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Working group proposals earn Council support

By Michelle Hosick

The Division I Legislative Council continued to support a series of proposals from the Rules Working Group as they go before the Board of Directors for final adoption Saturday.

The only proposal prompting considerable debate was one that would allow coaches in all sports to begin recruiting July 1 after the recruit’s sophomore year. Ultimately, though, the Council continued to support it along with the rest of the working group proposals.

That proposal, RWG 13-2, was intended to acknowledge that the current rules in most sports are not practical and are not preventing earlier recruiting from happening. 

In fact, the Rules Working Group heard input that moving the recruiting date earlier would allow coaches to develop a stronger relationship with prospects and possibly eliminate some negative third-party influence on the process.

Several coaches groups have argued against the earlier date, however. Other constituents worry that moving the date would place undue pressure on recruits to make earlier commitments, and that requiring all sports to begin recruiting on the same day doesn’t take into account cultural differences.

Most Council members liked the idea of pushing the proposal forward in its current form, but some raised issues with whether the current proposal would be accepted by the entire membership.

“It’s clear the members do not believe we currently have the right or most effective start date for the recruiting process,” said Council chair Greg Sankey, executive associate commissioner of the Southeastern Conference. “But the Council obviously has mixed feelings about what’s been identified. We want to be as wise as we can when moving forward with these changes.”

The group also talked briefly -- but continued to support -- RWG 11-3-B, which would prohibit live scouting of opponents for all sports. The discussion centered on the merits of in-person scouting when compared to the quality of the video provided in some sports.

The Council also tabled legislation modifying the men’s basketball recruiting model adopted a year ago. 

Members referred a proposal addressing preseason practice for men’s basketball to the Rules Working Group, which is examining playing and practice season bylaws during the second phase of its work.