The NCAA has conceded to the fact that college football recruiting will never be within the guidelines of a massive rulebook that tries to regulate things such as the size and style of a postcard sent to a recruit.
No, seriously (via Andy Staples, Sports Illustrated):
Bylaw 13.1.1(j)—An institution may send an institutional postcard, provided its dimensions do not exceed 4 1/4 by 6 inches, it includes only the institution's name and logo or an athletics logo on one side when produced and it includes only handwritten information, (e.g., words, illustrations) on the opposite side when provided to the recipients. Blank postcards issued by the U.S. postal service also may be sent.
As a result, the association has decided to deregulate the recruiting rulebook.
John Infante gives an excellent breakdown of the first phase of new legislation proposed by the NCAA. Some major proposals include, but are not limited to, broadening modes of communication with recruits, earlier contact with recruits and allowing athletes a limited monetary benefit.
The biggest proposal in the new legislation is the elimination of recruiting coordination functions.
Before, only an assistant or head coach was allowed to contact recruits. Now anyone on the staff can contact prospects (off-campus recruiting will still be done by the coaches).
This has led to some schools hiring additional staff to be solely developed to recruiting. It is what some call a college football "arms race."
Georgia athletic director Greg McGarity voiced his displeasure about it in the New York Times.
“Some school is going to want to get on the high dive with this and go all in and spend and spend,” McGarity said. “It is going to start a round of competition among schools that is going to be limitless.”
Not all schools have the athletic department budget that UGA, Alabama, LSU or Auburn has. You can see why smaller schools would feel at a disadvantage.
Fair or not, Auburn is proving that it's "all in" with the new proposal.
With Gus Malzahn spending a large chunk of his coaching career to date at the high school level, he is well aware of how important relationships with high school coaches are in the recruiting world. Because of that, he has bulked up Auburn's off-field coaching staff with former high school head coaches in Auburn's recruiting footprint.
Malzahn poached Chip Lindsey away from Spain Park High School. Spain Park is a Birmingham, AL high school football power. He had been head coach at Spain Park since 2011.
Lindsey is considered an expert in offenses that are similar to that of Malzahn's hurry-up, no-huddle style of play. He will have a good eye for the type of player that will fit perfectly in Malzahn's system.
On Thursday, Malzahn added Carver-Columbus (Columbus, GA) head coach Dell McGee and B.C. Rain (Mobile, AL) head coach Brent Dearmon to off-field coaching positions. Both schools have proven to be rich in BCS-level talent over the years.
Carver-Columbus is where Auburn defensive tackle Gabe Wright attended school. Top talent like former UGA linebacker Jarvis Jones also attended the school. B.C. Rain has produced 48 All-State players in its history.
McGee may sound familiar to Auburn fans. He was a cornerback for the Tigers in the '90s.
Mobile, AL is a recruiting hotbed, and adding Dearmon to the staff to go along with Auburn assistant and Mobile native Dameyune Craig (who has won his share of recruiting battles in Mobile), gives the Tigers a big boost in the area.
Along with the three former high school head coaches, Auburn has positions on staff such as "Director of High School Relations" and "Director of Scouting." being filled by Al Pogue and Chad Lunsford, respectively.
Adding members to the off-field staff will benefit Auburn immensely.
These former high school head coaches can use their relationships and knowledge of high school athletes and be solely focused on getting their signature on a national letter of intent for Auburn. It also frees up Malzahn to be more of a coach, although recruiting will still take up a lot of his time.
One can argue about the fairness of this legislation, but one thing is for sure: Auburn will not be left behind to watch others pass it by in the new age of a less-restrictive recruiting rulebook.