By Michelle Brutlag Hosick
The Division I Leadership Council approved new football recruiting rules and a model that will allow football coaches increased access to student-athletes in the summer. The measures, approved during the Oct. 23-24 meeting in Indianapolis, now go to the Division I Board of Directors for consideration Wednesday.
A subcommittee of the council, charged with leading a proactive and comprehensive review of recruiting issues identified by football coaches, recommended the changes after several months of study. That research included surveys of both student-athletes and coaches, andhe proposals are the first step toward fulfilling its mission.
If adopted, the proposals would:
Like the subcommittee, council members believe the changes will promote a healthy recruiting environment for both the students being recruited and the football coaches. They also believe it will protect the integrity of the recruiting process.
For example, barring recruiting associated with high school all-star games could minimize the influence of third parties in the recruiting process, such as agents, advisers and runners, as well as keep the focus on scholastic competitions for recruiting. Also, extending the winter dead period and adding a summer dead period would allow coaches and recruits a break from the recruiting process while still ensuring appropriate time for everyone to make informed recruiting decisions.
The subcommittee provided extensive data to reinforce its recommendations. A survey of head coaches, assistant coaches and athletics directors showed widespread support for each of the concepts.
“We took a proactive and comprehensive look at the issues brought forward by our football coaches,” said Kirby Hocutt, athletics director at Texas Tech, who led the subcommittee that brought its recommendations to the full council. “We believe we were able to move the ball forward in our recommendation to the Board of Directors. The five items will have a positive impact on the football recruiting environment.”
The Board will consider the proposals at its meeting Wednesday. They could be adopted immediately, as recommended by the council, or delayed to allow for the completion of this year’s recruiting cycle. The subcommittee recommended an immediate effective date for all the proposals. At its Oct. 21 meeting, the Legislative Council recommended the meals legislation have an Aug. 1, 2014 effective date for budget and planning purposes. The Board will consider the effective date as part of the package.