New NCAA rules give schools unfettered access to recruits
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Pitt football player personnel director Dann Kabala rolls his eyes and shakes his head when discussing the less-restrictive NCAA regulations on recruiting.
He needs to exercise another body part to effectively prepare to recruit the Class of 2014: His texting finger.
The NCAA Board of Directors last month adopted rules that it says is based on common sense and allows coaches to talk to high school prospects as often as they believe is necessary.
Proposals 13-3 and 13-5A eliminate limits on the number of telephone calls, printed materials, and text and social media messages a school can send to recruits. The new rules take effect July 1.
Another change, Proposal 13-2, would allow schools to begin contacting prospects as early as July 1 after their sophomore year. The NCAA has tabled a vote until April.
“It will be easier for me to communicate with kids,” said Kabala, a Fox Chapel graduate.
It also could become more intrusive, he said.
“I don't think it's best for the kids, to be honest with you,” he said. “I don't think it's best for the kids and their families.”
At Penn State, coach Bill O'Brien is encouraging school officials to add recruiting personnel to handle an increased workload.
“Every day we spend part of the day on recruiting. How are we going to handle unlimited text messaging, unlimited visits to schools, whatever it may be?” O'Brien said. “We're never going to join the ranks of the wild, wild West, I can promise you that.”
Kabala admits the changes will help schools communicate with recruits who call them and don't get an answer because coaches are in meetings or at practice.
Under current rules, coaches are not allowed to call back at certain times of the year, creating the possibility that an out-of-town prospect might get lost trying to find Heinz Field or the South Side practice facility. The new rules allow coaches to call back.
The NCAA believes its new rulebook will be less petty.
“These new rules represent noteworthy progress toward what can only be described as more common-sense rules that allow schools more discretion in decision making,” NCAA president Mark Emmert said.
Kabala, who returned to Pitt in 2012 after four years in Arkansas' football administration, had his duties temporarily expanded over the past two months.
He was allowed to contact and visit prospects off campus after former defensive coordinator Dave Huxtable left for North Carolina State, leaving the staff one man short in a busy time of year.
“As soon as they hire a defensive coordinator, I won't be able to do the same things,” he said.
Kabala, a former assistant athletic director, football and track coach at Fox Chapel, was a Pitt graduate assistant under former coach Dave Wannstedt from 2005-07.
He said the biggest change in recruiting over the past decade is when schools begin evaluating prospects, some by their freshman season.
“It's getting pushed earlier and earlier,” Kabala said. “I think you make a lot of mistakes that way.”
Schools often fill their quota before looking at a prospect's senior video, he said.
“I think that's why schools have struggled because they take junior commitments and they are filled up before they are seniors. They don't even watch senior tape.”
Kabala said recruiting involves more than going to games and practices.
“The good recruiters talk to the high school coach, talk to the guidance counselor,” he said. “You talk to as many people as you can. Some secretaries have helped us out and given us good information.”
If the NCAA approves Proposal 13-2 and allows contact with recruits shortly after their sophomore year, it will create another set of problems and possibly lead to further reform, administrators believe.
West Virginia recruiting coordinator Ryan Dorchester said the next step could be an early signing period, either before or during the high school season.
“If a kid's good and he knows where he wants to go, why not let him enjoy his senior year and not have to worry about being recruited all year?” Dorchester said. “Not saying you have to forget about them, but you don't have to recruit them the way you recruit the rest of them. I think it'll help save money.”
Staff writers Scott Brown and John Harris contributed. Jerry DiPaola is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at email@example.com or via Twitter @JDiPaola_Trib.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Predators winger Neal caught ‘blindsided’ by trade from Penguins
- Doctor couldn’t figure out what made Klein so sick
- Murder charge held against Laurel Mountain man
- Counterfeit credit card ring falls for failure to remember birth date on fake ID
- Rossi: Middling Steelers must make a statement
- Arrest made in connection with Rostraver home invasion
- Monsour hospital properties sold at free-and-clear sale
- TLC cancels its ‘Honey Boo Boo’ series
- Steelers’ Adams delivers in pinch against Texans
- Steelers free safety Mitchell is still settling into role on defense
- Nationwide drug ring was centered in Homewood, prosecutor says