Mark Richt has commented all season long that his thin roster means his scout team is becoming taxed. It has affected the way he schedules practice. It has made it a challenge, at times, to keep players fresh.
The answer may be waiting for him in Miami’s record books.
Richt on Tuesday was asked if he had considered bringing former Hurricanes players to play scout-team roles, as always-controversial Alabama coach Nick Saban has done this season.
Richt had not. But he sounded intrigued, to say the least.
“I guess it’s legal, huh?” he said. “If it is, I’d welcome that.”
Now, he can’t call in players currently in the NFL — Duke Johnson or Vince Wilfork can’t put on pads and practice — but the NCAA says it’s legal for teams to occasionally use alums. Richt would have no shortage of ex-Hurricanes who live locally and have expressed an interest in helping the program.
They wouldn’t have to be UM Sports Hall of Famers like Jeremy Shockey and Jonathan Vilma. It’s more likely Richt would call on players who have younger legs.
For its recent game against LSU, Alabama used former quarterback John Parker Wilson to mimick LSU’s Danny Etling, and running back Trent Richardson to play the role of LSU’s Leonard Fournette. Saban previously used quarterback Blake Sims while preparing for Texas A&M’s Trevor Knight.
He commented to AL.com that his staff tries to “stay on top of the rules” and that the SEC approved the move.
“A former student at the certifying institution (e.g., former student-athlete) may participate in an organized practice session on an occasional basis, provided the institution does not publicize the participation of the former student at any time before the practice session.”
Ohio State coach Urban Meyer said the idea “got him thinking.” Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly sounds like he doesn’t want to take advantage: