As a writer for an Atlanta sports blog, and an intern for a website that does a lot of work on recruits, I was naturally interested when I saw a story from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that featured Mark Richt, Paul Johnson and a new NCAA recruiting rule, by Michael Carvell.
The rule–part of five new football recruiting and summer access rules the NCAA announced last October–that Johnson and Richt were asked about was the new dead period for recruiting. Because of the extreme measures that some coaches began taking at high school bowl games–which Richt called “stupid”–the FBS supported a decision to create a dead period during this time.
This year, that dead period is from Dec. 16 through Jan. 15. Here is the exact rule, from the NCAA’s website:
• Establish a dead period when no in-person recruiting can take place. The dead period, scheduled to coincide with winter holidays and the annual American Football Coaches Association convention, begins the Monday of the week in which mid-year junior college transfers can begin signing the National Letter of Intent. It ends the Wednesday of the week of the AFCA convention. For 2013-14, Dec. 16 through Jan. 15 is now a dead period. The FBS supported this proposal, but the FCS did not because its coaches need more time to discuss it. Army and Navy may seek a temporary exception from this new rule if the date of this season’s game makes it difficult for them to follow it.
This is a great new rule in my opinion, because recruiting seems to be getting crazier and crazier each year, with some of the top recruits getting their own mini “Decisions” on ESPN and other networks. I get that people love their college football, but there is a point when coaches, fans and players can go too far.
So, I was pleased with the comments that Richt and Johnson made about the new dead period. You’ll have to read the full article above for everything of course, but I’ll give you a bit of what each coach said.
“I think the new dead period definitely is very helpful when it comes to some of these scenes at all-star games,” Richt said. “That just got stupid with all the coaches hanging in the hotel lobby. I’ve never been there, but I’ve heard all the war stories. So I think that was part of the goal. And I’m on the American Football Coaches Association board of trustees, and I was part of a group to get some of these changes made.”
“But I’m very hopeful that it turns out to be very positive because I think it adds a little sanity to lives of the recruits, and the coaches and their families. With coaches, I’m talking about high school coaches, and the college coaches who are recruiters.”
“Those were some of the reasons why we did (the rule change).”
“You’re going to recruit the same way you always recruit (in the dead period). They contact you, and you got your one call a week. The coaches will tweet them, and we can email them. We do a lot of that to stay in touch. Really, over the holidays, once you get to (Christmas and New Year’s week), everybody kind of leaves them alone a little bit, unless they want to talk to you.”
In addition to the dead period, the NCAA implemented new football rules about student-athlete summer workouts, college staff attending high school all-star games, a 14-day dead period for Football Bowl Subdivision schools and the ability for schools to pay for the meals of up to four family members that who accompany a recruit on an official visit.