Daily Compliance Item- 3/8/12- Current Event

Rules Working Group to review recruiting, personnel proposals


In an effort to address concerns expressed about the Division I Board of Directors’ adoption of three recruiting-related proposals, the Rules Working Group will consider possible changes that could be made to the legislation. The Board will discuss the proposals at its May 2 meeting.

Since the January 19 adoption of the first phase of proposals intended to make the Division I rulebook more meaningful, enforceable and supportive of student-athlete success, a number of concerns were raised about a handful of the new rules:

  • Proposal No. RWG-11-2, which eliminates the definition of recruiting coordination functions that must be performed only by a head or assistant coach;
  • Proposal No. RWG-13-3, which eliminates restrictions governing modes and numerical limitations on recruiting communication and
  • Proposal No. RWG-13-5-A, which eliminates restrictions on printed materials sent to prospective student-athletes.

Some in the membership expressed concern about the possible adverse impact the changes would have on college coaches, administrators and university resources, in addition to the impact on prospects and their families. Some coaches and administrators are concerned that deregulation in this area will lead to a recruiting arms race that will overwhelm prospects, college coaches and athletics department budgets.


With the hope of providing feedback and recommended actions to the Board of Directors in advance of their May meeting, the Rules Working Group will discuss the concerns identified by those in the membership.


Much of the anxiety is specific to football, though the concerns could be raised in any sport. For example, some are concerned that allowing any staff member to engage in recruiting coordination functions, as RWG-11-2 does, will lead to the proliferation of athletics department staff, particularly those devoted to recruiting football student-athletes. The Rules Working Group could recommend that the Board suspend the RWG-11-2 until changes can be made. That approach could address concerns because the suspension would provide time to allow additional membership discussion on the broader issue of limits on non-coaching personnel, set for the next phase of deregulation, and additional time for the Division I Leadership Council to examine and, if necessary, propose changes to the football recruiting model.


Many of the concerns expressed about deregulating modes and numerical limitations on recruiting communication were articulated prior to the proposal’s adoption: allowing unlimited communication after a certain date could overwhelm prospects and cause a life-work balance issue for coaches.

Recent feedback from the membership articulated a desire to examine that proposal in conjunction with the on-going review of Proposal No. RWG-13-2 (initial date for recruiting communication and in-person contact) and recruiting calendars.  The Rules Working Group could recommend suspending the proposal.  That would provide additional opportunity to examine the proposal in conjunction with the discussion of those other topics.


Or, the working group could recommend maintaining the numerical limits on recruiting communication, while still eliminating the restrictions on modes like text messaging. Another possible recommendation would be to suspend the proposal only for football to provide additional time for the Leadership Council to examine and, if necessary, propose changes to the football recruiting model.


The proposal eliminating the restrictions on printed materials to be sent to recruits also raised some concerns about cost implications. The working group could recommend suspending the effective date for this proposal, allowing the membership additional time to consider an alternate proposal that earlier feedback had eliminated. Proposal No. RWG-13-5-B would have prohibited schools from sending any printed materials other than general correspondence to prospects.  Institutions could instead publish their materials – including video and audio – to a web site for review by prospects and their families. As with Proposal No. RWG-13-3, the working group could also recommend suspending the proposal only for football and ask the Leadership Council to include this in its review of the football recruiting model.

Institutions interested in compelling the Board of Directors to review its decision to adopt these, or any other, proposals can submit a request for an override.  Each active member institution with voting privileges can request, with the approval of the chancellor or president, an override any time a legislative change is adopted or defeated.  Although the Board has pledged to review these three proposals at its May 2 meeting, the receipt of 75 override requests would formalize that commitment.


If 125 override requests are received by the March 20 deadline, the legislation would be suspended pending a vote by the membership.


The Rules Working Group is interested in membership feedback.  Feedback can be provided to  rulesworkinggroup@ncaa.org.

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