Posted by Bryan Fischer
New oversigning rules are one of the legislative issues that the SEC is expected to focus on during their annual league meetings but the Eye on Recruiting is passing along one suggestion for Mike Slive and company to also look at: official visits for college football recruits.
Recently, the six major conferences made a few suggestions as to how the basketball recruiting model could be changed to the NCAA Leadership Council and Board of Directors. The SEC suggested one plan while the five other major conferences submitted a slightly different one (the differences were minimal). While a lot of the focus was on basketball, some of the suggestions could and should find their way to the football side.
Ideally these would make things easier for the coaches, their compliance offices, the parents and the recruits.
Here's two of the proposed rules as they relate to official visits and how they could be applied to football:
Currently: Begin senior of high school.
Basketball proposal: April 15 of a recruit's junior year of high school.
How it could be done in football: Permitting official visits during the spring and summer would have a much greater effect in football than it would for basketball. For one, schools have to host a lot more recruits and in shorter window than basketball does. Spacing them out allows for more one-on-one time with players and coaches and can give the recruit more time to actually see if he fits in at the school instead of being shepherded around as part of a group. Also at issue, most high school seniors simply don't have time to take all of their visits. They play Friday nights and then have to hustle to hop on a plane to get to a school before getting back late Sunday night. Allow them to do it during the summer so they don't have to miss out on school work (a key consideration) and can actually stay long enough to get a good look at the school.
Official Visit Expenses:
Currently: Limited to the recruit.
Basketball proposal: Allow the school to pay for the recruit and two parents/legal guardians.
How it could be done in football: Because there's so many more players, paying for both parents might be a little much but schools should be able to pay for at least one. While official visits are nice, those from poorer backgrounds often can't afford for a parent to go with along on a visit and see where, exactly, their son might go to school. Coaches also talk about getting to know what kind of kids they are recruiting so they don't sign trouble makers and this would give them another chance to meet their parents and see how they're raised.
While they're at it, I'm sure they can also advance some new legislation on a fair enforcement process, coaches lying and on a myriad of other problems plaguing the sport. Official visits might be a small step but it would improve things for recruits and be a step in the right direction for making it easier on the kids.