Interesting take on the give and take between coaches and the schools/league. No doubt when the 25 signee cap was discussed, this proposal was discussed at the same time. It gives the SEC some needed moral high ground, and the pay off is the above proposal. as far as league business goes, In Slive I Trust.
At the SEC Meetings in Destin, Mike Slive’s league surprised just about everyone when 12 school presidents voted to overrule the wishes of 12 well-paid, powerful football coaches. At the time, it was hinted that the SEC would like to see other conferences adopt their guidelines — such as the “soft” 25-man cap on oversigning.
CBSSports.com has learned that the SEC wants the NCAA to do more than that. The league recently sent a letter to Leeland Zeller — the NCAA’s associate director of academic and membership affairs — describing a number of changes to the body’s recruiting bylaws that Slive and Company would like to see changed. Here are a few:
1. The SEC wants coaches to once again be able to text message recruits. They do propose a limit on texts, however, to protect the student from endless messages. (CBSSports’ Bryan Fischer says that several representatives from other conferences suggested such a move move would have national support.) This would prevent schools from having to report accidental texts. If a coach responds, “Who’s this?” to an unknown sender and that sender turns out to be a prospect, that’s currently a secondary violation.
2. The SEC wants an earlier date set for the first off-campus contact between coaches and recruits. (The earlier the better for the SEC… and we’ll get into that more later.)
3. The SEC wants the NCAA to allow athletic coaches and administrators to accept friends and followers on Facebook and Twitter, respectively, without the school’s compliance department having to monitor those moves. The SEC claims the monitoring “presents a significant compliance challenge.” No doubt.
4. The SEC wants coaches and staff members to be able to receive phone calls placed by recruits, recruits’ parents or recruits’ coaches. This would prevent schools from having to report accidental answers. If a coach answers his phone — not recognizing the number calling him — and simply says “Hello” to a recruit who has phoned him… that’s currently a secondary violation.
5. The SEC wants the NCAA to change its calendar. Instead of having four periods denoted as contact, evaluation, quiet and dead periods, the SEC wants a three-period calendar consisting of off-campus, on-campus, and dead periods. As Fischer points out, this would decrease “bump” rule violations. Also, spring recruiting would become even more important… probably speeding up the commitment process even further.
6. The SEC wants to see prospects given the option of taking earlier visits, but it will not propose a specific deadline at which visits can begin due to a lack of consensus among its own coaches.
7. The SEC wants 7-on-7 camps and other “non-scholastic” events to be banned from NCAA campuses. The SEC already banned 7-on-7 camps from its own campuses this spring.
* In the spring, the league’s presidents ignored the wishes of their football coaches. This effort to ease up on recruiting restrictions might just be an olive branch to those same coaches. “Yes, we made things a bit tougher on you with our moves this spring, but now we’re trying to make things easier for you overall.” It’s also a nice cover-your-rear move for some inside the league who might believe the SEC hurt itself recruiting-wise with its spring decisions.
* The SEC is home to the deepest pool of talent in the nation. The SEC is also home to the richest, biggest name coaches in the country. Is it any wonder the league would like to see the recruiting calendar condensed and moved up a bit? What conference do you think will have the easiest time gaining early commitments? Inside the SEC, schools with more in-state talent usually rank well ahead commitment-wise of schools with poorer in-state talent. The same would hold true at the conference level if the SEC were given a better shot at keeping Down South talent at down home.
* It will be interesting to hear the Big Ten’s Jim Delany weigh in on this proposal. As the commissioner of America’s self-appointed moral standard-bearer, will he say that now is not the time to start relaxing NCAA rules? Or will he listen to his league’s football coaches and say these moves — even if they give the SEC an advantage in terms of early commitments — will make life easier for college programs overall?
* You might remember that NCAA president Mark Emmert dropped by the SEC’s get-together in Destin. He also once served as chancellor at LSU. For those reasons, it would be very surprising if Slive and the SEC were to put forth a proposal this large without first running it by Emmert and getting the president’s take on whether or not its contents will be well-received by other leagues. Here’s guessing Emmert gave a thumbs-up to some of this back in Destin.