New NCAA recruiting rules part of culture change?

Posted by on February 12, 2013

When the NCAA imposed sanctions on Penn State for the Sandusky scandal, the organization claimed it needed to “change the culture” at Penn State, where the football program was the tail wagging the university, the proverbial dog.  Part of the sanctions, of course, included allowing players to transfer to another school without having to sit out a year as usual, leading to who knows how many coaches spending who knows how much money to descend on State College the very next day (we know most of the Illinois coaching staff was there).

Apparently this is a good part of the college football culture, and changing schools at the drop of a hat is undoubtedly a wonderful idea for a STUDENT-athlete, primarily concerned with getting a good education.  While all this was happening the folks at the NCAA were working with the criminal attorney for the U of Miami investigating alleged violations there, and apparently ignoring any investigation into a young lady allegedly raped by athletes on the campus of Notre Dame, who was subsequently disparaged by said school, and committed suicide.

So while maybe none of that’s a big deal to at the four-letter organization, I was taken aback when I saw the changes to recruiting rules just adopted by this august group.  You can read about them in this article by Sports Illustrated.  The alleged purpose of this was to take a several hundred page rule book down to a few dozen pages, and infuse some common sense into the whole thing.  I’m all for that, but I don’t think that’s what happened.

Among the changes are an elimination of the limit on how often or when a coach can contact a recruit, what printed materials they can send (calendar of the Girls of USC maybe?), and removing the limit on the number of coaches who can be off campus recruiting at one time.

But here’s the big one.  Proposal 11-2, which allows for football programs to hire a recruiting coordinator and support staff separate from the coaching staff, any of whom can partake in all recruiting activities save for off-campus visits.

Take your time and read that one again.

Basically, the organization looking out for student-athletes is telling schools they can build a recruiting empire separate from the coaching staff, and let the fur fly.

Coaches and recruiting gurus are quoted in the Sports Illustrated article about how bad this situation will be for coaches, who now will have no time for their families, and for recruits, whose I-phones will now be jammed with texts 24/7/365.

But, setting up an entire recruiting staff separate from the coaching staff? 

That’s changing the culture all right.


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