At the NCAA's annual convention in Dallas last month, its board of directors adopted 25 new proposals deregulating in areas like personnel, recruiting, eligibility, benefits and expenses, among others.
The items receiving the most interest are those dealing with recruiting. The only proposal the board considered — but didn't approve — was to allow a prospect's recruitment to begin July 1 before their junior year of high school. That proposal was tabled for further discussion in April.
Here are the three most significant changes to NCAA recruiting rules approved in January.
* The elimination of restrictions on methods and modes of communication during recruiting. This proposal is effective July 1.
This is the change likely to make the biggest impact, and the one causing the most controversy. This change eliminates “dead periods,” during which no contact is allowed; removes limits on the number of calls that can be placed to recruits; and reverses the NCAA's 2007 ban on text messaging from coaches to prospects. The nation's most coveted, undecided prospects could find themselves buried in calls and texts.
* The elimination of rules defining recruiting coordination functions that must be performed only by a head or assistant coach. This is effective Aug. 1.
Essentially, an athletic department's entire staff can evaluate and contact prospects. This change will likely lead the nation's most affluent programs to create personnel departments to help take some of the pressure off coaches.
* The removal of the so-called “baton rule,” which limited the number of coaches who can recruit off-campus at any one time. This is effective Aug. 1.
An entire coaching staff will be able to go out recruiting at the same time, eliminating tedious scheduling problems that often arose under the current rules.