Seldom do you see college women's and men's lacrosse coaches collaborate the way they have in the effort to push through early recruiting legislation that seemingly had no shot, but now stands on the precipice of adoption. Throw US Lacrosse's reach and influence into that equation, and now you have a recipe to make a difference.
Legislation originally authored by the Intercollegiate Women's Lacrosse Coaches Association, then endorsed by the Intercollegiate Men's Lacrosse Coaches Association and US Lacrosse, got a major boost when the NCAA Division I Council stamped it for the 2016-17 NCAA legislative cycle.
The proposal would ban off-campus recruiting contact with a prospective student-athlete or his family, on-campus and unofficial visits with a prospective student-athlete and phone contact with a prospective student-athlete all before Sept. 1 of a prospect's junior year of high school.
"A lot of people got very involved to the point that when it was brought up to the Council, almost all the ADs and conference people in the council were aware of the issue," said Bob Scalise, Harvard athletic director and chair of the Division I Council. "The lacrosse coach committee did a good job of informing a lot of people. And they showed a lot of solidarity with 85 percent voting for this and wanting the package in its entirety. With all the work that everyone did, sooner or later, everyone was going to come to the right spot."
While the proposal has to be reviewed and undergo an amendment process before being voted on again in April, getting it on the legislative cycle was a step in the right direction.
"It's good old networking and politicking that paid off," said Duke coach Kerstin Kimel, chair of the IWLCA's NCAA Division I Legislation Committee.
If the proposal passes next April, it would go into effect Aug. 1, 2017.
"The whole lacrosse community has to be applauded for taking control of this issue," Scalise said.