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Big Ten ADs, coaches fire back on looser recruiting rules

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The NCAA took steps to slim its rulebook last month when it adopted several proposals that included looser recruiting rules, with restrictions on communication and recruiting materials being lifted.

Almost immediately, some coaches began voicing their opposition. Now, there’s an organized effort to table those recruiting changes. Big Ten athletic directors and coaches released a statement today voicing their concerns over, specifically, the following rules:

  • Proposal 11-2: Athletics Personnel: Limitations on the Number and Duties of Coaches – Elimination of Recruiting Coordination Functions
  • Proposal 13-3: Recruiting: Deregulation of Modes and Numerical Limitations on Communication
  • Proposal 13-5-A:  Recruiting: Elimination of Printed Recruiting Materials and Video/Audio Legislation

“We reviewed the 26 Rules Working Group proposals acted upon by the NCAA Board of Directors in January, some of which will become effective as early as July 1, 2013,” a statement from the Big Ten read. “While we applaud the work that has been done to date, we are very concerned that the timeline proposed for implementation of the proposals does not allow sufficient time for the Football Recruiting Subcommittee of the NCAA Leadership Council to thoughtfully consider the impact of the proposals.

“We have serious concerns whether these proposals, as currently written, are in the best interest of high school student-athletes, their families and their coaches.  We are also concerned about the adverse effect they would have on college coaches, administrators and university resources.”

The 12 member institutions of the Big Ten are apparently not alone in their thinking and it will be interesting to see if any other conferences get behind this — mainly, all eyes will be on the SEC to see if it supports the Big Ten, or the new rules. (My preliminary guess? The latter.) The general complaint among coaches seems to be that the looser rules will only add to a recruiting frenzy that some already consider to have gone too far.

On the other hand, most of what the NCAA adopted replaced rules that were unenforceable anyway. What, exactly, does the Big Ten want then? It’s not made explicitly clear in the release, but the proposed rules would need 75 override requests to be sent back to the Board of Directors for reconsideration.

Point being, the NCAA is placed in a difficult situation: keep the status quo, and be criticized for failing to adapt; adapt, and be criticized for going too far.

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15 Responses to “Big Ten ADs, coaches fire back on looser recruiting rules”
  1. Deb says: Feb 11, 2013 5:16 PM

    This is silly. Schools have been getting nailed for texting and Facebooking recruits. The rules have finally caught up to 2013, and as usual, the B1G is whining about it. They can whine all they like, but the NCAA isn’t going backward.

    The recent recruiting classes demonstrated that the SEC will do fine either way. But as the adage goes: If you don’t make dust, you eat dust. The rest of the B1G needs to stop pulling against the bit of the future or they’re going to be eating Urban’s dust for a long, long time.

  2. cometkazie says: Feb 11, 2013 5:25 PM

    If the Big Ten thinks it’s bad . . . .

  3. going4iton4th says: Feb 11, 2013 5:38 PM

    Well obviously the B1G needs to shut Urbans BIG mouth because he had no problem in calling out his fellow coaches a week or so ago. Ohio State has been dipping into the South for more then a few of their elite level recruits (Vonn Bell and Trey Johnson for instance) due to Urban’s SEC ties. Arkansas even has an ex B1G coach–why? Because a league the B1g is not as strong–as an earlier poster said catch up the elite or get left in the dust.

  4. be4bama says: Feb 11, 2013 6:22 PM

    Deb it just might be too late for the Big outside of OSU. Meyer is running full speed ahead and he’s not looking back.

  5. cometkazie says: Feb 11, 2013 6:32 PM

    Be4, what do you think they are worried about?

  6. angelheartsbuckeyes says: Feb 11, 2013 6:41 PM

    So let me get this straight, if the rule is not enforcable let’s just get rid of it? Or maybe it’s only a few people are getting caught but everybody else is doing it let’s just forget about it. Dont let this forward thinking style find its way to your local police dept.

    Look, you don’t have to convince me that the NCAA has rules which don’t make sense. It will however, require some persuasion to convince me that the way to fix the problem in recruiting involves LESS policing.

    if you think it’s bad now when rules can only be manipulated, imagine what the landscape will look like when they are eliminated.

  7. be4bama says: Feb 11, 2013 6:43 PM

    One word comet…..URBAN

  8. huskerzfan says: Feb 11, 2013 7:15 PM

    Yeah, who cares about the actual kids getting recruited. This is big business and any concern for their lives or well being isn’t at the top of anybody’s list.

    Let us allow coaches and AD members to call and text recruits to their hearts content. That doesn’t happen enough in today’s recruiting environment, let us make sure the recruiting cycle is even more confusing, time consuming, and miserable for the potential recruit.

    On top of that, little Jimmy better have unlimited minutes and texts on his cell phone plan, or he is gonna have a huge phone bill in the coming months.

  9. Deb says: Feb 11, 2013 8:31 PM

    @angelheartsbuckeyes …

    You make good points–as usual. But no one’s suggesting the NCAA stop policing worrisome recruiting practices. The issue here is that the NCAA needs to get rid of antiquated practices that make no allowance for social media and other technologies that naturally have led to more contact between schools and recruits. The NCAA needs to stop nitpicking and focus on egregious violations. Modernizing its policies will allow that to happen. It’s absurd for the B1G to complain about these particular changes.

  10. angelheartsbuckeyes says: Feb 11, 2013 9:46 PM


    I just don’t find unlimited access to a recruit absurd. I don’t care if its email, snail-mail, or airmail. This opens a door, that once it comes off the hinges–and it WILL come flying off–cannot be re-secured. Unlimited access. Think about that for a minute.

    Besides, what of the recruits who maybe don’t have internet access or smart-phones because they cannot afford it? Or maybe they live in a very rural area and can’t get service. Not everyone has monthly cell phone service with unlimted texts and/or data.

    I just think its a slipperly slope that does not need to be explored when there are other pressing issues.

  11. polegojim says: Feb 11, 2013 10:02 PM

    Frankly, all this tap dancing makes me sick.

    All it is… is smoke and mirrors.

    Pretending to follow the rules
    Pretending to have the ‘kids’ interests first
    Finding MANY ways to bend the rules
    Finding that… he who cheats best… wins

    College football is big business and all the ‘feigning’ interest in the ‘recruits’, just needs to go away. Stop living the lie.

    In order of importance, college football is about:
    #1 – Winning
    #2 – Winning
    #3 – Winning

    If everyone operates on this truly ‘HONEST’ playing field, let’s STOP pretending and get on with it.

    THEN… those who truly HAVE sincere interest in the recruits will have all the same weapons at their disposal – and will become obvious.

  12. Deb says: Feb 11, 2013 10:13 PM

    @angel …

    First, don’t worry about the kids who don’t have text or cell service. If they’re good, the recruiters will find them. I know what you’re saying about overwhelming these kids–and I don’t like it either–but recruiters have always overwhelmed the recruits. Unfortunately, there’s no real way to stop that. You’ve probably seen documentaries on how, through the years, these recruiters have practically moved in with hot prospects and become like part of the family. At least if they’re texting, the kids can turn them off occasionally.

    Right now schools are being penalized because this coach sent a text and that assistant coach sent a text, so the kid got 12 texts when he was only allowed 11. That’s too much burden on the coaching staff. I’d rather the NCAA focused its attention on illegal benefits and the other pressing issues you’re talking about than how many times recruiting departments are texting kids.

  13. beedubyatoo says: Feb 12, 2013 10:07 AM

    In order of importance, college football is about:
    #1 – Winning
    #2 – Winning
    #3 – Winning
    Wrong. The most important thing is MONEY.

    Also, I’m waiting to read a Deb post with more thumbs up than thumbs down. Don’t believe it has happened yet.

  14. angelheartsbuckeyes says: Feb 12, 2013 10:45 AM

    The reason we need to worry about the kids who dont have service/cell phones is because that creates an advantage for those who do have them.

    And I do agree to an extent Deb. It is stupid to penalize a coach for 13 texts when he is only allowed 12. How about we get rid of texting a kid altogether? Why do potential players have to be contacted via social media?

    Please remember, these recruits are still children. I personally do not want ANY adult to have unfettered electronic access to my child for any reason.

  15. angelheartsbuckeyes says: Feb 12, 2013 10:46 AM


    Back off Deb. She is a smart woman with an opinion and there is value in most everything she says–even if I dont agree with it.

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