The Dye-Gest: Presidents Should Trust Coaches

College Football Hall of Fame coach Pat Dye writes about the subject of oversigning by SEC football coaches.

Editor's Note: On Friday the SEC passed a rule limiting football teams from signing more than 25 players in a recruiting class.

I see that the Southeastern Conference presidents are considering doing away with oversigning in football. I think that is something they need to take a good, hard look at before making a decision.

I have got my opinion on the subject just like everybody else. If you look around the SEC the integrity of the coaches is such that they are not going to mistreat a kid. If you don't allow coaches to sign over the yearly limit of 25, they are going to come up short of getting to the squad limit of 85 players on scholarship.

There are any number of reasons that players signed in February may not be on the team when preseason practice starts in August--discipline, academics, signing a pro contract in another sport, deciding they want to go to a different school or whatever. There are all kinds of reasons.

The presidents, in my opinion, need to rely on the integrity of their head coaches to properly handle signing prospects. If the presidents don't have the confidence and trust in their head coach to do that, they need to hire a new head coach. It is that simple.

I can speak from being a college head coach. When you are faced with decisions concerning your roster, the future of your player is always considered first on how to handle each individual situation.

I don't think there is a head coach out there who wants to do damage to any of his players. It's too dangerous to develop that type of reputation concerning your program. That would hurt recruiting new players and the kids already in the program won't like it either. Fans will have the same opinion so there is not an upside to mishandling a player and the coaches know that.

The ones who have reached the status of becoming head coaches in Southeastern Conference didn't get to where they are now without being able to understand what happens when you don't treat players properly. Doing things the wrong way is too dangerous to their careers.

The way the rule is now SEC coaches can sign up to 28 players per year. From what I understand the coaches in the league are happy with the way it is. Hopefully, the SEC presidents will listen to what their coaches want to do on this subject.

From the Mailbag:

Dear Coach Dye,

I have always enjoyed reading and hearing stories about your ongoing relationships with your past players. Regardless of where they played for you, at Auburn and Alabama, the relationships seem very special. Would you please share some of those stories with us.

Best Regards

Don Tubb '65

Thanks for the note, Don. I will be glad to do that. Keeping reading.

(If you have a question or a subject you would like me to write about in future columns, you can email it to

Editor's Note: This part of a series of columns that College Football Hall of Fame member Pat Dye is writing for about the game he played and coached. An All-American at Georgia and one of the top head coaches in SEC history at Auburn who was also head coach at East Carolina and Wyoming, Dye participates in the Legends Poll, a Top 25 rating of the best teams in college football as determined by a panel of all-star former head coaches. Dye writes three columns a week--The Dye-Log, the Dye-Gest and Pat's Picks.

Pat Dye's Crooked Oaks Hunting Preserve and Lodge

Pat Dye's Quail Hollow Gardens

Premium Subscription Signup

Subscribe to Magazine

Inside The AU Tigers Top Stories