By Michelle Brutlag Hosick
The Division I Board of Directors on Thursday suspended the rule that would have allowed coaches to communicate with recruits in new ways – including through text messaging – and lifted restrictions on numbers of contacts.
The Board reconsidered its January adoption of the measure after receiving more than 75 override requests.
In suspending the rule, the presidents on the Board endorsed a Rules Working Group recommendation that all the recruiting concepts under review be examined as a group to develop a model that considers how the changes would work together.
The decision does not affect recruiting rules adopted for men’s and women’s basketball.
“We are supportive of moving as aggressively as possible while still studying the issues with due diligence,” said Board chair Nathan Hatch, president at Wake Forest University. “It’s important to make sure all the pieces of the recruiting model work together to make the most effective change in the culture.”
The Board took the advice of the Rules Working Group, which urged a quick legislative review that is mindful of the other initiatives under consideration by the membership, in recommending an aggressive, thoughtful and thorough review of the recruiting rules. The recruiting communication and other recruiting rule changes originated with the working group as part of an effort to make Division I rules more meaningful, enforceable and supportive of student-athlete success.
The Board suspended or tabled three other recruiting-related rules earlier this year:
The Rules Working Group and other relevant groups such as the Football Recruiting Subcommittee of the Leadership Council will examine each of the concepts and how they relate to each other, with the added context of possible revisions to recruiting calendars set to be considered during the next phase of rulebook simplification.
The Board declined to change its position on a proposal prohibiting live scouting of opponents, which also had received more than 75 override requests. With that action, the measure will go to a full vote of the membership through an online process.
The Board agreed with the Rules Working Group assessment that the measure creates a simpler and more consistent rule that is easy to follow. The presidents noted that those who oppose the change expressed concern about access to and quality of video in some of the Olympic sports. As with all rules adopted through the presidential reform agenda, it will undergo a review and evaluation process after two years if it remains in place after the override vote.