Lord, this is a devious suggestion (which is why I approve of it, of course):
… This disconnect between theory and practice is better legislated at the conference level. Far from ensuring the SEC maintains a competitive advantage, it offers a chance for conferences to create their own competitive advantages. While some may call it negative recruiting, there’s nothing morally wrong or impermissible about informing prospects and their parents/guardians that one conference offers more protections to student-athletes than another.
If that idea gained traction, it could turn around the race to the bottom. Imagine if conferences got creative:
- A rule that allowed for an appeal to the conference office when a scholarship is cancelled or not renewed.
- A rule requiring conference schools to renew scholarships within the first week of school, almost creating two-year scholarships.
- A rule limiting the ability of conference schools to refuse permission to contact other schools under certain conditions
If every change is quickly reduced to a national rule, there is no way for conferences to differentiate themselves. And with the passage of Connecticut House Bill 5145 to go along with California’s AB 2079, we’re getting close to providing prospects with the tools necessary to make an informed choice between these different options.
We don’t find it to be a problem if one state has lower taxes but another state has cheaper health care and better roads. Both are taking different approaches to the same goal: attracting people and businesses. Solve the baseline national problem, and then give conferences the incentive to develop more student-athlete friendly rules.
Let’s see how Nick Saban would deal with that.
Okay, I’m being a little tongue-in-cheek here (Brian Cook thinks Infante’s proposal is full of fail because recruits’ egos get in the way of logic, for example), but seriously, why don’t Big Ten schools use the SEC’s oversigning policy as a recruiting tool instead of just whining about it?