We all know that the NCAA rulebook is a massive ball of technicalities, specific measures and common sense compiled together in a 400 page manual to govern every aspect of the interaction between coaches, players, boosters, fans, schools and recruits. Reading it is not the most fun thing in the world and understanding it generally takes a cup of coffee, some scratch paper and the pdf file open for continued referencing.
Well to combat that an NCAA working group is looking to streamline some of these rules through tackling transfers, athletic dorms and public commenting on recruits in some rewriting of the guidelines. Not quite the cream cheese for athlete's bagels movement but three issues that would be a good start to simplifying the rules and opening up some of the red tape that exists in the arena.
Quickly the big proposed changes include:
-Elimination of the one year sit out period for student athletes that elect to transfer.
-Green lighting athlete dorms.
-Allowing coaches to publicly comment on recruits.
Pretty cut and dry folks. The elimination of the one year penalty for transferring would allow athletes to play immediately without having to transfer to an FCS or lower division school. Athlete dorms would return to the arena for the first time since their 1991-1996 phase out period and the final option is pretty self explanatory, it would eliminate the gag order that exists for coaches where prospective student athletes are concerned.
Each measure has its merits and after the jump we'll give our thoughts on the three moves coming down from the NCAA.
Let's start with the dorms thing. This is a pretty interesting move as it would do more for the teams from a control standpoint than anything else. Prior to the mid-90's most schools that operated at a high level already had athlete dorms in place. They were a spot on campus where the bulk of athletes, especially incoming freshmen, would live together, eat together, study together and get acclimated to college life without being fully immersed in the whole living with normal students thing.
As the practice was barred in the 90's a couple things happened; student-athletes were spread all over campus and the cafeterias that were often located in these dorms were shut down. Freshmen still ended up living in a centralized location by team but the entire team was not able to live in one dorm as had been the case. Athletes were sent to the normal cafeteria, except football which would find their meals at the facility via the training table.
I'm a fan of the practice. I think moving all of the athletes to a dedicated dorm will help coaches feel comfortable with where their kids are, gives them a sense of community within the community as that dorm is where your teammates and other like students are housed. That makes it easier to check curfews, easier to find kids and a lot easier to know where they are and what they are up to. Coaches are control freaks with the added pressure of a more strict approach to NCAA enforcement being able to keep an eye on their charges is a plus for the coaches from that standpoint.
On to public commenting on recruits now folks. This is a rule that I'm not particularly fond of in general. While I do thoroughly understand that "a level playing field" is an absolute farce of an idea I do recognize that allowing for public discussion and commenting on recruits creates a clear stumping forum for coaches. If Auburn and Tennessee folks get bothered by Nick Saban doing his spots on ESPN during BCS Championship games I can only imagine the shitfits folks will throw over a coach talking about a recruit on ESPN by name.
I wasn't exactly freaking out over the Longhorn Network showing high school gamesbut this is a bit different for me. This isn't just showing games as an athlete and being an alley this is about legitimate pushing of recruiting agendas to the masses as a tool. Recruiting is about constant contacts, establishing a relationship and continuing to sell a kid throughout the process. Being able to comment on kids publicly; in a newspaper, on the radio, for a website, on television, makes for an extra contact to let a kid know he is on your mind. That's a plus and a kid having Nick Saban or Lane Kiffin namedrop him on the airwaves is a legitimate boost.
Now for the rule that will likely cause the most controversy, the waiving of the transfer sit out rule. I am absolutely in for that move. I love it. Letting kids extract themselves from situations they do not want to be in without penalty is a positive step towards some positive athlete rights. Don't penalize a kid because his coach leaves and he wants to go elsewhere. Don't penalize a kid who walked into something he thought would be different. Don't penalize a kid who bought a bill of good from a silver tongued recruiter only to be lost in the shuffle. Don't penalize a kid who just wants to play. In short, don't penalize a kid who wants to be happy.
Here is where people come in with the idea that this will turn college football into a free for all of sorts, where players come and go as they please and ultimately it becomes free agency.
Stop, people. Seriously.
For starters, transferring isn't exactly fun. It isn't easy to go through. It isn't a fun process. It isn't an easy process. Other teams, technically, cannot recruit you while you're on scholarship for another program. That's why we see players asking for their release and then opening their recruitment to find a home for themselves. Doesn't exactly make it easy to find a dance partner.
Even once the release is granted that dance partner must have interest and most importantly room. You can't just walk up to any team and decide to play there if they don't have a scholarship to accommodate you. Your reason for transferring will come up and as we've seen in recent years not everyone is willing to grab a kid just because he wants to leave a big program.
Adding to this issue is the release itself. Kids don't and won't get a free out. Transfer restrictions are a part of the process. Where you can go. Where you can't go. No schools within the conference. No schools within the same state. No schools on the current teams schedule. The conditions that most players are released are drawn up to benefit the schools themselves and that is not going anywhere.
It won't be football free agency, it will unhappy players going to another BCS school to play instead of ending up off the radar at an FCS location. That rising redshirt junior linebacker who just can't crack the starting rotation after spring ball and really just wants to play has another option besides going to an FCS school. The running back in a crowded backfield that wants more touches now has another route to go without losing a year of his eligibility on scout team duties.
Simply put this is another option for college football players to get into a situation that suits them. Most players are pretty happy where they are, or better stated are not quite unhappy enough to leave their current situation. Transfers aren't spur of the moment decisions. They take time, meetings, conversations to get done. Not including the "forced" transfers, coaches hate to see most kids leave and they work with players to try and figure out a way to make them happier at their current location.
When the dust settles if we see these moves made the language within the rules should be the most interesting part. If this is an effort to streamline interaction let's hope that the rhetoric used does just that.
Thanks NCAA for providing such a great knowledge about athletes.so many games and specially football sponsored by NCAA,they basically provide a better way to players to move forward and so many other curricular activities for them.Thanks NCAA for supporting us we really enjoying to see your activities and your article was so interesting to read,thanks for all these efforts.
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NCAA perform a great job in the world of sports, I'm a fan of the practice. I think moving all of the athletes to a dedicated dorm will help coaches feel comfortable with where their kids are.The post was so great and so many info about athletes in got from this article, thanks for providing such a great info.
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