As college football recruiters make their final push before Feb. 5 national signing day, mother nature isn't cooperating.
Winter Storm Leon has parts of the south, namely the Atlanta area, slowed to a halt, and in turn, college coaches' recruiting plans have been derailed. Rather than calling off recruiting visits altogether, they're instead calling an audible.
Kipp Adams of 247Sports.com detailed the resilience of several coaches, including Indiana defensive coordinator Brian Knorr, who moved his in-home visits to one of the few venues that is open and accessible: Waffle House.
“The only things open right now are gas stations and Waffle Houses, and I have two in-home visits today in Waffle Houses,” Knorr told Adams.
Knorr just joined the Hoosiers staff from Wake Forest, though his time as an assistant coach at Ohio and the Air Force Academy likely gave him some experience with winter weather. Still, he tweeted that it took him six hours to make it to his hotel after one home visit.
Six hours after home visit have made it to hotel, ATL tough sledding!— Brian Knorr (@Brian_Knorr) January 29, 2014
While Knorr's journey was an interesting one, another coach had an even worse time traversing the icy ATL area. CBSSports.com's Jerry Hinnen detailed a situation with Ohio State offensive coordinator Tom Herman, who live tweeted a 19-hour adventure in which he was stuck on freeways around Atlanta.
Live update from ATL. I've moved .6 miles in the last hour. Yes, there is a decimal point in front of that number. pic.twitter.com/AbM9sIQhVv— Tom Herman (@CoachTomHerman) January 29, 2014
So... 19 hrs in my car with hundreds of my closest friends. Too much ice and accidents to move. Gotta make flight to DFW. Call National— Tom Herman (@CoachTomHerman) January 29, 2014
Those coaches who were able to make their in-home visits ran the risk of committing an NCAA violation. If weather forced coaches to exceed their 24-hour contact limit with prospects, they would be in violation.
Georgia recruiting director Daryl Jones told Adams that the Bulldogs were prepared for that possibility. Right at the eye of the storm, they scheduled their visits around the weather. However, in the event that their plans were spoiled by unexpected weather, they notified SEC officials of potential pitfalls:
Assistant athletic director Josh Brooks and compliance director Jim Booz were all out in front of it. We even put information out to the Southeastern Conference giving them the heads up that if we needed to do anything outside of compliance with elongated visits, so we were out in front of it and communicating with them about the possibility. Fortunately for use we did not have to use any of those types of exceptions.
Luckily, there aren't any NCAA rules keeping coaches and recruits out of Waffle Houses. Even if Knorr or any other coach strikes out on a recruiting visit, at least they'll do so on a full stomach.