Rule limits number of coaches to two

MONTGOMERY, Ala. -- The en masse spring recruiting trips by Auburn and other schools have come to an end.

The NCAA passed a rule Thursday allowing a university to send only two coaches to a high school on the same day during an evaluation period, when assistants are allowed one visit to assess a prospect's athletic ability and a second to evaluate academics. NCAA spokeswoman Stacey Osburn said Friday it is effective immediately and originated with the Big East Conference.

Groups of Auburn assistants have done the so-called "Tiger Prowl" to state and area high schools in limousines the past two springs. Auburn has also used a bus for fan events during the jaunts this spring, though not for campus visits.

The NCAA didn't mention Auburn directly but notes multiple coaches often visit schools "in limousines and extravagant buses" and that the visits are as much to make a splash as to evaluate prospects.

"Many institutions are unnecessarily expending resources in order to have multiple assistant coaches attend these evaluations as a result of the perceived recruiting benefit," the NCAA said. "By permitting only two football coaches per institution to visit a prospective student-athlete's school on any given evaluation day, it would preclude institutions from sending a large number of assistant coaches to a school just for perception purposes."

The attention-getting technique apparently helped last season; the Tigers pulled in one of the nation's top recruiting classes.

On Thursday morning, before the ruling was issued, Auburn coach Gene Chizik made a point to separate "Tiger Prowl" from the recruiting visits, saying that refers to the fan events and not the trips to high schools.