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.