I’ve discussed the strategy behind the NCAA’s Proposal No. 2016-116, a package of rules changes designed to temper some of the flaws in the recruiting process, at least as the NCAA Division I board of directors sees it. The hope is that there’s enough in the package that’s acceptable to coaches, such as adding a tenth staffer, to offset what’s less palatable.
Judging from this, that may be a tough balancing act.
The conferences appear to have found consensus on all of the above — except for adding April-June official visits. The Southeastern Conference and other leagues in the South are reluctant to sign off on the change.
They have proposed an amendment that would limit spring official visits to April, a month already congested by ACT exams and Easter. There’s almost no way a prospect could use all five of his official visits in April.
It’s easy for prospects from, say, Atlanta, to take unofficial visits to Georgia, Auburn, Alabama and ACC schools such as Georgia Tech and Clemson in the spring. Not so much to Penn State and Nebraska, especially if the prospect and his family have limited means and cannot afford to fly.
“It’s like Trump,” one Big Ten official said. “Except the SEC wants to build a giant wall around the Southeast.”
The SEC’s justification for its stance is what really has Big Ten coaches steaming — academics.
“It’s a joke,” one Big Ten coach said.
Arkansas coach Bret Bielema, in an interview with the Tribune, said it’s no joke.
“The North wants recruiting and signing day to move up,” he said. “I get it. But on the same account, you’d have kids potentially not focusing on getting good grades to end the school year, and to me that’s really dangerous.”
Fake unctuousness from Bret Bielema? Why, Miz Scarlett, I nevah.