Commentary

The big test

Coaches must pass the recruiting exam on a yearly basis

Updated: May 24, 2012, 8:16 PM ET
By Carter Strickland | HornsNation

Evidently failure is an option.

A rather easy one, to tell to truth. One wholly embraced, and quite frankly expected, as the computer churned out the test results.

Of the 30 questions on the NCAA Division I recruiting exam, yours truly missed 16 questions. Not even half. It's 46.6 percent to be exact. (Clearly had this been a math test I would have done significantly better.)

Send in the infraction committee. Flogging with the 469-page Division I manual commences at dawn. It only ends when rule 13.02.14-(b) is successfully repeated three times without a quizzical scratch of the head and any utterances of um, uh or ah.

By the way, 13.02.14-(b) deals with corporate entities, financial contributions and being indefinitely labeled a booster. Nailed that question on the test.

As for so many for the others -- well, Mark Emmert has my full support in making his courageous march toward reducing the tome that is the NCAA rule book.

"We have a rule book that is loaded with silly things," the NCAA president said at the IMG Intercollegiate Athletic Forum in December.

That he said this to a crowd gathered together by the most successful sports agency in the United States, IMG, might give some -- namely those ardent rules followers who say agents are the No. 1 bane of any college football programs and addressed on about 342 of the 469 pages of the Division I rule book -- pause, but pshaw.

I stand alongside Jim Tressel, Rick Neuheisel, Pete Carroll, Butch Davis and many others, in applause of Emmert's crusade to, let's see how he put it, streamline something that is currently more complicated than the U.S. Tax Code and makes about as much sense. After all, clearly that quartet must have, sometime in their storied careers, failed this test as well.

Undoubtedly they took it. Every coach who wants to recruit has to take the test on a yearly basis. To pass, the coach has get 80 percent or better. That's 24 correct answers. (Definitely would have rocked that math test.) And they must do it in 60 minutes or less.

Oh and here is the fine print I glossed over somewhere along the lines. This test, which I completed in nine minutes, please hold your applause, is open book.

Seriously. Tressel, Neuheisel and Co. probably saw that fine print or had a compliance officer point it out. Had to, come to think of it.

Because with that extra benefit -- see how I worked that NCAA catchphrase in there -- the only way not to pass the recruiting test is if you cannot follow a table of contents. Or if you fail to realize it's open book until after the test is done. Not pointing fingers. Just saying.

Actually not even that much thumbing through the book is required. Every answer on the test I took was provided within pages 79-140. Again, an hour is given to find those answers.

Armed with that knowledge and a conveniently downloaded copy of the Division I manual, a second attempt at the test was made. The result: 30 out of 30 correct. That's 100 percent. (Now I'm just showing off.)

So now if you think you know whether it is true or false that "A high school prospective student-athlete is required to present a PSAT, SAT, ACT or PLAN standardized test score, taken on a national testing date under national testing conditions or a state-administered ACT, prior to making an OFFICIAL visit," go ahead and take the test.

Maybe then you too can be a recruiting expert. Just remember a passing score doesn't give you license to tell the coaches who to recruit, just how to recruit. And that failure, in recruiting at least, is not an option.

Carter Strickland | email

Reporter, HornsNation