Dan Tudor

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New NCAA Rules Mean New Potential Pitfalls for College RecruitersMonday, January 23rd, 2012

The dust has settled, and the new NCAA rules for 2012 are in place.

And with new rules come new opportunities:  In Division II, coaches now have more time to contact recruits and a variety of new ways to reach them – text messaging, social networks and even message boards.  In Division III, text messaging is now allowed (however, contact via social media websites like Facebook and Twitter is still prohibited).

But with new opportunities come new challenges for savvy recruiters.  In reading over the new rules, there are a few pitfalls I can see an unprepared college coach stumbling into as they begin to recruit new prospects using these new rules.  (And by the way, even though these new rules mainly affect Division II and Division III college coaches, Division I and NAIA coaches can learn from the potential mistakes we’ve outlined and apply them to their own recruiting strategies):

Division II coaches can now visit a prospect in person on an unlimited basis beginning June 15th prior to the prospect’s Junior year in high school. Here’s the problem:  Our research is showing that coaches who stage multiple visits without sharing new information or giving the prospect a sense that the recruiting process is moving forward risk alienating the prospect.  Current college athletes we interview as a part of our On-Campus Workshops tell us that they grow impatiently very quickly when coaches contact them, but don’t have anything new to say or don’t outline where the process stands.  I see this as a potential risk for coaches who begin regular visits to view a recruit:  The recruit sees a coach, talks to a coach, and nothing new is verbalized by the coach.  If you plan on increasing the frequency of your visits, make sure you are consistently outlining new information and new steps in the process to your prospect and their parents.

Division II coaches now have more time to personally recruit athletes, beginning June 15th prior to an athlete’s Junior year. The same potential pitfall exists here as it did in the previous item.  More face to face time, but not enough new information to keep the prospect engaged and feeling like the process is moving forward.  Additionally, if you are starting the recruiting process before your prospect begins their Junior year as the new rules allows, focus your questions on what they want out of the process and what they want to talk about…not what they want in a college or a coach.  That’s too big of a concept to grasp for most of them, so don’t introduce a conversation about the topic (yet).

Division II coaches can use text messaging and message boards, as well as private messaging through Facebook. This holds one of the biggest potential pitfalls for coaches.  We see college coaches wasting the opportunity to form a deeper relationship with their recruits by simply posting athletic department sports information releases and other bland communication via Facebook.  Don’t do that, Coach.  Facebook – and text messaging – is an extremely personal way of communicating for today’s teenagers.  If you supply them with a steady stream of adult news about your program, don’t be surprised when they tune you out.  Keep it real, honest and personal.  Use YouTube videos made by your team versus professionally edited videos from your sports information office, and write in a personal blog style instead of using “news reporting” language in your messaging.

Division II and Division III coaches have an expanded use of text messaging. What not to do?  Trying to “sell” your school and your program through text messaging.  There is no faster way to be rejected by your prospect than sending anything resembling a sales message via text message to a recruit.  We know this because of the testing and research we’ve done with our list of college coach clients we help as we formulate their recruiting strategy and actual messaging communication, and I can tell you as bluntly as possible that a coach who uses text messaging to overtly sell their program will ruin their chances of connecting with that athlete in a trusted way as the process moves forward.  Save text messaging for discussing the recruiting process, building a friendly relationship, and talking about specific points in the recruiting process as follow-up to other conversations via phone, mail and email.  Remember, texting is very personal and very informal.  Keep it that way and use it to build a relationship with the athlete…not to sell.

The new rules reflect the way we see communication with recruits heading, and I think they will provide coaches with some important new avenues for making strong connections with recruits.  However, there are also some real dangers in not approaching these new liberties correctly.  Make sure you’re one of the coaches that uses the new rules correctly right from the beginning.

We strongly recommend you make plans on attending this Summer’s National Collegiate Recruiting Conference.  It’s designed specifically for motivated college recruiters who want to be the best that they can be in the battle for their top prospects.  Click here for all the information and to reserve your seat at this year’s event!

Revised Rules Approved by NCAAMonday, January 23rd, 2012

The following article is courtesy of Allie Grasgreen, who writes for the excellent website InsideHigherEd.com.  It is an excellent overview of the changes approved by the NCAA in January 2012:

 

After weeks of buildup, the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s  Division I Board of Directors finally revisited its rule that — before it was  suspended because so many institutions opposed it — gave colleges permission to  award athletes on full scholarships up to $2,000 more in aid. The board of  Division I presidents didn’t give up on the legislation, but consented to modify  it, putting an altered version of the rule on the agenda for April’s board  meeting.

Also here on Saturday, the last day of the NCAA’s annual convention, the  board stood firm on the other especially controversial proposal that emerged  from an August retreat of university leaders called by the  association’s president, Mark Emmert, in response to criticisms of declining  integrity, academic standards and financial sustainability.

That proposal, approved by the board at its October meeting, permitted colleges to award  multiyear scholarships. The number of colleges opposing the multiyear rule (more  than 75) wasn’t high enough to trigger an automatic suspension (as was the case  with the $2,000 aid rule, which more than 125 institutions spoke out against).  But because the board opted Saturday not to modify the rule to appease the  colleges, it will go to a February vote of all 355 Division I members, where it  will be killed if at least five-eighths of colleges line up against it.

Also at Saturday’s meeting, the board voted down two proposals brought  forward by its Resource Allocation Working Group; one would have cut costs by  eliminating off-season travel to foreign competitions, and another aimed to  shrink the number of scholarships from 85 to 80 in top football programs and  from 15 to 13 in women’s basketball. The board did approve a decade-long  moratorium on increasing the number of games and length of seasons in all  sports.

In a news conference following Saturday’s board meeting, Emmert said it  “would be inaccurate to describe this as a setback” for the $2,000 scholarship  bump, as it’s really “an attempt to get it right.” If the board approves the  modified proposal in April, the rule will face another 60-day comment period  during which colleges could again shoot it down if they’re not satisfied.  (Athletes who signed while the rule was enacted will still be eligible for the  extra aid, the NCAA said.)

The “miscellaneous expenses” rule was intended to help cover the gap between  what an athletic scholarship provides and the full cost of attending college,  which averages a few thousand dollars but can reach $11,000, depending on the institution. But  colleges worried that the rule could violate gender equity laws under Title IX  of the Education Amendments of 1972, and that it could allow the wealthiest  programs — if they chose to meet the full cost of attendance, and others did  not — to stockpile athletes.

“We heard the voices, the concerns expressed,” Sidney McPhee, president of  Middle Tennessee State University, said in a Friday session here in which  presidents and NCAA administrators updated convention attendees on initiatives  from the August retreat.

However, McPhee, who chairs the Student-Athlete Well-Being working group that  developed the legislation and who read every college’s formal comments against  it, warned that the working group that submitted the proposal couldn’t please  everyone: “There were people who were just fundamentally opposed to providing  any additional aid,” mainly because of budget issues, he said. “We certainly  respect that view, but we do feel that it’s time that we take a serious look at  this adjustment.”

But even some who would have benefited from the rule were wary of it. The  cost-of-attendance rule could be helpful in offsetting educational expenses, but  questions remain about whether it would allocate the “proper funds” to the  athletes who need and deserve them, said Eugene Daniels, a Colorado State  University football player who represents the Mountain West Conference on the  Division I Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. Daniels added that while the  multiyear scholarship would be advantageous for athletes in terms of the  security it would provide, it’s possible that some athletes, having been awarded  long-term aid, could become “complacent.”

Some athletics directors at that session, including Sandy Barbour of the  University of California at Berkeley, and Mike Alden of the University of  Missouri at Columbia, said they support the multiyear scholarship rule but,  because of financial and logistical concerns, would like more time before the  NCAA enacts the rule. Alden, who also chairs the division’s Leadership Council,  suggested a start date of July or August 2013. Under the current legislation,  athletes in the upcoming February and April signing periods would be eligible  for multiyear grants.

When discussion turned to the prospect of banning foreign exhibition tours,  some administrators spoke in favor of a rule that would have encouraged athletes  to study abroad in an academic setting, rather than one focused on competition.  But others, including an athlete who served on the working group that proposed  the rule, said that just wasn’t practical; many athletes don’t even have the  time to hold a job, much less to travel overseas.

Measures to reduce costs drew significant ire from some administrators,  including Harvey Perlman, chancellor of the University of Nebraska at Lincoln.  “I do believe honestly that the task is not difficult — it is impossible. And  that what you see with these proposals is an effort to try and restrain spending  at the expense of student-athletes with no understanding of what the outcome  will be,” Perlman said. Regarding the proposal that would have eliminated some  scholarships to save money, he said, “I don’t know of an athletic department  that won’t spend every penny it has.”

“I just think this is bad publicity and it’s bad policy,” Perlman continued.  “This is a part of the old culture of the NCAA, of trying to regulate the  details of trying to get competitive equity when you can’t do it.” (Restrict the  number of scholarships a high-profile program can award, Perlman said, and  they’ll just spend the money on “temples” or “iPods in showers.”)

The board also tabled a recommendation to cut costs by limiting the number of  non-coaching employees such as videographers, administrative personnel and  strength and conditioning trainers, asking the Resource Allocation group to  bring back a new version in April. This version would have permitted only 12  such staff in football and six in men’s basketball; some officials seemed  confused or concerned Friday when they heard about the proposal’s details. At  Saturday’s press conference, Emmert said that the presidents have a strong  desire to address the issue, but that “the devil’s in the details.”

On Friday, Michael F. Adams, president of the University of Georgia and chair  of the Resource Allocation Working Group, acknowledged tensions over the  proposals he helped bring forward. “Of all the things I’ve done in the NCAA in  the last 30 years, this has been the least popular,” he said, noting surveys  that show men’s and women’s basketball on average use only 11 or 12  scholarships. “I do agree that these are difficult issues, but it was not based  on something pulled out of the air.”

And lastly, on Saturday, the board approved a one-year moratorium on new  legislation, excluding emergency legislation and anything from the presidential  reform agenda. The day before, Emmert’s contract was extended an additional two  years, pushing its end date to October 2017.

Division II

With little debate, Division II institutions approved legislation last week  that will ease recruiting restrictions on multiple fronts. To make better use of  new technology and to put athletes on a more level playing field with  non-athletic recruits, colleges supported a number of changes.

First, programs will be allowed to visit athletic prospects on an unlimited  basis beginning June 15 before the student’s junior year in high school. That  rule lifted a previous thrice-per-year limit to in-person, off-campus contact,  and gave coaches an extra year in which to do it.

Athletics programs will also have more time to contact recruits via e-mail  and fax, with the passage of legislation that moved the permissible start date  for such correspondence from Sept. 1 before an athlete’s junior year to June 15  of the same year. It also lifts the one-call-per-week limit on programs, and  allows unlimited phone calls beginning June 15 before the junior year, a year  earlier than the previous start date. Finally, the rule upholds the use of  instant messages, text messages and message boards, but now permits all three  beginning June 15 before the recruit’s junior year, rather than the calendar day  after the athlete makes a written commitment or financial deposit.

The proposals made sense not just to the coaches who wanted to reach students  more effectively, but also to presidents and athletics officials and to athletes  who are in college now, said Rick Cole Jr., athletics director at Dowling  College, in New York, and chair of the Division II Management Council. It’s  about “what makes sense for today and tomorrow,” Cole said in an interview the  day before the voting at Saturday’s business session. “If you’re not  communicating effectively, I think you limit your success potential.”

And that includes social media — as long as the correspondence is private.  So, for example, a coach could send a recruit a message on Facebook, but  couldn’t write on said recruit’s “wall.”

Division II also adopted legislation that: requires new conferences to  contain at least 10 active member institutions, effective Aug. 1, 2013; requires  conferences to have at least eight members effective Aug. 1, 2017, then at least  10 institutions effective Aug. 1, 2022; allows the Management Council to limit  the number of applicant conferences that could be invited to active membership;  and increases from two years to five the waiting period for a new conference to  be eligible for automatic qualification.

Division III

Coaches in Division III can now use text messaging to communicate with  recruits, with 418 of 467 institutions voting in favor of a rule designed to  ease communication with students who increasingly prefer texting to e-mail or  phone calls. Colleges will now be allowed to send unlimited texts, under the  same rules that regulate other forms of electronic recruitment media. (Unlike  Division II, Division III did not include social media, out of privacy  concerns.)

Legislation that would have limited strength and conditioning workouts during  the off-season and on in-season off-days was withdrawn over concerns about  ability to monitor off-season activities. The New England Collegiate Conference  and the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference, which sponsored the  proposal, had said earlier last week that they wanted to revise the legislation  to focus more on the in-season component.

Yet another withdrawal, this one of legislation that was opposed by most  governance groups because it would have applied only to a few athletes, was  probably disappointing to the sponsors of a proposal that they said would allow  injured students to better focus on their health. The rule would have charged an  athlete with a full season of eligibility for practicing with the team after  sustaining a season-ending injury.

 

NCAA’s Jay Jones Clarifies Division III Twitter RulesSunday, May 17th, 2009

NCAA Twitter Rules for Division III coachesJay Jones, the NCAA’s Director of Academic Affairs and Membership Affairs for Division III, took some time to address the recent confusion regarding Twitter and whether or not it could be used by Division III coaches to communicate with recruits.

Here are the questions we asked Mr. Jones, and his unedited answers on the matter:

So Division III coaches will understand better, what was the motivation behind defining Twitter differently for them than the other divisions?

"NCAA Divisions I, II and III members commonly propose and adopt rules and legislation that are division-specific. One year after the Division I text messaging ban took place, Division III adopted that ban and included within their proposal more stringent language that also strictly prohibits the use of social networking sites within the athletics recruiting process, including e-mail functions. This legislation’s adoption was based on the urging of Division III student-athlete advisory committee. Unlike Division I, Division III still operates on a one vote per school majority rules process to adopt legislation. So, within Division III, there was a purposeful step taken to not define various parts and pieces of different technologies, but instead to strictly limit electronically transmitted correspondence that may be sent by, or on behalf of, a member of the institution’s athletics department staff to a prospective student-athlete to e-mail and facsimiles."

What if a Division III coach has an individual Twitter account that is not used to communicate with prospects, but rather just to use it as a tool to let people know what they are doing?

"Within Division III, social networking of any type that has an athletics nexus or athletics information and engagement with prospective student-athletes is not permissible. Therefore, information through a social networking site that with an athletics focus in which prospective student-athletes are allowed to be members are not permissible. A coach would need to be able to ensure that if athletics information were being delivered through a social networking site that it is not being made available to prospective student-athletes. Some social networking sites have the capability to limit whom views the information, while other sites may not."

Are there any other clarification or things that you would want to communicate to our Division III coaches and athletic directors to eliminate any future confusion on Twitter?

"The Division III membership adopted this change in 2008 by a vote of 362 supporting institutions and 72 institutions in opposition. At that time, within the package of materials that was provided to institutions prior to the vote, there was information that clearly noted that instead of attempting to anticipate what other technologies may be developed, the proposal defines the permitted forms of communication and prohibits all other communication. Thus, the proposal was clear that for new technology to be permissible, there would have to be new legislation allowing the new form of communication. The issue for Division III was less about technology and more about recruiting. Our members were concerned about the level of intrusion in a young person’s life related to recruiting, which is why limits were placed on how often coaches can contact recruits."

Editor’s Note: We want to thank Jay Jones for his candor and quick response to our questions, which allows us to pass that important information on to our readers in a timely manner.  It is our hope that Mr. Jones’ statements help bring clarity and understanding to this developing technology for Division III coaches and Athletic Directors that the NCAA and Selling for Coaches serves.

College Coaches and the NCAA Trying to Adapt to Recruits and TechnologyMonday, April 20th, 2009

A few months ago, I wrote what I thought was a rather innocent article on how Twitter – kind of a mix between a blog and text messaging -  would be one of the next big developments in college recruiting.Pete Carroll, Twitter user

What resulted was an avalanche of opinions back to me from college coaches and athletic directors, ranging from “we use it, and we love it” to “it’s illegal, and I’m calling the NCAA on you!”

Since then, “Twittering” among coaches has skyrocketed: Hundreds of college coaches have started using the service to keep their fans, alumni, and their recruits updated on what’s going on with them and their program.  A couple of weekends ago, I got updates from USC’s Pete Carroll as he watched an Angels-Red Sox game, heard results from the University of Utah’s track and field team, and much, much more.

Twitter, along with Facebook and individual blogs that coaches are writing, is the new frontier in college recruiting.  It’s growing in popularity because of the connectivity it gives coaches with those that want to follow them, but sometimes dives into the gray areas that are yet to be defined by the NCAA.

Suffice it to say that as college recruiters travel along the information superhighway, there are sure to be some bumps in the road. 

One case illustrates what a challenge emerging technology is for the NCAA, their coaches and the recruits that are sometimes caught in the middle.

The controversy that has people talking is the case of North Carolina State freshman student Taylor Mosely, who started a Facebook group with a title that implores a high value basketball recruit to sign with his school.

He was recently served with a cease and desist letter from the school’s NCAA compliance director, saying that his actions – and his Facebook website – might help persuade this blue chip recruit to come to play for the Wolfpack.

I’ll leave the issue of right and wrong to others to determine (of course, you can post your comments on the subject below), but this type of story serves as a platform to talk about some observations about technology and recruiting in today’s world of college sports.

Technology isn’t going away, so coaches better keep up with it.  That sounds like an obvious enough statement, although it might surprise you to see – as I do in my work with college athletic departments – that many of today’s coaches shy away from embracing technology.  Some are downright proud of their technology abstinence, such as Florida’s football coach Urban Meyer.  While Coach Meyer and a select group might be able to get away with that approach, the other 99.8% of college coaches reading this need to commit to stay updated with the latest technology, and use it on a regular basis so long as it’s allowed by NCAA guidelines.

It’s the preferred method of communication by your prospects.  If you can find a way to use technology to communicate and tell your story to recruits that is permissible under NCAA guidelines, do it.  Letters and emails have a valuable place in the recruiting process, but they are only part of the puzzle.  To rely on only those two methods to present an initial view of your program to a prospect is short-sighted, and possibly even foolish.  Incorporate technology into your presentation to recruits.  They’re waiting for it.

FacebookKnow where you’re not welcome.  You can go too far in embracing technology, and I’m not just talking about breaking NCAA rules.  I’m talking about breaking the unspoken rules of your prospects’ world, primarily where you are welcome and where you aren’t.  You should absolutely author a blog, post updates on Twitter, and use video and pictures to tell your story online.  You absolutely SHOULD NOT be interacting with recruits on MySpace, using Facebook to try and sway recruits to your school (not allowed by the NCAA) or use other teen-oriented social networking websites to try and show them that you are a “cool” coach that knows how to use technology; they will most likely view you as the “creepy” coach that knows how to use technology, and will form a negative opinion of you right from the start.

So, what’s the basic rule in using technology to showcase your program to recruits? 

Simple: Communicate out to them openly and honestly, letting them see the good and the rough edges of you and your program.  And, don’t ask for anything in return using the technology.  Your blog and a website like Twitter should be used as a living, breathing, evolving online brochure that your prospects can come and read at their leisure. 

When used properly, this emerging new technology can make recruiting easier, more efficient and more conducive to how today’s teens want to learn about your program.

There are two other essential technology tools that leading college coaches and recruiters use.  For communicating with prospects, you can’t do much better than Front Rush, the leading web-based contact manager and branded email product. 

And, Dartfish is a great resource for training your athletes to perform better by coaching them through video.  We recommend them both as easy-to-use, affordable tools that can make a big difference in your career as a college coach.

 

How the NCAA Changed the Way They Got Their Message Out (and what YOU can learn from it)Monday, August 4th, 2008

David Pickle’s job at the NCAA rivals that of most big city newspapers.  He’s the man at the center of every piece of news and information that’s published by the NCAA, and has overseen a dramatic shift in the way that information is presented to coaches, athletic directors and the nation.

David Pickle, NCAAPickle is set to talk about the challenging task of completely overhauling the way the NCAA gets its information out to their readers at this weekend’s Recruiting Kick-Off Conference in Indianapolis, Indiana (last chance to register!)

"We serve several important functions," says Pickle. "First, we facilitate the delivery of information that the membership needs to do its business – items like the NCAA Manual, playing rules books, statistical records and the like."

"Second, we deliver the news of the day. This includes material that the membership either needs or might want to be aware of. Third, we play a promotional role. In particular, our magazine is designed to enhance the overall image of college sports."

But a short time ago, Pickle recognized the shift in how information was being delivered and read thanks to the rapid advances in the way his readers were using the Internet.  "We began to examine the matter seriously in early 2006 when I became concerned that we might be generating too much paper and not getting enough results," says Pickle.

So the NCAA, lead by Pickle and his department, undertook the daunting task of changing the way thier message was delivered.  He will be talking to coaches attending the SFC conference this weekend on how they did it, and give them lessons on what they can do to adjust their messages to one of their most important audiences: Their recruits. 

"We chose apply various media based on their strengths and liabilities," explains Pickle.  "Paper, forChampion Magazine example, permitted us the opportunity to create dramatic presentations and permanence, but it was a poor medium for speed – hence the magazine. The Web, on the other hand, provided us with the potential for immediate delivery. That made more sense for the timely, regulatory type content that might be hard to display attractively."

Just how hard of a task was it?  That’s the question that’s going to be on coaches mind this weekend, and Pickle is ready to tell them that while the task was difficult, the results were well worth the blood, sweat and tears.

"It took a lot of work, and there were times when I wanted to put myself in a time capsule and be transported past our January 2008 launch date," remembers Pickle.  "But we had the luxury of time and were able to go about things in an ordered way that achieved great results and acceptance. Some of  what we’re doing is still a work in progress, but I feel better about where we are now than where we were two years ago."

Pickle will be going into detail on the transition, how it happened, and how coaches can duplicate the NCAA’s success in the way they adapt their message to their audience.

NCAA Struggles to Police High-Tech RecruitingMonday, January 29th, 2007

It’s an ongoing struggle for the NCAA to keep up with the newest, latest, most up-to-date ways that coaches are able to communicate with their prospects.  It’s a daunting task, as told in this great article by Tulsa World sports writer John Hoover:

Technology, it seems, is limited only by the imagination.

It is not, at this time, limited by the NCAA.

A long time ago, the NCAA placed limits on the number of phone calls a college recruiter could make to a prospective recruit. But a long time ago, there was no such things as text messaging, instant messaging, video conferencing or MySpace.com.

What in the name of Buck Rogers has happened to recruiting?

"It’s constant," says Terrance Toliver. "But I think it’s a good thing."

NCAA Thinking About Increasing Penalties for Academic FailureMonday, August 7th, 2006

Is your team struggling with meeting NCAA academic standards?  Better get your student-athletes straightened out quickly…more penalities are coming for programs who continue to fail in the classroom.  Here are the details, courtesy of the Associated Press: 

The NCAA is considering further punishment for teams that consistently fail to make the grade, including postseason bans and withholding tournament cash.

New penalty guidelines for schools with long-term academic problems was the biggest issue before the NCAA board at its meetings Wednesday and Thursday. Under the latest proposal, the worst offenders face a ban from postseason play and could lose their conference’s share of NCAA tournament money.

Other penalties on the table include restrictions on recruiting, scholarships and reduced playing seasons.

"We’re hoping the board acts on it," vice president Kevin Lennon told The Associated Press. Members were anticipating a vote Wednesday night, but results were not expected until Thursday.


Lennon’s group spent months debating the sanctions before finally settling on a system that increases the penalty for repeat offenders.

The NCAA is already implementing a system that will strip scholarships from teams that don’t do well in the classroom. It has collected data on each team’s graduation rate and academic eligibility for the past two years to determine a score, with 1,000 as the highest possible and penalties for anything below 925.

Those rules apply only to the short-term, however; the new penalties are based on a team’s average over several years. Under them, any team with an average score lower than 900 over a rolling four-year period would face the harshest sanctions.

Lennon said a score of 900 correlates with about a 50 percent graduation rate, a measure that’s intended to get teams’ attention and find "the worst of the worst."

If the recommendations are approved, teams with three-year averages of less than 900 will receive warning letters this fall; if they don’t improve next year, they face potential scholarship, recruiting and playing season reductions in 2007-08. One more year of bad marks brings a postseason ban, and another infraction would cost schools their conference’s share of NCAA tournament money.

"I think after three years, you’re starting to get a pretty good glimpse and you can start to see trends," Lennon said.

Myles Brand has consistently supported the formula since becoming NCAA president in 2003.

The proposal also allows reduced penalties for some schools that drop below guidelines in special cases. For instance, a team could be granted a waiver if its graduation rate is higher than the overall student body’s; or if resources on campus aren’t up to par.

Even in those cases, the teams would have to show improvement to escape penalty.

"I think people realize we’ve made reasonable adjustments, and I think some folks have a certain level of confidence in the committee," Lennon said. "We’ll see how the whole board reacts."

Hurricane Katrina Blows Away NCAA RulesMonday, September 5th, 2005

This story is interesting on many different fronts. It’s a report on the allowances made by the NCAA in the wake of the mess Hurricane Katrina left behind…particularly at Tulane University, where the fall semester has been cancelled and the athletic season has been turned upside down.

The issues the story raises, in my mind:

  • There are going to be recruiting violations…hundreds of them. How does the NCAA regulate them and deal with them after the water has dried-up and things are back to normal?
  • I think the NCAA’s heart is in the right place. Kudos to President Brand for bringing some compassion to the organization, and acting quickly to this issue that affects college athletes in Lousiana and Mississippi.

What has the last week been like in the life of Tulane athletic director Rick Dickson? Can you even imagine what he’s had to deal with?

NCAA Ruling Raises More Questions Than It AnswersSunday, August 7th, 2005

INDIANAPOLIS — The NCAA banned the use of American Indian mascots by sports teams during its postseason tournaments, but will not prohibit them otherwise.

The NCAA’s executive committee decided this week the organization did not have the authority to bar Indian mascots by individual schools, committee chairman Walter Harrison said Friday.

Off the subject of selling and recruiting: If it’s not acceptable to the NCAA that schools are using longtime American Indian mascots during the postseason play, why is it acceptable to use them during the regular season? Does it make a difference that television audiences are bigger during postseason play? (I know the answer, as do you).

What about in cases such as Florida State University, who has received permission from the Florida Seminole American Indian tribe to continue use of their name at the university? Doesn’t that count for anything?

As with many NCAA rulings, this recent edict raises more questions than it answers.

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