NCAA Baseball Championships:
DandyDon is proud to recognize David Toms as a great ambassador of the Tiger Nation.
Dandy Don’s Q&A with Blair Napolitano on 25-Signing Cap, Transfers, Walk-ons, and More
Posted 1/21/18 - By Scott Long and Jim Kleinpeter
Ever since the NCAA instituted a few policy changes and the early signing period, there has been a lot of uncertainty about the so-called 25-signing cap. What does this mean for back-counting mid-term enrollees, for transfers, and for managing a roster of 85 scholarship players when there is unexpected attrition? In order to clear it all up, we at DandyDon.com reached out to Blair Napolitano, LSU's Assistant Athletic Director for Compliance, who was very gracious in supplying these definitive answers.
Dandy Don: LSU signed 21 players in the early signing period, including graduate transfer kicker Cole Tracy. How many more players can LSU sign in this 2018 class?
Napolitano: Four. LSU used all of its allotted 25 slots for the 2017 signing class.
Dandy Don: What are the rules pertaining to signing more than 25 and have they changed? In the past, teams could sign more than 25 initial counters per year by back-counting early enrollees to the previous class if that class had not signed its full 25. Can this still be done, or is back-counting in this way no longer allowed since the rule changes in April?
Napolitano: A school can sign more than 25 recruits provided it did not use all 25 signing slots in the previous signing class. In order to be counted in the previous signing class, the signee has to enroll at mid-term and replace a current student-athlete that graduated in December or the previous academic year. There is a change in the rules. Athletes who sign in a particular class are locked into that signing class whether or not they enroll in that fall. Schools can no longer count gray shirts or players placed in junior colleges in future signing classes once they sign the letter of intent with a particular group.
Dandy Don: Do all transfers (graduate transfers and undergraduate transfers) count toward the signing limitation per class?
Napolitano: Yes. Any incoming student enrolling at LSU for the first time – graduate transfer, undergraduate transfers (junior college and four-year) or any high school student – count toward the 25 for that year. For instance, DT Breiden Fehoko, who transferred to LSU from Texas Tech after the 2016 season, counts in the Tigers' 2017 signing class from last February.
Dandy Don: Let's say a team signs its full 25 initial counters and still doesn't have its full allotment of 85 scholarship players. Is there any way other than awarding scholarships to walk-ons that the team can use its remaining scholarships?.
Dandy Don: Can a player walk-on to the team and then immediately receive a scholarship if one is available, or must he be part of the team for a specified period of time before being eligible to receive a scholarship?
Napolitano: A walk-on student can immediately receive a scholarship if one is available but they would be an initial counter (1 of 25). A student would have to have been not recruited and in school at the awarding institution for at least two years in order to not count as an initial counter.
DandyDon.com extends a huge thank you to Blair Napolitano and LSU’s Compliance Department for taking the time to answer these questions.
This web site is not officially affiliated with Louisiana State University. Opinions expressed herein are the property of Donald Long, Scott Long and friends, not Louisiana State University.