Last week we spent some time at the DFO Spring Meeting in Dallas. For the third straight year the event was well attended and the content continues to be excellent. This year nearly 100 DFOs attended the meeting. The meeting was very productive and everyone who attended seemed to share openly about what they are seeing and doing in the profession.
This year, topics covered included agents, NCAA investigations, recruiting, technology, travel, calendars and an open sharing of ideas within the room.
A couple of highlights from the meeting:
The NCAA, working hand in hand with a large number of schools, are working diligently to clarify the rules surrounding agents; however with the massive deficits that most states are facing it doesn't sound like many states have what they feel are sufficient funds to consistently enforce these rules and laws.
On the recruiting front, Sherman Morris (Director of Player Personnel at LSU) gave a great talk about how LSU recruits (365 days a year). We believe that everyone in the room was impressed with Sherman's talk; although we're also quite sure that most in the room have a bit of a smaller budget than LSU affords. With that said, LSU, and Coach Miles specifically, are big believers in technology. As you see often on here, they put out some great marketing materials via the internet; but what Sherman shared with the room is that they also utilize a number of cutting edge technologies within the staff. Sherman invited Mike Thrower, President of OTScout.com to join him in the presentation. Thrower and his staff have developed some native iPad apps that are truly based on the iPad platform (rather than just an app that really is just showing things from a website) and not only did Thrower seem to impress everyone in the room, we hear the guys at Apple and most of the other technology companies in attendance were pretty impressed as well. LSU is OT Scout's first football client (although Thrower also owns another software company that is thriving in other industries). We spent a few minutes with Thrower looking at the build of his software and it truly is impressive. If your coach is interested in adopting iPad's as part of your program, you should call Thrower to talk about what they are doing.
With regards to other recruiting & compliance technologies discussed, there clearly has been a tectonic shift in service providers. Some that were leaders a few years ago are practically gone now and there are some new leaders. The use of video (both for marketing as well as for communicating with recruits) is more prevelant than ever. Over the next few months we'll continue to bring you examples of what schools are doing.
Finally, we'd like to commend all of the Ops people who took the time to attend this meeting and we'd also like to thank their head coaches for supporting them.