Arkansas and Oversigning

COLUMBIA SC - NOVEMBER 06: Head coach Bobby Petrino of the Arkansas Razorbacks watches his team during warm ups before the start of their game against the South Carolina Gamecocks at Williams-Brice Stadium on November 6 2010 in Columbia South Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

Oversigning - the practice of a team signing more than its NCAA-allotted 25 scholarships and then releasing the underperforming players, often for somewhat shady reasons, has been a hot-button issue lately. It's particularly noteworthy in the SEC, where schools seem to have mastered the art (Houston Nutt, for example, regularly signs about 50 players per year it seems).

Although we'd all like to assume Arkansas and Bobby Petrino are above reproach in such matters, the recent releases of Austin Moss, Cam Feldt, Lance Ray, Eddie Camara and Ryan Calender have raised a few eyebrows. For example, Dr Saturday unleashed a fairly scathing post on the Hogs' oversigning tendencies today, noting that a full 1/3 of the players signed in the 2008-10 recruiting classes have "either failed to qualify, flunked out, been placed on medical hardship, been kicked off for legitimate rules violations, quit or — as we saw last week — been effectively cut from the roster". Ouch.

Is this the price that must be paid to win in the SEC? The standard cost of doing business in a world where the players know full well what's going on? Or, is it another sign that college sports is the biggest ethical morass this side of a Washington DC lobbyists convention?

I fall somewhere in the middle of those questions, but would love to hear your take in the comments section. Please share your thoughts!

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