Archive for Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Fuzzy math helps Jayhawks

Creativity allows KU football to sign four juco recruits in 2006-07 class

December 19, 2006

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With four junior-college recruits set to sign Wednesday, it seems Kansas University's football team once again blew past its self-imposed limit of three juco recruits per year for 2005-06 and 2006-07 after NCAA violations were unearthed.

And that's true - but it's also within the rules of its own penalty.

KU is able to increase its juco limit a bit thanks to a "backloading" technicality from last year and a favorable interpretation of its own self-imposed rule this year.

After academic fraud and other violations were publicized last year based on the recruitment of juco players in 2003, one of KU's self-imposed penalties was to "restrict the number of two-year college transfer student-athletes into the football program to three per year for two years."

That was meant for the 2005-06 and 2006-07 recruiting classes. But in the 05-06 class, Kansas signed four juco players - Blake Bueltel, Mike McCoy, Marc Jones and Rameses Arceo.

Four more - Kendrick Harper, Patrick Resby, Chet Hartley and Aaron Mack - are set to sign Wednesday for the 06-07 class.

It seems to directly go against the penalty, or at least the spirit of it. But it's possible because of the backloading option Kansas utilized last year.

That allowed for two of the December juco signees - for a clearer explanation, let's say Bueltel and McCoy - to count in the 2004-05 recruiting class. Kansas signed just 23 players in 2004-05, two fewer than it was allowed. Because of that, Kansas was able to backload two of the 05-06 juco signees into that class.

The backloading made Jones and Arceo the only two juco players to count for 2005-06.

The second part, according to associate athletic director Jim Marchiony, is that KU is interpreting its own penalty to mean that the Jayhawks can sign a total of six juco players in the 05-06 and 06-07 classes, not necessarily three in each class.

"That was always the intent of it," Marchiony said.

With Jones and Arceo technically the only two juco players signed in the 05-06 class, the four juco players set to sign Wednesday will fill the two-year limit in place.

Marchiony said KU has worked closely with the NCAA to make sure the penalty is being followed, and the Jayhawks have the NCAA's blessing to sign the players they are expected to sign.

"We can sign four this year if it comes to that," Marchiony said.

Hartley, an offensive lineman, and Harper, a cornerback, both were standouts for Butler Community College in El Dorado this season. Resby, a safety, played juco football in Texas. Mack, a defensive end, played for Phoenix College in Arizona.

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