Monday, February 11, 2013
Big Ten coaches against proposals
By Brian Bennett and Adam Rittenberg ESPN.com
Big Ten coaches and athletic directors have formally requested that the NCAA put the brakes on new proposed recruiting rules that would allow unlimited contact and mailings to high school prospects.
Conference administrators issued a statement objecting to the new rules after a regularly-scheduled league meeting in Park Ridge, Ill., on Monday.
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"We have serious concerns whether these proposals, as currently written, are in the best interest of high school student-athletes, their families and their coaches," the statement reads. "We are also concerned about the adverse effect they would have on college coaches, administrators and university resources."
The NCAA board of directors approved a set of proposals last month that would, among other things, allow coaches to have contact with recruits as much as they wanted through text messaging and social media; repeal all limits on the amount of printed materials schools could mail to prospects; and permit coaches to begin contacting prospects during the summer of their sophomore years. Many of the proposals are scheduled to go into effect this summer.
The Big Ten said in its statement that "the timeline proposed for implementation of the proposals does not allow sufficient time ... to thoughtfully consider the impact of the proposals."
Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald said the coaches and athletic directors voted unanimously on their request to table the proposals.
"Most of it is we'd like to have an opportunity to have dialogue to discuss the impact and have sufficient time and be able to look at the consequences that may or may not happen because of these proposals," Fitzgerald said. "A little more time to discuss, and at the same time, be able to find solutions together to make these proposals and make recruiting better."
Fitzgerald said the Big Ten would like to create a group of coaches who can work with the NCAA on crafting better recruiting legislation.
Several Big Ten coaches voices their concern about the new recruiting rules last week on national signing day. Ohio State coach Urban Meyer said he would write a letter to every FBS coach in the country to raise his objections.
"Could you imagine what's going to be rolling into kids' driveways?" Meyer said. "Fatheads and magnets -- it's nonsense. ... I don't agree with that at all."
Nebraska coach Bo Pelini said he was worried about the effect on high school players.
"They are going to be concentrating on things they shouldn't be concentrating on," Pelini told reporters Wednesday. "That is academics, being the best football player they can be, that's developing as a young man and enjoying his high school career.
"The more time a kid is sitting on his phone texting and on the telephone and all the other things, that is [doing] the kids, the high schools and high school coaches a disservice."