Last month, major college football's governing body approved new proposals “aimed at creating a more flexible manual based on common sense,” according to a news release announcing the changes.
Among the several changes is deregulation of contact between college coaches and prospective student-athletes. This includes lifting the NCAA's 2007 ban of text messaging.
The Oklahoman contacted several Oklahoma high school football coaches for their reaction to the changes, many of which are set to take effect Aug. 1.
How do you think the contact deregulation will impact your programs and players?
Andy Bogert, Heritage Hall: “I'll stop getting calls from coaches, saying, ‘Hey, if you get a chance, could you just have him call me?' It'll probably lessen on my end, but it'll be heavier on the kids.
“With Barry (J. Sanders) and Sterling (Shepard), they'd tell me, ‘Look, I'm not interested in this school.' And I'd tell them, ‘He's already narrowed his choices.'
“Now, you're gonna have kids getting all these texts and can't figure out what they wanna do. It's gonna be an information overload.”
Steve Spavital, Broken Arrow: “It goes past me. I have no clue on half the stuff that's going on with the communication between the colleges and our players anymore.
“If a kid commits, it's hard for me to protect them. My philosophy has been if a kid's committed, I need to protect that commitment. I can't do that stuff anymore. ... This is gonna create even more pressure on these kids.”
Rafe Watkins, Guthrie: “When I started coaching, we knew exactly who all was recruiting you kids. Now, if they get online and register with one of these recruiting services, or go to one of these Nike combines, everybody's got their phone numbers. Which I guess is a good thing, but not a lot goes through the high school coaches anymore.
“I think it could be a financial burden with certain cellphone plans. As far as a distraction? Most of the kids are on their cellphones 24/7 it seems like anyway. And with the Facebook and the Twitter and all that ...”