Not surprisingly, the NCAA has reset its recruiting trail policies. Again.
As the coronavirus pandemic effectively shuttered the sports world, the NCAA announced in mid-March that it was putting a halt to all in-person recruiting until at least April 15. Last month, that dead period was extended through May 31. This month, another extension took us to June 30.
As we close in on the month of June, another extension is official. As expected, the NCAA announced Wednesday evening that the recruiting dead period has been extended through July 31. That means all in-person recruiting activities — either on-campus or elsewhere — are prohibited.
The latest edict impacts all sports, not just football.
“The extension maintains consistent recruiting rules for all sports and allows coaches to focus on the student-athletes who may be returning to campus,” said Division I Council Coordination Committee chair M. Grace Calhoun, athletics director at Pennsylvania, said in a statement. “The committee is committed to reviewing the dead period again in late June or early July.”
One potential effect of all of these dead-period extension bans? It could force The Association to, for one year, temporarily get rid of the December Early Signing Period.
The NCAA earlier this month also announced that football programs could begin bringing players back to campus for voluntary workouts starting June 1. In the dead-period release, The Association also updated its tack on that front:
Additionally, the committee decided to allow strength and conditioning coaches to virtually observe voluntary physical workouts for health and safety purposes but only if requested by the student-athlete. The measure goes into effect June 1. The strength and conditioning coach will be allowed to observe the workouts and discuss items related to voluntary workouts but not direct or conduct the workout.
The decision was supported by the Committee on Safeguards and Medical Aspects of Sports Prevention and Performance Subcommittee. The subcommittee encouraged schools that decide to allow their strength and conditioning coaches to observe voluntary workouts to proactively consider the school’s overarching responsibility to protect the health of and provide a safe environment for each student-athlete. More specifically, the subcommittee stressed that schools should plan for how the strength and conditioning coach should respond if they observe an unsafe workout environment or in the event that a medical emergency occurs during a voluntary session.
The committee will continue to explore the opportunity for strength and conditioning coaches to conduct voluntary workouts virtually, as they do during in-person, on-campus voluntary workouts.