A recent ESPN poll proposed a few solutions for the recruiting problem sweeping college football, but with so MANY problems across the nation, what can be done to make a difference?
So far people have been caught, teams have been punished, and fans have been unhappy.
After a televised and detailed discussion, ESPN put the question to the fans.
Which of these changes would do the most to help fix recruiting?
- Condensed rule book
- Suspend coaches for violations
- Give coaches more access during recruiting
- Eliminate the grey areas
Plus some extra food for thought.
These next slides look to analyze each of these options and what they would mean for college football recruiting.
If you want to vote in this poll go here: http://espn.go.com/sportsnation/polls
The old adage "simplicity is bliss" couldn't be more true in this case. The rule book that the NCAA has put together is a headache for everyone involved.
Condensing to the essentials would not only make recruits more comfortable with a complicated process, but also close down loopholes that cheaters will try and slip through, all over college sports.
If you want an idea of how complicated recruiting alone gets then take a gander at this.
Mind you that is just for Division I schools…there are separate rules for Division II and III schools.
With a condensed rulebook, cheaters are caught, athletes understand what they are getting into, and college sports enter a new era of simplicity.
This is a harsher call to ethics compared to others, but a valid option nonetheless.
For the naysayers out there that claim coaches "didn’t know" or "misunderstood" a rule – knowing how they can get their players is part of a coach's JOB.
Their responsibilities aren't limited to the field every Saturday. They are paid (a LOT of money) to not only make plays happen, but understand all the rules that apply to the game.
That includes recruiting.
And if they don’t make the effort to learn something so important, or even worse choose to ignore the rules, then they deserve to be suspended.
This is a harder option to defend just because it seems that the majority of the current recruiting problems have stemmed from too much access.
However there is something to say about the fact that when coaches don't have to search for loopholes to contact athletes there could be a decrease in dirty tactics.
In the grand scheme of things, the reason that there are so many issues catching and punishing violators in college sports recruiting is because there is so much "grey area" that violators can slip into.
The current recruiting rules are so convoluted because they try to cover all possible aspects of the recruiting process.
This leaves confusing wordings, unclear levels of infractions, and lengthy, costly investigations.
If the grey areas were made solidly black and white then there would be no denying who and when someone would be in hot water.
However, athletes can't work to earn extra money to cover the other things that come up all the time, like going out to eat, seeing a movie, etc.
If athletes were awarded what is called the "full cost of attendance," which would include personal expenses and travel home, for example, it would put an extra $3,000 – 5,000 in their pocket over a full year.
For NCAA athletes getting recruited, this additional yearly money might enable them to sidestep the shady boosters whose tactics include offering payouts for attending their school.
There will be rule breaking in sports but maybe some of these changes would make it harder to do so.
Ultimately it's the sport that suffers in situations like these.
Something needs to change and fast.