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College football: NCAA's new recruiting proposals could make recruiting landscape even crazier

In order to simplify things, the NCAA is trying to relax the rules on contact between coaches and athletes. That could put a bigger burden on the athletes and the schools.
by Jason Kersey Published: February 23, 2013
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— Back when OSU fullback Kye Staley was Guthrie's do-it-all star and a sought-after recruit in the mid-2000s, his cellphone was already blowing up.

“His phone bill one month was over $300,” Guthrie coach Rafe Watkins recalled last week. “… The coaches might send something as simple as, ‘Hey, just thinking about you. How are things going?' Well right there, that's some minutes.”

That was before the new proposals the NCAA approved last month, many of which could take effect Aug. 1 and make an already fiercely competitive recruiting ground even more chaotic.

In order to simplify the rule book and focus more attention on the bigger issues, rather than ones that are difficult to keep track of or enforce, many of the proposals would deregulate contact between coaches and prospective student-athletes.

That means unlimited phone calls. Ditto for text messages, which were banned in 2007. Unlimited mail. Unlimited coaches recruiting off campus. No dead period.

How will this impact the state schools, and college and high school football as a whole?

“I think it will be circus,” Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops said earlier this month.

The lift on the ban of text messaging is likely to be the biggest burden for recruits. Many high-school athletes are already buried in their cellphones, where coaches can currently contact them through Facebook and Twitter messages. Now add back texting — often the most common form of communication between kids that age — and some phones may never stop buzzing.

“You'll be able to connect with them more,” Stoops said, “but can you imagine the recruit when there's 50 schools trying to get ahold of him and there's 50 schools texting him? It's gonna blow up. His girlfriend is never gonna get to him.”

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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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