Not so fast my friend: Changes coming to recruiting deregulation?
We've chronicled the NCAA's intention to deregulate the recruiting landscape since the news first broke last month. Along the way, many prominent coaches and athletic directors have given their two cents to what undoubtedly amounts to a 5.0-level earthquake on the way business has previously been done in recruiting. First there were Big Ten head coaches and athletic directors, then Texas head coach Mack Brown, Arizona director of player personnel Matt Dudek, Georgia athletic director Greg McGarity and Mississippi State head coach Dan Mullen.
For those not in favor of the new wave of recruiting, the NCAA wants you to know it is listening.
USA Today writer Dan Wolken spoke to NCAA vice president David Berst, who said the NCAA will "modify as necessary" the changes that would peel back the limits on the number of personnel schools can employ in recruiting, as well as the limits to electronic and traditional mail communication from schools to prospects.
"We're reaching out to folks to see what they're thinking," Berst said. "You had some football coaches, a few conferences, some institutions that have expressed concerns. I expect, whether you have some number of overrides or just people talking to us, we're going to end up at the next board meeting trying to assess that information and probably modify the legislation accordingly."
Next, John Infante, who spends more time thinking about this kind of stuff than anyone outside of the NCAA offices in Indianapolis (and, heck, perhaps more than them, too) wrote a long piece with suggestions for how to modify the deregulation of recruiting.
Infante on balancing coaching/recruiting staffs:
"But a more creative idea would be to start separating coaching and recruiting," he writes. "A sport like football could have a limit of 10 permissible recruiters who need not be coaches. For every coach the program is willing to take off the road and keep off the phone, it can add a full-time staff member devoted to recruiting. And those staff members should be able to go beyond calling and watching film to in-person evaluation and off-campus contact with prospects. Programs would need to balance less personal involvement by the coaching staff in recruiting with freeing the coaches to coach while recruiters recruit."
Infante on Mullen's suggestion of having schools declare their own four-week dead periods each summer.
"Mullen has a germ of a solution, but his idea has a number of flaws," he explains. "First, the NCAA is getting away from declared weeks in recruiting, like how football now uses evaluation days during the fall and spring evaluation periods. Second, this needs to be a regular, year-round solution rather than a little break in the summer. And third, each school declaring its own recruiting breaks helps coaches, but does little for prospects. Unlimited calls from half the schools is still unlimited calls."
Below is Infante's solution, a year-round recruiting calendar that would look something like this:
Agree or disagree with Infante's proposals, he definitely provides intriguing reading for those interested.