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NCAA Recruiting Changes In Question, But Bama Keeps Hiring

you-are-hired-textIn January, the NCAA announced that it would be ripping a few pages worth of recruiting restrictions from its rule book this summer.  An uproar ensued.  Last week, backtracking, the NCAA’s rules working group recommended to the Division I board — the group that will eventually decide the issue — that a pair of proposed changes be suspended pending further study and “appropriate modifications.”

One of the proposed changes that is likely to be suspended is called “Proposal No. RWG-11-2.”  That rule change would allow non-coaches to recruit prospects during on-campus visits and via text/email/phone/mail.

Almost immediately after the proposed change was first announced, two-time defending BCS champ Alabama began hiring new staff members.  Kevin Steele, a former head coach at Baylor, was brought in as what some saw as a recruiting czar to head up Nick Saban’s new recruiting unit.

As Alabama added staff, other coaches, schools, and conferences took notice.  Texas coach Mack Brown wondered just how many new aides Bama would hire.  Coaches at South Carolina said that they expected Saban and company to push the new rules as far as they could.  There was talk of mass mailings and of staffers hired to do nothing more than text recruits.  There was even speculation that some school out there might set-up a call center devoted to calling prospects day after day.

Despite the NCAA’s decision to reconsider RWG-11-2, Alabama continues to hire new staffers.  According to The Ole Miss Spirit — the site covering the Rebels — Hugh Freeze’s coordinator of recruiting development is expected to move to Alabama. reports that Tyler Siskey’s duties with the Tide are as yet unknown.

Siskey has been at Mississippi since 2012.  Before that he coached at Arkansas State as well as in the high school ranks.  He was current Bama quarterback AJ McCarron’s quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator at St. Paul Episcopal School in Mobile.

Whether the NCAA votes to suspend or change its new rules on recruiting — specifically the proposed rule to uncap the number of people who can recruit for a school — is yet to be determined.  But Alabama is still moving full speed ahead in terms of hiring new people with recruiting backgrounds to new jobs within its football program.

Even if the new employees won’t be allowed to recruit, UA obviously has the cash to bring them in and continue to build one of the biggest football support staffs in the country.


The regular guy
The regular guy

I think they should scale it back significantly for every FB program.  Establish a very narrow window for recruiting, with all periods before and after totally hands-off.  What the scaled-back process should look like I can't say --but you get the idea.  Dial it back for all programs, maybe even limit the ridiculous TV/media showmanship these 'hot property' kids are making all of us endure.


Bama already gets all of the best recruits anyway.  The only thing this does is maybe free up Saban and his coaching staff to spend more time/effort on the current roster.  


The only reason I don't like it is that schools already go WAY overboard with recruiting.  Now they are going to be allowed to setup entire call centers that do nothing but contact recruits 7 days per week??  At some point, enough is enough.

The regular guy
The regular guy

 @I4Bama No offense menat; I was really thinking in terms of other SEC FB programs, not the GaTechs of the world.  You mentioned Mizzou -- they'll be in position within the SEC someday, eventually.  But you are correct, programs that either can't or are not interested in maximizing resources and giving their FB program every chance to succeed are not on a level playing field --but in some cases, it's of their chosing and some cases, the circumstances of a financial pecking order.  See?

The regular guy
The regular guy

I think the point is that Bama does indeed play within the rules, and ensure it takes full advantage of what’s allowed under those rules.  In other words, Saban runs the Bama ship (juggernaut?) like a well-focused business--others catch on to that approach after-the-fact (and after 'ok to good' seasons year after year). Saban understands full well (and maybe better than most) that the downside of breaking rules far out-weighs any temporary upside.  He watches the rule compliance angle very carefully as he maximizes the benefits of the full range of what's allowable.  Complainers who are fans of sad programs that need to mimic his approach should direct their frustration at their own program, not the pace setter. 


 @The regular guy

 Do you really think that Georgia Tech or Missouri or BYU or Purdue, or any of eighty other teams can mimic Saban's approach?  Sure, part of Saban's and Bama's success is due to hard work, intelligence, etc.  To ignore the obvious advantages inherent to Tuscaloosa and the SEC, though, would be ludicrous.  To be fair, many of those advantages exist because of dedication, hard work, and victories in past years, but still...


When playing within the rules puts other teams at an inherent and unavoidable disadvantage or can even be seen as less than fair, the system is broken.


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