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June 11, 2017

NCAA: New Football Rules

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Fall is an exciting time of the year for virtually every college campus. Football is under an intense, public spotlight; the NCAA is always working to figure out ways to better the experience for all involved. Whether you’re fortunate enough to be a part of a current team, a recruit aspiring to play at the college level, or simply a passionate fan of the game, it is important that you understand the six new NCAA football rules.

Rule #1: Official Visits Period Extended

In the past, high school recruits were not allowed to take their all-expense paid official visits to their prospective colleges until their senior year. Now, recruits also have from April 1 of their junior year until the last Sunday of June that same year to go on official visits. This allows for recruits to get that on-campus and in-person experience earlier in their recruiting process. The rule of five official visits per recruit still remains.

Rule #2: Early Signing Day

With official visits moving up, it seems appropriate also to implement an early signing day. Unfortunately, not all parties feel this is best. Some schools say it gives them a chance after the December 20-23 early signing period to see what spots still need to be filled for the “original” February signing day. However, other schools (particularly the bigger ones) feel it will cause a mess since the early signing period is during a hectic time, which is the football-bowl season.

Some recruits may see this opportunity to lock in a college. On the flip side, making a pressured decision to sign early can cause recruits to lose out on bigger and better offers.  Some high school prospects don’t fully shine until their final season as a senior. The early signing period would remove the chance for football coaches to thoroughly review senior highlights, therefore, causing those athletes to lose out on opportunities.

Rule #3: 10 Assistant Coaches Instead of Nine

Keeping it short and sweet- starting January 9, 2018, college football teams can now have ten assistant coaches instead of nine.

Rule #4: Schools Cannot Hire People Close to Recruits

Schools are not allowed to hire anyone close to a recruit for off-field positions during the period of two years before, during, and two years after the recruit is enrolled into their prospective college. These people include parents, coaches, trainers, etc. This rule is meant to keep people who not qualified from getting positions that they would not normally get unless they had a connection with the athlete.

Rule #5: Camp Reform

One of NCAA’s goals is to make prospect camps more beneficial and efficient. Coaches will now be allowed to have recruiting conversations with the camp participants. This will give both the coach and prospect a chance to form a connection. Camps can also hold educational sessions to discuss eligibility standards, drug regulations, gambling, and other issues. Lastly, satellite camps must be held on the school’s campus and facilities used by the school.

Rule #6: No More Two-a-days

Starting this season, college football coaches will no longer be allowed to hold more than one full-contact practice a day.

An extra practice can be held as long as it is a film session or walkthrough. No conditioning can occur nor can any pads or helmets be worn by the players during this extra session.

Some of these rules will produce positive results, while some will need tweaks or maybe even fail entirely. But like Coach Tony D’Amato says in the movie Any Given Sunday, “It’s all about inches”; and the NCAA is hoping these rules will make that extra inch towards a better sports world that is college football.

Image courtesy of: The State