The NCAA, recruiting and unicorns

Another daft idea from your friends at the NCAA:

An NCAA cabinet that oversees recruiting is ready to put an end to the practice of offering scholarships to underage prospects.

A proposed rules change drawn up by the Division I Recruiting and Athletics Personnel Issues Cabinet would prohibit verbal offers before the summer following an athlete’s junior year of high school — specifically before July 1. Prospects would have to have a five-semester academic transcript on file at their high schools.

Gosh, it sounds so noble.  Lane Kiffin would no longer be allowed to tempt thirteen-year old quarterbacks into thinking about going to college.  One problem, though.  How do you enforce the ban?

Answer:  um, well… gee, that’s a good question.

… If adopted, Long acknowledged the difficulty of monitoring verbal agreements and allowed that the measure could be difficult to enforce. “People who don’t plan to follow the rules don’t follow the rules whether we can monitor them or not,” she told The NCAA News. “There has to be an agreement among coaches and administrators that the spirit of what we’re doing is as important as the rule itself, and the spirit is clearly that we do not want this behavior to go on.

“Can a coach purchase a cellphone, call someone, and throw it away? Yes. Is that the kind of people we really want in this business? No.”

She’s kidding with that, right?  Those are exactly the kind of people whom half the schools in the country would love to hire as their head coach.  But who knows?  Maybe wishing will make it so John Calipari turns over a new leaf.  Petrina Long probably still believes in the Tooth Fairy.

More and more, I think Andy Staples has the best solution on the early commitment front.  Let ’em sign, let ’em sign, let ’em sign.


Filed under Recruiting, The NCAA

3 responses to “The NCAA, recruiting and unicorns

  1. Doug

    I’ve rolled my eyes as much as anyone at the cravenness with which some coaches have been going after really young prospects (coughKiffincough), but I don’t know that it merits instituting yet more NCAA rules. I mean, there’s a calculated risk in chasing a recruit that young — you try to commit a kid who’s, say, 14, you’re signing up for three years of acid reflux as you stay up nights wondering how many times a flighty, immature teenager is gonna change his mind before hd finally has to “choose a hat” and put pen to paper — so if a coach really wants to put himself through that kind of misery over a kid whose suitability for major-college D-I football he knows next to nothing about, he’ll, let him.

    While it may not merit new rules, though, this kind of cradle-robbing seems worthy of a Lexicon entry. Should Kiffin and other coaches who continually chase after 13- and 14-year-olds be referred to as “cougar coaches”? Or “Woody Allens”? (If it’s the latter, does that make a freshman who’s already verbally committed somewhere a “Soon-Yi”?)


    • Dog in Fla


      Others could be

      “The Petrina Long Rule”: what the NCAA forensic certified public accountants follow when they examine recruiting budgets trying to discover line items for recent purchases of cell phones.

      “Roman Polanski”: a head coach, who after doing recruiting with candy over the phone on a 13 year old to get them to pull a Soon-Yi, flees to Europe to coach soccer trying to avoid extradition by The NCAA for violating The Petrina Long Rule.


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