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DI Council introduces football staff size change

Preseason practice change also under consideration

Staff sizes among Football Bowl Subdivision programs could have new parameters if legislation introduced into the 2017-18 cycle by the Division I Council is adopted.

The proposal would require schools to designate 30 individuals who will participate in on-campus football recruiting activities in FBS.  If passed, the proposal would become effective Aug. 1, 2018.

Those individuals would be able to initiate written and electronic correspondence with prospective student-athletes, their parents or legal guardians.

The number of designated individuals would include all countable coaches, which currently are the head coach and nine assistants but will increase to 10 assistants Jan. 9. It also would include all graduate assistant coaches. FBS schools are allowed a maximum of four graduate assistants in football.

Each school would be required to declare those designations before its first preseason practice. Directors of athletics would be required to review the written submissions and send a signed copy to the school’s conference office.

Schools could make changes to the designations only because of attrition, and any change would require the approval of the director of athletics.

Under the proposal, all designees would be required to pass the NCAA recruiting exam every year before engaging in any recruiting activities.

The Division I Football Oversight Committee will gather feedback from head coaches, directors of athletics, compliance administrators, conference offices and other groups during the 2017-18 legislative cycle. The committee plans to review that feedback at its next in-person meeting in January.

“We feel we have reinforced the rules that are already on the books,” said Bob Bowlsby, chair of the Football Oversight Committee and commissioner of the Big 12 Conference. “The head coach, the soon to be 10 assistants and the four graduate assistants are the people who are supposed to be coaching student-athletes, preparing them for the game and doing the recruiting.”

Preseason practice

The Council also introduced legislation that would establish a new start date for preseason football practice.

If adopted, teams could calculate the start of practice by counting back 25 days from their first game of the season. The 25 days would not include a scheduled day off once a week.

For example, a team playing its first game Sept. 1, 2018, could hold its first practice Aug. 3.

Feedback from the American Football Coaches Association influenced the oversight committee’s decision to propose 25 as the right number of practices to prepare for the season.

“We were also talking about the 14-week standardized season, but it became apparent that it was going to be an impediment in our efforts to keep all the practices in August,” Bowlsby said. “We didn’t want practices taking place in July and conflicting with the end of summer school.”

The earliest the Council could vote on the two football proposals would be January.