In January, word came out from the NCAA that restrictions on recruiting contact would be lifted, creating a free-for-all of unlimited contact across all communication platforms.
The NCAA’s goal was to lessen the burden of the rule book and streamline restrictions to make it easier on coaches, in an attempt to avoid mishaps during dead periods and the number of times a player could be contacted.
Today, the NCAA went back on that notion, deciding that they would re-consider the freedoms of the new measures.
After USC held their second spring practice of the year, head coach Lane Kiffin spoke about the new rules and their status change, acknowledging the pros and cons.
We hadn’t thought about making some [hires] like other schools had. We had some people telling us [a reconsideration] may happen. We didn’t want to hire people and then they’re stuck here not able to do the stuff that we had anticipated. We’ll wait, obviously, to see if it changes. As far as what do I think about it, there’s some good stuff and there’s some bad stuff. It allows you to have more people recruiting and allows you to not have to worry about little things like a pocket dial and the ability to text guys. At the same time, it’s going to consume a lot of time from assistant coaches, because there’s going to be a race to out-do each other. I think the student athlete in high school is going to suffer too, because he’s going to have an increased communication coming his way from a lot of people. And, you’re going to have another race from your major powerhouse schools that can afford to hire a lot of people in those roles too.
When asked about whether or not Kiffin will hire new staff for the sole purposes of recruiting if contact becomes unlimited, he was quick to point that he would fall behind the proverbial eight ball.
“I would anticipate that,” said Kiffin. “We kind of laid out a plan if it was going to go that direction of what we do. Like anything, we’re always going to want to stay at the top of it and not have an advantage.”
The NCAA’s Division I Board of Directors will reconvene on May 2nd in Indianapolis to discuss the rule changes.