New legislation may be on hold

Action is under way to eliminate or modify two controversial pieces of NCAA legislation that would deregulate parts of football recruiting.

The rules -- one regarding recruiting coordinators, the other involving restrictions on printed materials sent to recruits -- were met with significant negative feedback. That led the NCAA's Rules Working Group, which initially drew up the plans, to recommend that the Division I Board of Directors suspend and modify the legislation at its May 2 meeting in Indianapolis. That board passed both rules, among 25 proposals at the recommendation of the working group, on Jan. 19 at the NCAA Convention.

The new legislation remains set to go into effect Aug. 1. If suspended by the board in May, it will not go into effect until modifications are made.

Proposal 11-2 would eliminate the requirement that only a head coach or assistant coach can perform the functions of a recruiting coordinator. It led to speculation that many schools would hire scouting staffs and personnel to contact recruits.

Proposal 13-5-A would have eliminated restrictions on printed materials sent to prospects. Some programs fear that mailings, if unregulated, would escalate into an arms race in which prospects received Fathead posters or gold-plated media guides from colleges.

Board chair Nathan Hatch, in a news release issued by the NCAA, commended the working group for its collaboration with membership after concerns were raised about the legislation.

The working group did not recommend any change to Proposal 13-3, which also drew criticism after its approval by the board in January. It would remove numerical limitations and modes of recruiting communication from college coaches to prospects, including text messaging.

Barring override, coaches, starting Aug. 1, will be allowed to call and contact prospects by any private methods available.

Many college coaches have expressed concern that 13-3 would negatively affect the recruiting experience and quality of life for assistant coaches and prospects.

The receipt of 75 override requests mandates a board review of any proposal. If 125 override requests are received by March 20, the legislation would be suspended pending a vote of membership.

All Division I schools (FBS and FCS) are granted an override request. The NCAA does not release the ongoing results of override requests it has received.

Also at its May 2 meeting, the board is expected to reconsider Proposal 13-2, which was tabled in January. It calls for the establishment of a uniform start date for recruiting contact, initiated by college coaches, of July 1 in the year before a prospect's junior season.

If passed, 13-2 would enable six home visits per school in a prospect's junior year. Currently, coaches are allowed to visit only seniors.