NCAA suspends rule change on unlimited texts

Recruiting deregulation is officially on hold.

The NCAA Division I Board of Directors has suspended rule changes passed in January that would have allowed unlimited electronic communication — including text messaging — from college coaches to football recruits.

Text messaging has been banned in college football recruiting since 2007.

At its meeting in Indianapolis on Thursday, the board adopted the March recommendations of the Rules Working Group after several of the proposals, designed to create a more meaningful and enforceable NCAA rule book, were met with widespread criticism by the college and high school coaching communities.

In March, Proposal 13-3 received more than 75 override requests from NCAA membership, mandating a review by the board.

Also suspended:

  • The remainder of Proposal 13-3, which would have allowed for unlimited contact initiated by college coaches to recruits.
  • Proposal 11-2, which called for the elimination of the requirement that only a head coach or assistant coach could perform the functions of a recruiting coordinator.
  • Proposal 13-5-A, which would have removed restrictions on printed materials mailed to prospects.

The decisions Thursday do not affect basketball.

The 18-member board, comprised of college presidents, also endorsed a recommendation that all recruiting concepts under review be examined to determine appropriate changes, if necessary. The Rules Working Group and other relevant groups, such as the Football Recruiting Subcommittee of the Leadership Council, will study the concepts.

“It’s important to make sure all the pieces of the recruiting model work together to make the most effective change in the culture,” Wake Forest president and board chair Nathan Hatch said in a statement released by the NCAA.

Proposal 13-2, tabled in January at the NCAA convention, was also suspended. It called for the establishment of a uniform start date for recruiting contact of July 1 in the year before a prospect’s junior season.

Also Thursday, the board indefinitely suspended plans to raise academic requirements in 2016 for initial eligibility at the Division I level. If enacted, the changes would have forced many first-year student-athletes to sit out of competition as “academic redshirts.”

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About Cliff Freeman

Cliff has been covering College Football since 2003 and has traveled to nearly every championship game in the past decade. He has extensive experience covering the Southeastern Conference as well as the other BCS conferences. His wealth of knowledge and ability to quickly report on the top stories in the sport make him a valuable asset to the AST Team.