George Campbell, you’ve got mail. And 50 text messages, 28 Twitter direct messages, 35 Facebook messages and 30 missed calls.
Campbell is a potential 5-star prospect.
Who’s George Campbell? He’s a sophomore wide receiver from East Lake in Tarpon Springs, Fla., and a likely elite recruit for the 2015 class.
And if two NCAA recruiting proposals are passed at the NCAA convention in Grapevine, Texas next week, Campbell’s life will change dramatically this summer.
Among the 26 proposals the NCAA will be voting on in an effort to simplify and modernize recruiting and eligibility rules are two that will allow unlimited calls and texts starting July 1 before a prospect’s junior year.
Under the existing rules, coaches can’t call prospects or visit them off-campus until July 1 before their senior season. Proposal 13-2 pushes the start of the contact period back a year and will allow coaches to have six in-home visits with prospects as a junior and six more as a senior.
Proposal 13-3 will allow unlimited and unregulated phone calls, texts and electronic communication to prospects. Current rules outlaw text messages and only allow one phone call from the coach to the prospect per week.
If passed, the proposals would go into affect this summer.
The NCAA working group made the proposals to, “support student-athlete success by allowing prospects more time to develop relationships and gain information to help them make the best college choice possible.”
What they’re really on the verge of doing is making life that much more difficult for high school prospects, potentially negatively impacting their academic progress and putting more pressure on already overworked college assistant coaches.
When coaches go to schools for visits, they take these kids out of class to speak to them. They will spend hours at their homes in the afternoons and evening during in-home visits.
The time that most high schoolers spend studying, doing homework and socializing with friends is taken up by recruiting. And now the NCAA wants to start those visits a year earlier and add unlimited calls, texts and messages.
It’s already tough on senior prospects this time of year that may have six to 10 or maybe a dozen schools still recruiting him. But just imagine a top junior that may still have 30 or 40 or more schools hot on his trail. Where’s he going to find time to do anything but deal with recruiting?
And what about those assistant coaches. You know the highly competitive ones that are going to be tasked with beating out all these other schools for the top prospects.
If you’re at Auburn and an Alabama coach is calling or texting a kid 10 times a week, you’ll start contacting him 12 times. Wait, now a Florida State coach is contacting him 14 times? On and on it will go.
The only party helped by these proposals are the college and NCAA administrators who are tasked with keeping up with contacts and phone calls. Certainly, it can be a cumbersome and time-consuming process that needs to be reformed.
But not at the expense of high school football prospects and the coaches that recruit them.
It’s a preposterous idea from an organization that continues to have no clue about the day-to-day realities of the college football recruiting process.
And if these two proposals are passed on Jan. 19, I feel sorry for Campbell and the thousands of other college prospects that will have their lives so dramatically altered by an organization that should be protecting them.