Posted: 10:01 am Tuesday, May 7th, 2013
By Matt Porter
Maybe high school sports this fall won’t look that much different after all.
As Florida legislature elected last week not to pass a bill that opponents said would have allowed for “free agency” among student-athletes, the NCAA backtracked on a measure that would have changed the college recruiting game.
According to a release on the NCAA’s website, the organization suspended rules that would have let coaches have unlimited contact with recruits via phone and text message.
The release said the Division I Board of Directors reconsidered “after receiving more than 75 override requests.”
On Jan. 19, the board, acknowledging that its current recruiting regulations were difficult to enforce, approved sweeping changes to its rulebook.
The new system, which would have taken effect Aug. 1, would have allowed college recruiters to make limitless calls, texts and other messages to recruits, with no dead or quiet periods. It would have removed limits the size of a college’s recruiting staff and its activity. It would have also removed limits on recruiting mail.
After the changes were announced in January, some high school football coaches and players believed chaos could be imminent. “I think it’s BS, honestly,” one top recruit said.
That’s how some felt as House Bill 1279 worked its way through legislature this spring. That bill would have stripped the FHSAA, the state’s high school sports governing body, of its power. It would have also allowed athletes to play on sports teams at different schools. Opponents of the bill said it would have invited athletic recruiting, a practice prohibited by the state.