Monday, June 18, 2018

College Football: The New Off-Field Rules In 2017

There were a lot of new rules pushed through by the NCAA and its relevant committees pertaining to several off-field aspects of college football. Most related to the process of recruiting, but some touched on team practice limits, the sizes of coaching staffs, and the regulation of offseason camps. No rules pertained to in-game rules that are part of on-field action on Saturdays and other gamedays during the fall. Many readjustments in the industry must be dealt with by athletic directors and head coaches more than anyone else. Programs must demonstrate that they can make use of the added resources while being more nimble in the face of certain limitations that are imposed. It will be fascinating to see where college football stands in five years after this important bundle of changes.

Earlier First Day/Period For Recruits To Sign In Late December

The ability for recruits to sign in late December, just before Christmas, will give a number of athletes the ability to settle in with their schools at a much earlier point in time. Instructively, this will happen in many cases before a team’s bowl game. Players will – at least on some occasions – enjoy closer proximity to their newly chosen program during a bowl game. Other athletes will be inconvenienced, however, as a result of this change. Either because they might not be prepared or because some schools might collect commitments from other recruits at an earlier point, plenty of prospects might not land at their intended destinations. They could be crowded out of the top tier of the market – or other sectors of the market – in ways which didn’t previously exist. More evaluation will have to be brought to this issue after the first cycle in which the process plays out.

No More Two-A-Days

The most progressive reform among these listed rule changes, as it relates to the welfare and safety of athletes, was the prohibition of two-a-day practices. Some coaches made the personal decision to stop this way of proceeding, but now the sport of college football has broadly prevented it from being able to happen again. Players will not be overworked and overtaxed with grueling, stacked practice schedules. This could lead to fewer injuries and fresher players when the season begins – many will evaluate player performance in early September based on this change.

Visitation Period Moved Up From Start Of High School Senior Season To The Previous Summer

When players were forced to schedule visits within the course of their senior seasons, they had to perform a delicate balancing act with their high school football responsibilities. This change enables soon-to-be high school seniors to make visits before their school year begins, which should lead to a lot of activity during the summer and will enable athletes to more fully consider their choices.

The Big Ten should be helped by this – warmer weather in the summer for campus visits will either add to Big Ten enrollments or reduce the number of players who – in the past – might have selected a warmer-weather Southern school because their visits occurred in the middle of autumn, when weather had begun to turn cooler.

10th Assistant Coach Starting In 2018

This is huge. Coaching staffs can add another recruiter or use this new position for an analyst’s role, a more specialized position coach role, an extra coordinator (some staffs have running game coordinators and passing game coordinators, so you might see that differentiation of roles even more now). We’ll see which head coaches use this extra spot creatively, and which ones get more recruiting mileage out of it.

Parents, Coaches And Trainers Of Recruits Can’t Be Hired Within Two Years Of Enrollment For The Athlete, Either Before Or After

Basketball is constantly wrestling with this issue, and now football has chosen to do something about it. The rule makes sense when tied to parents, in order to limit undue or excessive family influence in relationship to recruits. However, the rule loses effectiveness and fairness when relating solely to coaches with no familial ties to players. High school coaches who are close to certain recruits (but not as family members or relatives) could climb the coaching ladder, and this will hurt their progress, thereby carrying a negative effect toward many careers.

 Camp Reform

This is a two-pronged reform. First, coaches can interact more with recruits at camps about informing them on various standards and requirements that need to be met in the process of recruiting. This provides more information and context to recruits, which is a forward-thinking move.

Second, satellite camps – while allowed – are limited to 10-day periods in June and July. The NCAA is striking a balance between continuing satellite camps but not allowing them to occur at all times of the year without much governance.

Click here to bet on the college football futures for the 2017 college football season right now. DSI will have all of the latest lines, spreads and props for this year’s action!

About Geoff Harvey

Geoff Harvey has been setting his fantasy rosters since his days in the womb, just don't ask him how he used to get his waiver-wire reports back then. He's a lifelong fan of sports, especially the fantasy and betting aspects.

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