Friday, August 10, 2012

Academic concerns could relax DI recruiting rules

It would be interesting to see what kind of an effect this rule will have on Division I college hockey. 

I don’t know if I am all that thrilled about coaches talking to eighth graders about their colleges and or universities. I would rather have the kid worrying being a junior high student and being a kid.
Michelle Brutlag-Hosick, --- Division I is considering loosening some recruiting rules to allow coaches to communicate in writing with prospects as young as eighth grade – but only on the subject of the new academic standards for DI student-athletes.

Incoming Division I student-athletes are not required to meet the higher academic standards until 2016. But because of the nature of some of the changes, prospective student-athletes starting high school this fall need to be aware of the new expectations so they can decide which high school courses they need to take.

Communicating with prospects has always been a challenge. The membership adopted recruiting rules to protect high school students and help them focus on academics instead of college athletics. However, some of the rules have had the opposite effect, pulling college coaches out of living rooms and preventing them from imparting the message that academic success is crucial for college student-athletes.

Recognizing that dichotomy, the Division I Committee on Academic Performance began exploring different ways to communicate with prospective student-athletes about the new expectations. One possible solution is to allow coaches greater access to young people, not to recruit them but to help them understand the new standards.

“In suggesting the loosening of rules, the committee put recruiting concerns aside and came together as educators for the good of all student-athletes,” said Kevin Lennon, NCAA vice president for academic and membership affairs. “Of course, some parameters will be in place. The committee wants to make as many student-athletes as possible aware of what’s expected of them. The earlier these students know the expectations, the more prepared they can be academically and the more successful they can be in college.”

The committee is interested in allowing coaches to immediately provide any and all academic information to prospects in eighth grade or older. The information could be provided both in hard copy and electronically in some format that is standard to all schools.
Just like any other rule – I am sure there will be coaches that will become masters at using this rule to exploit it to the max. This will be done other the guise of wink, wink, wink, I was explaining the benefits of my college or university’s education package and we didn’t talk about the ___________ team one bit. I guess anything to get the coach in the student athlete’s living room earlier.

In college hockey its seems like once a kid reaches the tenth grade, if that kid is tearing it up, someone is watching that kid to see if it’s a player that they would like to recruit and have them come to their college/university. College hockey is already getting commitments from young players – do we want to go any younger?