College football: Coaches, athletes weigh in on NCAA's suspended recruiting proposals

The proposals would have lifted restrictions on phone calls, mail and text messages, which were banned for college football recruiting in 2007. OU football coach Bob Stoops was among those who spoke out against the proposals.
by Jason Kersey Published: May 18, 2013
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photo - Bob Stoops talks with the press before the start of Spring Football at the University of Oklahoma (OU) on Thursday, March 7, 2013 in Norman, Okla.  Photo by Steve Sisney, The Oklahoman
Bob Stoops talks with the press before the start of Spring Football at the University of Oklahoma (OU) on Thursday, March 7, 2013 in Norman, Okla. Photo by Steve Sisney, The Oklahoman

Back before text messaging was banned, Guthrie coach Rafe Watkins watched in horror as superstar Kye Staley — now an Oklahoma State senior fullback — was bombarded with calls and messages from college coaches. Watkins said that one month, Staley's cellphone bill eclipsed $300.

This year, Guthrie has another talented senior expected to receive serious Division I attention. Kai Callins doesn't have any offers yet because of a torn ACL last fall, but his stock could rise when games begin.

“I think there should be a limit,” Callins said. “Just as a student-athlete, it's tough enough as it is with school, work, practice and if you're in any clubs or anything like that.

“You want to take those calls so you don't look bad, but sometimes it can be too much.”

Opinions vary on the issue, though. Southmoore senior Jaelon Walker said he thinks coaches should be allowed unlimited contact.

“They're going to give you a $100,000 offer,” Walker said. “If they're going to spend that kind of money on a student, they should be able to contact him as much as they want. I'm fine with that trade off.”


by Jason Kersey
OU Sports Reporter
Jason Kersey became The Oklahoman's OU football beat writer in May 2012 after a year covering high school sports and OSU recruiting. Before joining the newspaper in November 2006 as a part-time results clerk, he covered high school football for...
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What they're saying about the NCAA's recruiting proposals

Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops: “I think they need to do a better job of communicating with players. If a player says he talked to so-and-so at whatever time of year, whether you can trace it or not, however he called him, he called me, I talked to him, well, that's a violation. Have it severe enough to where they don't want to do it. I don't think we do a good enough job of that.”

Alabama coach Nick Saban, speaking in March to the Birmingham Mountain Touchdown Club: “I'm kind of happy with the system we have now. To use the idea that, ‘We can't monitor it, so why don't we just make it legal?' I don't buy into that at all. It's like saying, ‘People are driving too fast. We can't enforce the speed limit, so let's just take the signs down and let everyone go as fast as they want.'”

NCAA President Mark Emmert, in a statement after the rules were suspended: “The intent is to develop a model that considers how the changes work together. The Board stated its intent to move forward with rules reform aggressively but also with due diligence. The reform effort, by any measure, has been a success and I'm confident the membership will find the right solution for some coach's concerns with this as well.”

Duke coach David Cutcliffe, speaking at last week's ACC spring meetings: “We far more favor regulation than total deregulation. We have concerns with deregulation, that it turns into a free-for-all. We are not in favor of earlier communications with prospects. We are not in favor of unlimited calling or text messaging. We feel that's a distraction to the student-athlete, particularly juniors or even seniors for that matter.”

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