NCAA Division I Legislative Council Rejects Earlier Recruiting Phone Contact
The Division I Legislative Council during its conference call Thursday narrowly defeated a proposal that would have allowed earlier phone contact with recruits in sports other than football and men’s basketball.
The Council’s action averts an override vote on the matter unless the Division I Board of Directors acts differently at its Aug. 11 meeting.
The Legislative Council in April adopted legislation (Proposal No. 2010-30) that would have allowed schools:
•One telephone call per month to a prospect (or the prospect’s relatives or legal guardians) on or after June 15 at the end of the prospect’s sophomore year in high school through July 31 after the prospect’s junior year;
•Two telephone calls per week beginning Aug. 1 before the prospect’s senior year in high school; and
•One telephone call per week to a two-year or four-year college prospect (or the prospect’s relatives or legal guardians).
The legislation is what currently is in place for men’s basketball, and proponents of Proposal No. 2010-30 liked the idea of uniform contact rules for other sports. After it was adopted, though, 106 schools submitted override requests by the June 27 deadline, which not only required the Legislative Council to revisit the proposal (it takes 30 override requests to prompt that action), but that total also exceeded the 100 requests necessary to suspend the legislation.
Of the 29 conferences present and voting on Thursday’s call, 14 retained support and 15 voted to defeat the proposal. Because of the Council’s weighted-vote structure for conferences, the actual tally was 24.0 in support and 24.3 to defeat, meaning the legislation previously adopted is now rescinded.
The Board of Directors will review the action Aug. 11 and does have the authority to resurrect the proposal. If the presidents do so, that would require a membership override vote later this year.
The discussion on Thursday’s conference call reflected the ongoing debate of earlier access and the burdens placed on the compliance community to monitor phone calls and electronic communication. Some conference representatives who voted to support the legislation in April said they had several individual league members subsequently request an override.
Coincidentally, the Division I Recruiting and Athletics Personnel Issues Cabinet in July proposed legislation to eliminate limits on the number and frequency of telephone calls to prospects (though it would not change the permissible date on which institutions may begin calling prospects or who makes the calls).
The cabinet also proposed allowing all forms of electronic correspondence (such as email and texts) to be sent to recruits starting at the same time that phone contact is allowed in a given sport.
Both of those proposals – neither of which would affect the time at which contact could begin to be made with recruits, but both of which affect the methods of the contact – will be acted upon during the 2011-12 legislative cycle.