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Rules Working Group to review proposals

By Michelle Brutlag Hosick

In an effort to address concerns expressed about the Division I Board of Directors’ adoption of three recruiting-related proposals, the Rules Working Group will consider possible changes that could be made to the legislation. The Board will discuss the proposals at its May 2 meeting.

Since the January 19 adoption of the first phase of proposals intended to make the Division I rulebook more meaningful, enforceable and supportive of student-athlete success, a number of concerns were raised about a handful of the new rules:

  • Proposal No. RWG-11-2, which eliminates the definition of recruiting coordination functions that must be performed only by a head or assistant coach;
  • Proposal No. RWG-13-3, which eliminates restrictions governing modes and numerical limitations on recruiting communication and
  • Proposal No. RWG-13-5-A, which eliminates restrictions on printed materials sent to prospective student-athletes.

Some in the membership expressed concern about the possible adverse impact the changes would have on college coaches, administrators and university resources, in addition to the impact on prospects and their families. Some coaches and administrators are concerned that deregulation in this area will lead to a recruiting arms race that will overwhelm prospects, college coaches and athletics department budgets.

With the hope of providing feedback and recommended actions to the Board of Directors in advance of their May meeting, the Rules Working Group will discuss the concerns identified by those in the membership.

Much of the anxiety is specific to football, though the concerns could be raised in any sport. For example, some are concerned that allowing any staff member recruit, as RWG-11-2 does, will lead to the growth of athletics department staff, particularly those devoted to recruiting football student-athletes.

The Rules Working Group could recommend that the Board suspend the proposals until changes can be made. That approach could address concerns because the suspension would provide time to allow additional membership discussion on the broader issues at play within each of the proposals.  

Schools interested in compelling the Board of Directors to review its decision to adopt these, or any other, proposals can submit a request for an override. Although the Board is likely to review these three proposals at its May 2 meeting, the receipt of 75 override requests would formalize that commitment. If 125 override requests are received by the March 20 deadline, the legislation would be suspended pending a vote by the membership.