this week in unintentionally grim-sounding recruiting headlines
I was at the UM coaches clinic and this was brought up. I thought that the high school coaches on the blog ought to know about this as well as any of you that are parents of high school athletes.
The new eligibility standards have moved the GPA up from 2.0 to 2.3 for the core high school courses of English Math and Science and the lower the GPA the higher the ACT or SAT must be. You cannot repeat courses for a better grade after the 7th semester. You can have a GPA of 2.0 but you will not be able to compete freshman year (academic redshirt). The coaches, kids and their parents had best be thinking about these standards when they set their courses for their freshman year of high school. There may be no way to ever be eligible if you mess up your course requirements and your grades from your freshman year of high school
Florida State University, via its "Student Assistant Fund," is paying for an insurance policy for Jameis Winston on which he can collect if he is injured in a way that hurts his NFL value. The article linked below says that it's up to the conferences to determine how such student assistant funds can be used. Am I missing something here? This seems like the school is giving Winston a direct monetary benefit to play there. Just to clarify - I'm not making an argument that athletes should or should not be paid; I'm just wondering how FSU can get away with this under the current rules. Does Michigan or any Big 10 school ever pay for such insurance policies for their players? Anybody know?
Today, the Big 10 issued a statement opposing the changes in recruiting rules scheduled to go into effect in July, reading in part:
We have serious concerns whether these proposals, as currently written, are in the best interest of high school student-athletes, their families and their coaches. We are also concerned about the adverse effect they would have on college coaches, administrators and university resources. We look forward to working with the NCAA toward improving the game, the recruiting process and the overall college football experience for all student-athletes.
Personally, I hope this provokes the NCAA to respond to increasing levels of criticism about the upcoming changes. The changes are going to do nothing but eliminate any down time for recruits and the coaches who recruit them.
Useful and hilarious article by Staples on the rules head coaches should follow so they do not get caught by the NCAA.
1. Pay in Cash
2. No Paper Trail
3. Pay Off Everyone
4. Use the IRS Blackmail Card
5. Plausible Deniability (this immediately reminded me of The Wire)
6. Use Prepaid Cellphones (Staples actually references The Wire)
7. Always Pay in Cash
In the Jordan Diamond thread and many times before, I've seen a lot of misinformation about who exactly the NCAA considers a "booster" (officially known as a representative of athletics interest). Here are three important things to know about the NCAA definition:
- A season ticket holder is considered a booster.
- Anyone who contacts a recruit to encourage that person to attend a particular university instantly becomes a booster of that university.
- Once a person becomes a booster, they remain a booster forever.
The bottom line is that while fans (and I believe alumni) are not by definition considered to be boosters, they turn into a booster the moment they contact a recruit and act as a school's representative by trying to influence the recruit to attend that school.
The NCAA prohibits boosters from contacting recruits, and this includes all manner of electronic communication. A number of universities have posted very similar pages with details on what boosters are prohibited from doing online. The following is part of what appears on a page at the University of Cincinnati's website:
(2) Message Boards: Boosters participating on a message board are not permitted to write, call, instant message, text, chat with, or e-mail a prospect. Sometimes we will read on a message board that someone thinks it is okay to contact a prospect once they sign a National Letter of Intent with Cincinnati. However, that signing does not change the fact he or she is still a prospect and all prohibitions against booster contact continue to apply. We often also hear comments that because a person is not a graduate of Cincinnati or a season ticket holder, they believe they are not a booster and it is okay for them to contact a prospect. However, part of the NCAA's definition of a booster includes anyone who contacts a recruit on behalf of the institution. Therefore, as soon as someone on a message board e-mails or sends a message out to a recruit, they automatically become a booster and are subject to the NCAA rules prohibiting such contact.
(3) Social Networking: Boosters are not permitted to use social networking websites such as Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace to contact or otherwise attempt to correspond with prospects. This includes, but is not limited to, posting on a wall, using the inbox/e-mail feature, instant messaging, "@replies", "mentions", or direct messaging. Recently, NC State University sent a cease-and-desist letter to a student who had formed a Facebook group urging a prospect to come to the university. The university saw the group as a fan's attempt to recruit the prospect, thus violating NCAA rules.
Long story short (as a number of people said in Jordan Diamond thread): Don't contact any recruits using any method of communication.
Also worth reading: The NYT article Social media and the NCAA — A recruit's friend, a team's fan and a headache for colleges