B1G gets wish on tabled recruiting rule

March, 21, 2013
3/21/13
10:00
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Big Ten coaches have been arguably the most vocal among their profession in opposing a series of new NCAA rules that would greatly deregulate recruiting.

The coaches, along with the league athletic directors, issued a formal request last month for the NCAA to table those new rules until further discussion could be had. The NCAA did in fact halt two proposals which would have allowed schools to send unlimited printed materials to prospects and would have allowed staff members other than head coaches or assistants to perform recruiting duties.

That wasn't enough for Big Ten coaches, who voted unanimously on March 12 to tell their ADs and presidents to override another controversial rule: the one allowing unlimited contact with prospects in areas like phone calls and text messages.

Well, the NCAA received the necessary 75 votes to override that proposal, known as 13-3, on Wednesday. That means the rule on unlimited contact will now be subject to a review by the Division I board of directors at its May 2 meeting. The board will also review the other proposals on printed materials and non-coach recruiting.

The 18-member board, which is made up of college presidents, can vote to kill or amend the proposals. Or it could send them to an online vote of all Division I members, where they would need a 62.5 percent majority vote.

ESPN.com colleague Mitch Sherman writes that Wednesday's override vote helped quiet a growing storm over the proposals:
It was all part of NCAA president Mark Emmert's plan to focus on rules that make a difference -- to allow enforcement staff to stop counting phone calls.

Just one problem: College coaches need the NCAA to save them from each other. If restrictions in recruiting are removed, you can bet some coach will go too far. And then, everyone's gotta follow.

Hey, if it's within the rules …

Welcome to the world of recruiting excess, featuring a new arms race in which even the richest programs wonder aloud how much is too much.

The NCAA, in passing the proposals, displayed a tone-deaf understanding of its membership.

And now, that membership has spoken.

The NCAA, tone-deaf? What a surprise. At least these much-criticized proposals are getting more review. And if the Big Ten coaches get their way, they'll die a quick death.

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