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Noreen Morris, chair of the Leadership Council and commissioner of the Northeast Conference, led the discussion on women’s basketball recruiting.
By Michelle Brutlag Hosick
The Division I Leadership Council approved a new women’s basketball recruiting model that will go to the Board of Directors for consideration Saturday.
The model includes changes in rules governing communication with prospects, off-campus contacts, official visits, on-campus evaluations and the creation of a summer academic-access model.
The group considered removing the Sept. 1 start date for recruiting contacts from the package to await the final decision on a Rules Working Group proposal for a uniform recruiting start date for all sports. However, the Council ultimately decided to forward the whole package.
“I hope the changes advance the sport in the manner the coaches had intended when they started out on this project,” said Myndee Kay Larson, senior associate commissioner of the Summit League and chief liaison between the subcommittee and the Leadership Council. “I hope the new model makes recruiting really simple and effective for both coaches and prospects.”
If adopted by the Board, the new recruiting model for women’s basketball will be effective Aug. 1, 2013, except for the summer-access portion, which will be effective immediately.
In other business, the Council noted the good work of the Rules Working Group and endorsed the adoption of all but one of its proposals.
The Council recommended the Board of Directors ask the Rules Working Group to reconsider a uniform start date for recruiting. The working group has drafted a proposal that would move the start date for recruiting in all sports to July 1 after a prospect’s sophomore year.
The Council noted some concern about the one-size-fits-all approach that might pressure recruits to commit earlier. The proposal was intended to allow coaches to develop stronger relationships with prospects and possibly eliminate some of the negative third-party influence on the process.
“We believe the proposal has merit. We just need to figure out the details and determine a way to make it best work for both coaches and prospects,” said Council chair Noreen Morris, commissioner of the Northeast Conference. “We didn’t want to go forward with legislation that didn’t have national consensus.”
The Leadership Council’s take differed from that of the Legislative Council, which recommended Wednesday that the proposal move forward to the Board for adoption.
If the Board agrees to delay the proposal, the Leadership Council requested that the matter be addressed quickly so it could be resolved as early as the Board’s spring or summer meetings.