Big Ten plans to fight NCAA’s new recruiting rules
We are not even a week past Signing Day and the focus has already turned toward the 2014 recruiting season. A season that will be vastly different from last year’s potentially because of new rules the NCAA is putting in place to govern recruiting.
The NCAA, instead of putting even more restrictions on contact between coaches and high school recruits, is waving the white flag when it comes to social media and the instantaneous of connections with teenagers. The NCAA is lifting its ban on unlimited texting and doing away with the so-called dead periods in recruiting. This, everyone seems to predict, will lead to an absolute free-for-all with recruits with coaches having unlimited access to high school players the moment they get their phone numbers or come into contact with them.
Pat Fitzgerald is dead set against it. He took the time out in his post-Signing Day press conference to denounce the new rules and call them “ridiculous.”
It doesn’t make sense,” Fitzgerald said. “As a trustee of the (American Football Coaches Association), I’m going to do everything I can in my power, I think to educate, like our other trustees will be, to educate our coaching body to override a lot of these NCAA rules that have been passed.
Be sure to read Kevin Trahan of Inside Northwestern’s report on the new rules and Fitzgerald’s response to it. It is linked above and linked here too.
The Big Ten appears set to follow through on Fitzgerald’s request to petition the rule change. Big Ten athletic directors and coaches issued a statement Monday expressing serious concerns about the new rules and the effect it will have for high school students. The coaches and athletic directors will urge the NCAA committee to revisit the rule and, at the very least, temporarily suspend its implementation. The new rules are set to take effect in July 1.
Even Urban Meyer, the same guy who chided Big Ten coaches for their low recruiting ranks and said it was “essential” for the Big Ten to recruit “better,” believes the rules need to be revisited and that deregulation is bad. Go figure.
It is hard to know what the effects will be of these new regulations. Some think it will create a “Wild Wild West” atmosphere with every coach going in for a free for all for recruits without any restraint because of the self-regulation. Pat Fitzgerald certainly believes that this will kill the personal lives of assistant coaches and make recruiting more 24/7/365 than it is even now.
This will be something to watch. Northwestern is starting to make waves in recruiting, but is not competing for the guys that get the 53 letters from a school or the constant battling over the big-name recruits. But it could have an effect and NU sees that. This will be something the Wildcats will have to wait and see and deal with as it approaches.