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New NCAA Decision to Allow Unlimited Recruiting Contacts Is a Smart Move

TUSCALOOSA, AL - SEPTEMBER 08:  Head coach Nick Saban of the Alabama Crimson Tide looks on during the game against the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers at Bryant-Denny Stadium on September 8, 2012 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
Michael FelderNational CFB Lead WriterJanuary 22, 2013

We've already given props to Mark Emmert and his recognition that rules will not solve competitive balance, here at Your Best 11. Now, in looking at the overall big picture of the NCAA's new rulings, we can say that this push into deregulation, as a whole, is a smart move.

Certainly, many will notice the unlimited contacts, but there is so much more to the rules that have been nixed, as pointed out by NCAA.org. Ultimately, this is all a plus, something some folks do not truly see, just yet.

Everyone reads unlimited contacts and immediately jumps to the extreme. Kids being bombarded by a school with texts and calls. Prospects' Facebook messages filling up as a coach desperately pursues him. Twitter DMs all jammed up because that recruiting coordinator just wants to remind him that he's thinking of him.

It all sounds so overwhelming, and, when the rules go live on August 1, 2013, that might be the case early. However, in the grand scheme of things, don't expect that issue to always last.

You see, recruiting is a lot like trying to woo someone that you are interested in. You want the other party to know you are interested in them. To know that you want them to commit to you. To know that you have plenty to offer each other. To know that you are set up for a great, mutually beneficial relationship.

What you don't want them to think is that you are desperate. Desperate for their attention. Desperate to know that they aren't talking to someone else. Desperate to know their every move.

Let's face it, nothing stinks quite like desperation.

And, folks, that stench of the desperate coaching staff singes the nostrils real quick. That leads to diminishing returns. Players that are no longer interested in their desperate recruiting sales pitch. That coaching staff might not be too proud to beg, but those players will certainly be too proud to listen.

So, while everyone expects nothing but endless streams of messages, odds are the coaches, staffers and their prospects find balance. Recruiting is about relationships and if you cannot find the balance to build quality relationships with a player then you are not going to ink that prospect.

Which brings us to the other element of the relationship building that is going to be interesting to see develop: recruiting departments. With the adoption of rule 11-2, schools are allowing non-coaching staff members to perform recruiting functions. From the NCAA.org:

11-2, which will eliminate the rules defining recruiting coordination functions that must be performed only by a head or assistant coach.

 

We've talked about this idea of a collegiate player-personnel department conducting evaluations and making contacts before at Your Best 11. We are not sold on that full split where coaches are out of the evaluation and selection of who to offer process.

However, when it comes to building relationships and working as a team, with the new unlimited contact rule, this makes a lot more sense. Coaches have things taken off their plate, while players remain in contact with the program and most certainly feel important in the grand scheme of things.

Keep in mind, this is not pawning them off on staffers. Rather it is a more concentrated effort, by a recruiting team of staffers and coaches, to better serve the players; all in an effort to get commitments and signed Letters of Intent.

Coaches will still do their own evaluations. Coaches will still work to be involved in the process. Yet now, with more contact and more resources to help make contact, recruiters can focus even more on building the relationships necessary to land kids.

After all, in the end, this is about building relationships and now coaches can improve on their abilities to do just that. This is not going to be about volume recruiting and overwhelming your targets with propaganda, that's never worked in the past and it won't work now. This is going to be about integrating the new advantages with existing policies used to build recruiting relationships.

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