Proposal 2010-30 was supposed to the start of major deregulation of the recruiting rules. It wasn’t supposed to be about what the actual phone call rules were. Rather, it was about the fact that there are currently seven different regulations for when and how often a coach can call a prospect and their parents. The new rule would have cut that to three. Still not ideal, but a massive improvement over the current system.
After Proposal 2010-30 was passed with overwhelming support, coaches and administrators balked. Many of the comments on the 106 override requests opposed a move toward earlier recruiting and thought the increased workload would give an advantage to schools with larger coaching (and noncoaching) staffs.
Fewer rules slims down the Manual and cuts down on the cost of monitoring since you spend less time training staff on numerous rules. It also sets a baseline rule that could then be tweaked rather than creating a new rule on a sport-by-sport basis. A lot of inertia on basic recruiting rules would have been broken.
Instead we’ll keep the current set of rules. And more importantly, a bigger proposal coming this year that removes limits on the frequency of calls now looks much less likely to pass. That proposal will cut down dramatically on monitoring costs since schools would only need to check that coaches are not calling prospects too early. Proactive monitoring systems would also become much more affordable and accessible for smaller schools.
It’s an issue of priorities. The membership has reiterated that early recruiting and competitive equity are still major priorities. But if extra benefits, agent activity, and pay-for-play are also priorities, that means something has to give, in this case having a smaller, simpler rule book which requires less administrative overhead to maintain and enforce. It also means more resources have to be spent on compliance rather than something else, which is good or bad depending on where you sit.
There’s talk now that just about every rule is becoming untenable. Amateurism, initial eligibility, recruiting regulations, financial aid limits, and staff limitations have come under fire. It’s likely only a matter of time before the concept of eligibility itself is challenged. If we’re going to declare rules failed though, we should start with the little ones that take a lot of time and effort first, rather than jumping straight to core values.
The opinions expressed on this blog are the author’s and the author’s alone, and are not endorsed by the NCAA or any NCAA member institution or conference. This blog is not a substitute for a compliance office.