The NCAA cracks down…

on recruiting sites.

Myerberg’s explanation of the rationale behind the ban:

… Well, there’s a secondary issue at stake, one beyond that simple publication of recruiting videos. According to those more familiar with how these recruiting sites work – Bryan Fischer of CBS is a great example – it’s not just about the videos but the interaction between the sites and the teams they cover. For example, according to Fischer, team-specific sites – say, a Georgia-centric site – often share information with coaches that may or may not be made available to its other paying members.

This is a shaky relationship, one the N.C.A.A. wants to stop. I can get behind this stance, I suppose: a site that passes along tidbits and items about a certain prospect grants a team a leg up in that prospect’s recruitment, even if another team site can do the same for a different team. Take this scenario: Georgia’s Rivals site tells Mark Richt or a Georgia assistant that one recruit is looking to go to the same school as a teammate, or is interested in playing one position over another.

Richt could then use this inside information when making his recruiting pitch, offering this top prospect’s teammate or making sure the recruit is aware his position of choice is available when he arrives in Athens. You can see why the N.C.A.A. might want to put a stop to such a dialogue.

I’m not really sure how this addresses the street agent issues that have popped up with guys like Will Lyles, but the NCAA seems serious about this.  How serious? Serious enough that it “… has asked every F.B.S. program that has subscribed to a recruiting Web site to report it as a secondary violation.”

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27 Comments

Filed under Recruiting, The NCAA

27 responses to “The NCAA cracks down…

  1. Oh, good. Another NCAA directive that will have little to no effect on the problem it purports to solve. It’s kind of like a modified version of the old saw about how the NCAA found violations at Alabama, so they dropped the hammer on Alabama State — they say they want to get rid of the Will Lyleses of the world, so they kneecap Rivals.com. Brilliant.

    Screw taking the lead on oversigning reform — if Richt and McGarity led the entire SEC in seceding from the NCAA en masse, they’d be hailed as heroes from Columbia to Fayetteville. And they’d probably have their jobs for life.

  2. Joe

    Does subscribing then to the AJC involve a secondary violation as they have a recruiting tidbit section?

    What’s next, they can’t read Blutrasky comment sections to get our coaching ideas free??

    • Damn! And just when I was about to come up with a paid subscription plan to access GTP’s comments section. ;)

      • Joe

        I know, but for good news, at least I haven’t created a secondary violation at the AJC in years! No subscription for me to that rag. (I do have one to Rivals though!!)

  3. Tell me again how not having a subscription is going to prevent coaches from getting information that isn’t on the site?

    • Exactly. If you are running a program-specific site, odds are you have some affinity for that program and have some connections. The flow of information will continue regardless of whether Rivals gets their subscription fee from UGA or Alabama or whomever.

    • Joe

      I always figured we were paying for information FROM inside the program as well? I know they look at the sites, but I doubt UGA for instance, with its recruiting budget, is relying ON Rivals to any great extent.

      How in the world did they ever find Herschel in tiny Wrightsville before Rivals???

  4. NCT

    “Richt could then use this inside information when making his recruiting pitch, offering this top prospect’s teammate or making sure the recruit is aware his position of choice is available when he arrives in Athens. You can see why the N.C.A.A. might want to put a stop to such a dialogue.”

    No. I can’t. Does that mean I’m stupid?

    • Dog in Fla

      Not anymore so than the rest of us. I think what the quote actually means is that the author “is not only dull himself, he is the cause of dullness in others” (h/t Samuel Johnson)

    • shane#1

      No, it means that the NCAA is stupid. What are the major concerns facing CFB? Illegal payments to players? Grayshirting and oversigning? Tatgate, Camgate, and Sweatervest Gate? Corruption in the BCS bowls? No, it’s Rivals and Scout. I have never seen anything like it. Is the NCAA trying to look like an assembly of morons? No wonder they can’t weed out corruption, they can’t get out of their own way.

  5. Go Dawgs!

    It’s time to leave the NCAA. It is no longer able to accomplish its mission, and should therefore be left behind. This move is ludicrous. It is no stretch to say having a subscription to any online news source will be able to be spun into an NCAA violation, and since online news sources will likely become increasingly subscription based, this is a major issue. And this solves nothing anyway, other than making the NCAA appear to give a damn, which it doesn’t. Time to go to something else.

  6. Normaltown Mike

    Why not make typing “First!” at AJC some type of violation?

  7. Sanford222View

    Yeah because coaches in the SEC our any other conference for that matter would never think to buy subscriptions to the recruiting websites for all the teams they recruit against to gain the same information as they do. That would be too expensive and suck the recruiting budget dry. Way too many barriers to entry for that.

    It is truly sad that this is considered being even remotely close to a significant measure towards leveling the recruiting playing field between schools. Next we will see rules that declare that all teams wear the exact same color schemes and uniform brands to prevent teams from gaining an advantage by having “cooler” uniforms. I mean how are the Va Techs of the world supposed to compete against schools like Oregon?

  8. HooDawg

    Using this logic, the NCAA could ban athletic departments from subscribing to the local newspaper. It contains information! About high school football players! You have to pay for the information! Subscribers gain an advantage over the person who doesn’t pay to read the newspaper!

    The next time the NCAA claims it doesn’t have the resources to police its own rules, remind them that they pay people to write rules like this.

  9. I tend to agree with any & all negative comments about the NCAA, the SEC Commissioner & his office, the SEC Referees, & CFB reporting on ESPN ( & ESPN in general). For what it is worth, you know that I agree with what is being said & put out there.

  10. I just love the fact that after the fact they are telling them all to report it as a violation. Teams have been doing it for years but now all of the sudden they must report it as a violation.

  11. Connor

    This is odd to me. I follow college football pretty closely and I’ve never even heard a whisper of a mention that anyone thought there might be something innapropriate about schools subscribing to rivals or scout. Why would they do this? Cui bono? I suppose ESPN’s nascent recruiting coverage (or any ‘legitimate’ media site with recruiting coverage) is a winner, to the extent this hurts rivals and scout at all. Just an odd move.

    • Seriously

      Do a web search on “Oregon” and “recruiting service” to see where this came from.

  12. 69Dawg

    The NCAA having never heard of the 1st Amendment to that nasty old Constitution attempt to limit freedom of the press. If I’m Rivals I’m suing the dog crap out of the NCAA for interference with the press. These sites don’t make enough money from the schools to even stay in business. They make the money from rabid fans. The NCAA should change it’s motto to “We swallow camels but choke on knats.” As far as I know they still let parents shop their kids as long as they don’t tell the kid. Damn this is a typical bureaucracy.

    • The ATH

      1st Amendment prevents federal government from interfering w/ free speech. It has nothing to do w/ private affiliations like the NCAA – if you see Sarah Palin around, please pass the message onto her as well.

      • 69Dawg

        Ok how about tortuous interference with a contract. How’s that gab you?

        • Mayor of Dawgtown

          Well…69 has at least an argument. 85% of the NCAA member schools are state universities. Could a state (or the Feds) set up a private corporation and then use that private corporation to violate the rights of citizens? For example, could the executive branch decide to hire Halliburton, then get Halliburton to hire AT&T to wiretap citizens’ homes without a warrant? I don’t think so.

  13. S.E. Dawg

    Exactly what does this solve or maybe I’m missing something here. Any school can have someone outside the program (a friend for example) subscribe to these sites and get the information. I can guarantee Saban will find a way around it.