In an effort to curtail the spread of rampant early recruiting, the NCAA is reportedly considering a rule that would ban coaches from making any contact with prospective student athletes before the summer after the athlete’s sophomore year.
As reported by the New York Times, a current proposal before the 40-member N.C.A.A. Division I Council meeting later this week would ban all recruiting contact between coaches and athletes until June 15, and ban all official visits for a further six weeks.
The idea is to take some of the pressure off student athletes and parents who have increasingly felt like they have to accept scholarship offers, sometimes put on a time limit, early in the athlete’s career.
“There was no boundary to stop it,” Tennessee co-head softball coach Karen Weekly told the Times. “Ten years ago, we thought sophomores committing was too young. Sixth graders? Enough is enough.”
The two sports that hope to be excluded from these proposed regulations, and have lobbied to do so, are lacrosse and softball, which already have regulations that keep players from contacting coaches until September of their junior season.
While the rule changes still have a ways to go before they’re enacted, a thread of clear common sense seems to be driving the changes, as articulated by Justin Sell, the athletic director at South Dakota State University:
“There shouldn’t be a rush,” Sell told the New York Times. “No seventh-grader should be faced with that decision.”