National Collegiate Athletic Association
Working Group on the Collegiate Model – Rules
NCAA Bylaw 13 (Recruiting)
Concepts Discussion Document

 

The purpose of this document is to solicit input from the NCAA Division I membership on concepts currently being considered by the Working Group on the Collegiate Model – Rules. This feedback will be used by the working group as it continues to finalize its recommendations for the NCAA Division I Board of Directors. Please forward any feedback and comments to rulesworkinggroup@ncaa.org.
A draft of a re-written NCAA Bylaw 13 (recruiting), similar to the re-written version of Bylaw 11 (conduct and employment of athletics personnel), will be available once the working group evaluates initial feedback on these concepts.
Name: 1A FAR Board
Institution/Conference/Organization: 1A FAR Board of Directors
Title:
Date: June 27, 2012

General comment:  We agree Bylaw 13 is unwieldy and in many cases unworkable.  Any attempt to simplify this bylaw is welcome.  While deregulation is generally acceptable, there is concern with maintaining proper oversight. 

 

Concept No. 1: Establish an earlier date by which prospective student-athletes who have demonstrated a commitment to attend an institution are no longer considered prospective student-athletes for purposes of applying recruiting rules (offers and inducements).
Rationale: The proposed change is designed to further student-athlete success and well-being by allowing an individual who has demonstrated a commitment to attend a particular institution to be treated similarly to the enrolled student-athlete attending that institution.
Points to Consider:
• The Working Group on the Collegiate Model – Rules, Bylaw 13 Subgroup suggests that the date would be the date on which the prospective student-athlete signs a National Letter of Intent (NLI), or for institutions not subscribing to the NLI, the date on which the prospective student-athlete signs a written offer of admission and/or financial aid.

• Promotes the player/coach relationship by permitting greater access between the coach and an incoming signee.

Questions:

  1. Do you support this concept? Why or why not?

Yes.  This is a good concept and likely to benefit compliance staff workload.

  1. Should another date other than the signing of the NLI or an institution’s written offer of admission and/or financial aid be used to trigger when an individual is no longer considered a prospective student-athlete in relation to the recruiting rules? If so, what would be that date/trigger?

No Comment


Concept No. 2: Establish regulations that provide for earlier access (specific initial dates for communication and contact) with prospective student-athletes.
Rationale: The establishment of regulations that provide for earlier access with prospective student-athletes is designed to support student-athlete success and well-being by allowing both the prospective student-athlete (and his or her family) and the institution greater opportunities to make more informed, and thus more sound recruiting decisions.
Point to Consider:
• The subgroup suggest that June 15 at the completion of the prospective student-athlete's sophomore year is the appropriate date and should be uniform for all sports.

Questions:
1. Do you support this concept? Why or why not?

We have no problem with the uniform date.  However, this is very early in the athlete’s high school career and some do not believe this is in their best interest. 

 

2. Do you support the June 15 date for all sports? Why or why not?

A uniform date is a good idea.  Makes monitoring much easier.

 

Concept No. 3: Eliminate restrictions governing modes and restrictions (numerical limitations) on recruiting communication.
Rationale: The current regulations governing modes and restrictions on recruiting communication are cumbersome and present numerous enforcement challenges. Institutions and/or conferences, at its discretion, should be responsible for establishing policies and procedures governing the recruitment of prospective student-athletes by athletics department staff members.
Points to Consider:
• Reduces administrative burden for compliance staff.

• There is growing concern that current prohibitions on electronic transmissions are outdated and lagging behind prospective student-athletes' use of technology.

• Current limitations are inhibiting the exchange of information in the most efficient, cost effective and least intrusive means as compared to other forms of communication, such as telephone calls.

• Institutions have been permitted to send an unlimited number of emails to prospective student-athletes for several years and there have not been any concerns regarding frequency or intrusion.

• Research indicates that a clear majority of teenagers are texting and have unlimited texting plans.

• Establishing a single date on which to begin all communication with a prospective student-athlete will bring uniformity and simplicity to the legislation.

• June 15 at the completion of the prospective student-athlete's sophomore year is being supported as the permissible date to initiate contact and communication.

Question:
• Do you support this concept? Why or why not?

                  Yes.  Refer to rationale above.

 

Concept No. 4: Development of more flexible recruiting calendars based on a specified number of recruiting days, with specified dead periods (e.g., days surrounding the initial NLI signing date and the NCAA championship in the particular sport) and recruiting periods.
Rationale: The development of more flexible recruiting calendars based on a specified number of recruiting days will allow each institution to better assess its recruiting needs, while furthering the principle to shield prospective student-athletes from undue pressure in the recruiting process.
Points to Consider:
• In-person, off-campus recruiting contacts and evaluations would be permitted during a "recruiting period."

• The subgroup notes that it is advisable to seek input from the respective coaches associations regarding the appropriate annual number of recruiting days per sport, but also support an additional filtering process before reaching a definitive conclusion. [Note: The NCAA Division I Recruiting and Personnel Issues Cabinet previously has compiled data from coaches associations on this topic.]

• If supported, additional time will be necessary to develop the details of the proposal.

• There will continue to be an initial date governing contacts.

Questions:
1. Do you support this concept? Why or why not?

                  Yes. Sensible proposal and relieves compliance staff of additional work.

2. Do you support no limitations on the number of recruiting opportunities per prospective student-athlete? Why or why not?

3. If you support maintaining the limit of seven recruiting opportunities per prospective student-athlete, do you support eliminating the distinction between contacts and evaluations? Why or why not?

 

Concept No. 5: Eliminate the legislation related to publishing/providing admissions, graduation rates and NCAA Division I Academic Progress Rate (APR) data, banned drug list and initial-eligibility standards to prospective student-athletes. These activities would continue as NCAA national office/NCAA Eligibility Center policies.
Rationale: The current legislation is not consequential as it codifies policies that will continue to be implemented, regardless of their inclusion in the NCAA Manual.
Points to Consider:
• The subgroup supports the elimination of legislation related to publishing/providing admissions, graduation rates and APR data, banned drug list and initial eligibility to prospective student-athletes.

• Institutions would remain responsible for responding to any questions raised by prospective student-athletes and their parents or legal guardians regarding initial-eligibility, academic rates, the NCAA banned drug list and nutritional supplements.

Question:
• Do you support this concept? Why or why

Yes.  This information will be provided regardless of rules mandating it.

 

Concept No. 6: Deregulate printed recruiting materials either by eliminating the rule entirely or, in the alternative, prohibit sending or providing prospective student-athletes any recruiting materials other than general correspondence. In the latter instance, institutions could post materials on its website to be accessed by a prospective student-athlete.
Rationale: The current legislation presents enforcement challenges and does not further the principle of fair competition.
Points to Consider:
• The subgroup supports the deregulation of printed recruiting materials and suggests that both alternatives be presented to the membership for feedback.

• The subgroup suggests that a proposal consistent with the feedback provided by the membership be adopted in April taking into consideration an appropriate effective date for implementation.

• Would reduce compliance monitoring.

• Technology has created other less costly means of providing information to prospective student-athletes.

Questions:
1. Do you support the concept of eliminating all restrictions on printed recruiting materials? Why or why not?
Yes.  These restrictions should go.  It is in the best interest of the prospective student athlete to have adequate information.

2. Do you support a prohibition on sending or providing prospective student-athletes any recruiting materials other than general correspondence and allow all other recruiting materials to be only available on an institution’s web site? Why or why not?

 

Concept No. 7: Eliminate restrictions related to general advertising or promotional materials designed to solicit the enrollment of prospective student-athletes, while maintaining prohibitions against personalized promotions.
Rationale: The current restrictions related to general (as opposed to personalized) advertisements/promotions present enforcement challenges and does not further the principle of fair competition.
Points to Consider:
• The subgroup supports the elimination of restrictions related to general advertising or promotional materials designed to solicit the enrollment of prospective student-athletes, while maintaining prohibitions against personalized promotions, but requests additional feedback from the membership regarding the scope of deregulation.

• Would reduce compliance monitoring.

Question:
• Do you support this concept? Why or why not?

We agree on the elimination of restrictions on general promotions.  Some agree this should also apply to personalized promotions.  Others feel personal promotions should, in the best interest of the PSA, still be restricted.

 

Concept No. 8: Reduce the restrictions governing official visits (e.g., entertainment radius, support groups, activities, number of hosts), while requiring institutions to address such issues through written policies.
Rationale: Many of the restrictions governing official visits are not of national significance, have been adopted primarily to address isolated instances of conduct that resulted in a perceived recruiting advantage and often present monitoring difficulties for institutional compliance personnel. It is more appropriate that many of these issues be addressed through the institution's written policies as required under current legislation.
Points to Consider:
• The subgroup supports eliminating many of the restrictions governing official visits and notes it is more appropriate that many of these issues be addressed through the institution's written policies as required under current legislation.

• The subgroup notes that it is advisable to develop a list of the activities that should be addressed by the institution in its policies and procedures.

• The subgroup requests additional feedback from the membership regarding the activities that should be eliminated and suggests additional time may be necessary to reach consensus on the list of activities to be addressed in the institution's policies and procedures.

• Current legislation was intended to establish a reasonable and appropriate environment during an official visit that more closely resembles normal life for an enrolled student-athlete.

• Approach is similar to the current concussion management plan legislation.

Questions:
1. Do you support this concept? Why or why not?
As one member stated,  “we do certainly need more time to develop just what the institutions are going to be doing as they set up their written policies.  Just why would one institution or even conference impose drastic penalties on themselves if no other entity is going to do so?”  

2. Are there certain regulations that should be eliminated? If so, what are those regulations?

3. Is it necessary for the conference office to provide some oversight? Why or why not?
            At some level, proper oversight will be necessary.  If not the NCAA, then the respective conferences will have to provide oversight.

 

 

Concept No. 9: Eliminate all recruiting publicity regulations entirely or, in the alternative, after a prospective student-athlete commits to an institution.
Rationale: Many of the regulations prohibiting institutions from publicizing interest in a particular prospective student-athlete appear to be motivated by a desire to minimize a "keep up with the Jones" mentality, as well as to address the perception that comments made by an institutional staff member about a prospective student-athlete have provided the institution with a recruiting advantage. Given the advances in technology and the increased use of social networks, such comments are often difficult to monitor as well as to enforce, and it is arguable that such publicity is of significant consequence to the prospective student-athlete when making his or her recruiting decision. At a minimum, the publicity regulations have no consequence once a prospective student-athlete has committed to an institution.
Points to Consider:
• The subgroup supports deregulation of publicity rules and requests feedback from the membership on both alternatives.

• The subgroup notes that it may be necessary to maintain the prohibition against media presence during recruiting contacts/visits.

• Would reduce compliance monitoring.

Questions:
1. Do you support the concept of eliminating all recruiting publicity regulations? Why or why not?
            No. We agree media presence during recruiting visits is not a good idea.  Most young people are not equipped to deal with high level media appearances.  This could turn into a recruit going to the school with the best media contacts or with the best publicity departments.

2. Do you support the concept of eliminating all recruiting publicity regulations after a prospective student-athlete commits to an institution? Why or why not?

3. Do you support maintaining the prohibition against media presence during recruiting contacts and visits? Why or why not?

            Yes, see above.

 

Concept No. 10: Eliminate all regulations related to the involvement of an institution and institutional staff members in high school all-star games.
Rationale: Many of the regulations prohibiting institutional involvement in high school all-star games were designed to curb any perceived recruiting advantages coaches and institution may gain from their participation as hosts or as part of the selection committee. However, the legislation is not of national significance and not necessary.
Points to Consider:
• Difficult to determine if there are actual advantages gained by either hosting high school all-star games or being involved with the selection process.

• Institution may currently host such events provided the provisions of Bylaw 13.11.3.2 (activities not involving institution’s staff) are met.

• Could be a possible revenue source for institutions.

• Would reduce compliance monitoring.

Questions:
1. Do you support this concept? Why or why not?
In general, we believe regulations should concentrate on areas where there clearly is at least more than minimal impact on a core value.

2. Do you support eliminating all regulations related to the involvement of an institution and institutional staff members in high school all-star games other than the involvement of institutional staff members in the selection process for high school all-star games?

3. Should there be a limitation on the number of high school all-star games an institution may host? Why or why not?

4. Should there be a limitation on the number of high school all-star games institutional staff members may be involved in? Why or why not?

 

Concept No. 11: Expand on-campus evaluations to all sports.
Rationale: This concept in men’s basketball was developed after a comprehensive review of the Division I men's recruiting model and was designed to facilitate sound recruiting decisions by both institutions and prospective student-athletes through the establishment of an on-campus evaluation opportunity. An on-campus evaluation, which might involve several prospective student-athletes, may provide valuable information for both the prospective student-athlete and the institution to make a better informed decision. Such benefits would also be useful in all other sports.
Points to Consider:
• Appropriate medical safeguards have been established to ensure the health, safety and well-being of the prospective student-athlete while participating in the evaluation.

• Could improve the decision-making process between prospective student-athlete and coaches and lead to higher retention among student-athletes.

• Permitting a tryout with a prospective student-athlete should provide a better opportunity for the prospective student-athlete to evaluate himself or herself against current student-athletes and for the coaching staff to evaluate the prospective student-athlete interacting with current players and his or her ability to succeed in the program at the institution, thus increasing the chances of retaining that prospective student-athlete throughout his or her entire collegiate career.

• Division II has a similar rule.

• In men’s basketball, legislation was designed primarily to provide opportunities for those senior prospective student-athletes that did not sign NLIs or perhaps were late bloomers.

Questions:
1. Do you support the concept? Why or why not?
In general, we believe regulations should concentrate on areas where there clearly is at least more than minimal impact on a core value.

2. Should there be any limitations on who can participate in the on-campus evaluations and the time period as to when they may occur? Why or why not

 

Concept No. 12: Modify the camps and clinics legislation, as specified.
Rationale: Much of the regulations for camps and clinics have been piecemealed together in response to isolated incidents. Overhauling the legislation would simplify the rules and reduce compliance monitoring on campuses
Points to Consider:
• Would reduce compliance monitoring.

• Need to consider anti-trust issues with any potential changes.

• Regulation of camps and clinics could be accomplished through written policies.

Questions:
1. Do you support the concept? Why or why not?
In general, we believe regulations should concentrate on areas where there clearly is at least more than minimal impact on a core value.

2. Are there specific changes that need to be made to the camps and clinics legislation?

3. Should camps and clinics legislation related to the employment of current student-athletes be eliminated? Why or why not?

4. Should camps and clinics legislation related to the employment of prospective student-athletes be eliminated? Why or why not?

5. Should the legislation restricting the employment and participation of football prospective student-athletes, who are high school seniors, in institutional camps and clinics be eliminated? Why or why not?