Two recruiting rules may be modified
Mar 19, 2013 (South Bend Tribune - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
Two months after the NCAA adopted 25 rule changes, two of the most sweeping proposals in recruiting have been suspended.
On Monday, the NCAA Division I board of directors halted new rules that deregulated printed materials sent to recruits and one that essentially deregulated the size and makeup of recruiting staffs. Football coaches nationwide had expressed concern over "arms races" on both fronts.
A suspension postpones the rule changes from becoming effective until modifications are made. The rules were set to become effective on Aug. 1.
A third controversial proposal, which deregulated communication with recruits, was reviewed but kept in place. That rule, which has drawn public scorn from many coaches, can still be affected by the override process, the window of which closes Wednesday at 5 p.m.
As of Monday afternoon, the NCAA reported 48 schools had submitted override votes for the communication rule. Seventy five schools must request an override in order to force the board to review the proposal. The proposal would be suspended if 125 schools submit override votes.
The two rule changes that were suspended received more override votes: 70 for the printed material deregulation and 66 for the recruiting staff deregulation.
In early February, Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly offered his thoughts on the proposed rule changes. He highlighted the recruiting material deregulation as the biggest cause for concern.
"I think that's probably the most significant change that's going to require a full time analysis of how you do your recruiting mailings now," Kelly said. "It was pretty simple: Everybody was standard. Now you may have some schools sending out Fatheads and colored brochures. I don't want to get into a marketing and promotions department."
The NCAA later clarified Fatheads -- life-sized wall graphics -- would not be allowed under the new rule changes.
Kelly was asked if he planned on looking into appointing a recruiting coordinator that wasn't a coach, something that would have been allowed before Monday's suspension of that particular rule.
"We're going to be at the front of all the new trends and opportunities to continue to build your program the right way," Kelly said. "And so if it turns out that we're going to have to go in that direction because of what's happening, we'll be ready for it. But I think we'll need some time to digest it first before we make any decisions on it."
Notre Dame has yet to announce any new changes in its football recruiting staff, but other programs, such as Texas, Alabama and Auburn, have reportedly hired staff members who would be focused on recruiting without having on-field coaching duties.
As for the proposed deregulation of communication between coaches and recruits that could turn assistant coaches into prolific senders of text messages, Kelly said he wasn't concerned that the change would cause more of a distraction for his staff.
"They're pretty sharp," Kelly said. "They know that recruiting time is recruiting time, and I think we make enough time for it. We'll have to see how it goes. I'm really interested to see what kind of volume it's going to put on the players and the student-athletes and whether coaches have to restrict it a little bit. I think that'll play out, though."
Kelly did say the increased communication could become overbearing for prospective student athletes.
"It's going to make recruiting even more intense because you have that access," Kelly said. "I've got mixed emotions about it. ... But I think there's going to be a lot more on the plates of the student-athletes, and I don't know how good that is."
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