B1G coaches want NCAA to table proposal

The Big Ten coaches and athletic directors last month asked the NCAA to reconsider three proposals that would deregulate elements of football recruiting.

They got two-thirds of their wish last week, as the NCAA's Rules Working Group recommended that the Division I Board of Directors suspend and modify the legislation at its May 2 meeting in Indianapolis. The recommendations called for additional study and discussion about:

  • Proposal 11-2, which would eliminate the requirement that only a head coach or assistant coach can perform the functions of a recruiting coordinator. The result of this has been teams hiring player personnel/scouting types in bunches

  • Proposal 13-5-A, which would have eliminated restrictions on printed materials sent to prospects. Ohio State coach Urban Meyer said last month of the proposal, "Could you imagine what's going to be rolling into kids' driveways? Fatheads and magnets -- it's nonsense. ... I don't agree with that at all."

But no action was taken on arguably the most contentious proposal, 13-3, which would remove numerical limitations and modes of recruiting communication from college coaches to prospects, including text messaging.

The Big Ten coaches still want 13-3 to be tabled for further discussion. The coaches held a teleconference Tuesday and unanimously voted to recommend to their athletic directors and presidents to submit override votes if no action is taken.

"We're very thankful that the NCAA has reconsidered two of the three propositions that we made a statement regarding," Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald, who chairs the Big Ten coaches' group, told ESPN.com on Tuesday. "But we still feel strongly that 13-3 should be tabled also. We look forward to working with the NCAA in finding great solutions to not only the recruiting process, but also to make the great game of college football and the experience for our student-athletes even better."

The board must review any proposal that receives 75 override votes, and if 125 override votes are received by March 20, the legislation would be suspended pending a vote of members. The new legislation would go into effect Aug. 1 unless the board suspends it in May.

The coaches mainly want to be involved in the discussion, which they haven't been to this point. Although the Big Ten coaches have been the most vocal about this, coaches from other leagues feel similarly. It would be surprising if additional action isn't taken on 13-3.