrissey were promoted from walk-on to full-time scholarships.
In my opinion the mistake Spaz makes is planning on those opportunities. Attrition is so common in college football that you don't need to plan on those two transfter/walk-on spots. It is highly likely that during the course of any season you will have an opening or two. Holding those spots open means that when attrition does occur, you start to see your head count drop to 80 or less.
This might seem like nitpicking, but that one extra player could be your next star. Guys like Montel Harris and Jamie Silva were offered with our last scholarships. Saying that you cannot find enough prospect in each recruiting class is pathetic. These scholarships are lottery tickets to players. There are thousands of players who would want the chance to play in the ACC and get a free ride to a world class university. And Spaz can't find enough players he likes that reciprocate? That's pathetic.
Spaz defenders will say he is only down to 82 because of bad luck with Momah and Harris. But both were iffy. We should have factored their issues into recruiting. But we didn't.
The only silver lining to this policy is that it will give our next coach more scholarships to work with immediately. But still this idea is just another example of where Spaz is out of sync with modern college football. While the other coaches are doing everything they can to find scholarships we are letting ours rot away in the bank.
CORRECTION: I've been corrected that Parsons transferred as a walk-on. Spaz has also promoted Sean Flaherty and Gerald Levano to scholarship status. So congrats to those guys.