Texas Longhorns Football

NCAA Football: New Head Coach-In-Waiting Rule Unfair, Damages Texas Recruiting

AUSTIN, TX - NOVEMBER 07:  Defensive coordinator Will Muschamp of the Texas Longhorns watches the defense prepare against the UCF Knights on November 7, 2009 at Darrell K Royal - Texas Memorial Stadium in Austin, Texas.  Texas won 35-3.  (Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images)
Brian Bahr/Getty Images
Dino NicandrosAnalyst IFebruary 12, 2010

The University of Texas received some bad news this week. 

The NCAA passed a new regulation that drastically limits the ability of football programs with designated head coaches-in-waiting to recruit.

Current Texas defensive coordinator and head coach-in-waiting, Will Muschamp, is one of the best recruiters in the nation and helped Texas rake in the second ranked recruiting class in the country.

How does this new rule affect Texas' future head coach?

Muschamp can make only one off-campus visit with a prospect. Moreover, such a visit can't take place during the critical recruiting period of April 15-May 31.

The NCAA's Football Issues Committee voted on this change under the belief that head coaches-in-waiting offer programs some competitive advantages when it comes to the recruiting scene. 

The logic behind this decision makes sense from a recruiting fairness standpoint I suppose, but is it really fair?

The only other program in the nation with a designated head coach-in-waiting at the current time is Maryland, where offensive coordinator James Franklin has been chosen to follow Ralph Friedgen.

You would think that such a significant new regulation would be made to impact the entire country, but the reality is that only two programs are having to bear the load (Texas is the one that gets the worst deal).

Texas has every right to feel shafted in this instance.

The NCAA is effectively eliminating one of the best recruiters in the nation from doing his duties as a defensive coordinator because he has been deemed a head coach sometime in the future.

It would be one thing if every program in the nation had a head coach-in-waiting and the NCAA would want to level the playing field, but it's quite another thing when you are essentially targeting one program.

Texas Athletic Director DeLoss Dodds had this to say about the ruling: "We are exploring our options for legislative relief within the NCAA process, since we believe this places our program at a direct disadvantage. Will is our head coach-in-waiting but he is also our defensive coordinator, and this legislation restricts his ability to perform his current job duties."

Muschamp was key in signing top defensive end prospect Jackson Jeffcoat and top linebacker prospect Jordan this off-season. And now with his ability to head out on the road and visit high profile prospects diminished, Texas recruiting could take a hit in the coming weeks as Mack Brown and company are beginning preparations for building the 2011 class. 

Texas will never be short of talent, but it's an incredibly disturbing move by the NCAA to revoke a defensive coordinator's ability to help his team grow.  How can you penalize someone for a job they don't have?

Protecting and aiding schools who are at a competitive disadvantage is a noble cause to be sure; but let's face it, almost everyone in the country, apart from Florida and Alabama, is at a competitive disadvantage when up against Texas.  That's merely a testament to the incredible staff Mack Brown has assembled, not some huge recruiting malpractice.

It seems to me that Texas is being punished for being successful, which is flat-out criminal.

If you aren't going to pass rules that affect the entire college football landscape as a whole, don't pass any at all.

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