Sunday, August 11, 2013

NCAA ... a fox guarding the henhouse

Many sportscasters and others who expect better regulation of college football by the NCAA seem to overlook the fact that it is a creature of colleges and universities, not an independent, striving-for-objectivity regulatory organization. Kind of like the fox guarding the henhouse ... so don't expect a lot of change unless the schools want it.

From Beyond Friday Nights: College Football Recruiting for Players and Parents -- "The NCAA is a voluntary organization made up of the colleges, universities, and athletic conferences that compete in college sports. Those institutions are the members of the NCAA, and they enact rules and guidelines that govern eligibility and athletic competition. The rules and regulations are enforced by a national office ... The members and (national office) staff make up the (NCAA)."

Monday, January 21, 2013

Major rule changes adopted for Division I recruiting

They did it, for the most part. On Saturday, the NCAA Division I Board of Directors adopted some major changes in its rules for recruiting high school players to play in Division I athletics. So effective August 1, college football programs will no longer face previous restrictions on when and how they may contact prospective recruits. The online Inside Higher Education provides a good summary of the changes and the thinking behind them, as well as a summary of much more minor changes in rules for Division II and Division III atheltics. And be sure to check out the NCAA's spin on the Division I rule changes, too.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

NCAA considering more recruiting changes

The NCAA is again considering significant changes in its rules and regulations governing recruiting, and some of them might not be all that welcome for high school football recruits. For one thing, the proposals would greatly ease restrictions on when and how coaches could contact recruits, allowing the possibility that calls from coaches could become about as enjoyable as calls from telemarketers for some recruits. Also, although the proposed rules would certainly seem to clarify and simplify the NCAA's oversight, athletic programs with fewer resources fear that the changes would give even more advantages to wealthier programs. Check out a a well-done article in the January 15 edition of Inside Higher Education for more info, or go directly to the NCAA for its spin on the proposals.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

As football drives more players to transfer to different high schools ... is that wise for the long run?

So it appears that quite a few Texas high school quarterbacks are transferring to high schools where they can get a better shot a displaying their abilities in games, as noted in an October 4 article by Rick Cantu in the Austin American-Statesman. Guess that's understandable to a degree, and it's driven in large part by the now-or-never aspect of recruiting for each class of recruits. High school football players who hope to be recruited by college football programs (and their parents too) believe, rightfully so, that they really have only one good year (or maybe two)  to be recruited as they graduate from high school, and that how they stack up against all other players at their position (i.e,,in their recruiting class made up of potential recruits across the state and country) is a key factor in whether they'll be recruited or not. That becomes a driving force many of them, beyond almost any other consideration about their futures.

But you've got to wonder if this isn't the tail wagging the dog. Even if most of these students transfer, their leaving behind friends and teachers and other opportunties beyond football (and yes, they do exist) ... and for what? That would be the chance to be recruited to play college football. But most of these young men, even those that are recruited, would probably be better off in the long run if they simply got on with their lives without so much concern about playing college ball. Even for players who ultimately make it to the pros (and their aren't many, percentage-wise), football ends for them some day ... and they are young men when that happens. High school football players should prepare for lives beyond football ... and that should be their priority.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

New guidelines on college admissions exemptions for athletes

Many athletes are offered admission to colleges and universities without meeting the academic requirements that other, non-athletes have to meet. Some colleges are more lenient that others, and that's a concern among college administrators and athletic department officials who fear that some schools will then have an advantage over others.

Now, an organization called the Association of Chief Admissions Officers at Public Universities has developed a set a guidelines, with a set of  best practices, for managing these types of admissions practices.

The document ... hits on topics ranging from how to handle inquiries from the athletics department and how to tackle questions about international credentials, recruits’ privacy and documents, transfer students, and mid-year graduation,” according to an October 5 article in Inside Higher Education.
Sounds like great reading for anyone interested in college football recruiting.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

A top recruiting consultant on what colleges look for in recruits

When I wrote Beyond Friday Nights: College Football Recruiting for Players and Parents, my book on the college football recruiting process, former college coach Randy Rodgers was one of my excellent sources. These days, Rodgers runs Randy Rodgers Recruiting, a recruiting service for college football programs. In other words, he evaluates high school football players for those programs, providing them with accurate information about prospective recruits. For high school players and parents, he's one of the good guys in college football recruiting, with excellent knowledge about what colleges look for and what they don't look for. And to top that off, he's also a great communicator ... it's very easy to talk to him, without ever getting the feeling that he thinks he knows more than you ... and he's a straight-talker too. And for a high school player and his parents, that sort of rapport is always welcome.

Today, Rodger's advice about offensive linemen and what colleges look for in them is featured in an article by Greg Tepper on Dave Campbell's Texas Football Magazine website. Even if you aren't interested in offensive lineman, the sort of analysis provided here offers some good insights into how colleges go about sizing up potential recruits for a position. Check it out.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Some schools don't like multi-year scholarships ...

There's still not much hard evidence yet about which schools might be offering the new NCAA-approved multi-year scholarships to college football players. But the Austin American-Statesman's Kirk Bohls has a good article today about the entire issue. Bohls notes that some coaches argue that players with multi-year scholarships might become complacent and not work as hard to perform at their best if they know they won't lose those scholarships. With one-year renewable scholarships, they argue, student-athletes have something to work for, and therefore will be more accountable.

Guess that could be an issue for some players, but it's hard for me to believe it would be widespread, certainly not at a level to jeopardize the whole concept. Instead, multi-year scholarships would seem to be one of the few protections players have in world of Division I college football, where coaches have ultimate control over so much of their player's lives, and there is generally little room for players to appeal any coaching decision or behavior. For once, we have an NCAA that is looking out for players' best interest, even if it comes at the expense of the winning-at-any-cost mentality that permeates much of today's big-time college football.

See previous posts in this blog for more background on the multi-year scholarship issue.