Recruiting calls may become a little more crowded in the coming weeks thanks to a new NCAA waiver that will allow current student-athletes to join coaches on recruiting calls. With that ruling, priority recruits may hear not only from Nick Saban but from Nick Saban and Bryce Young — or Dabo Swinney and Trevor Lawrence — as well.
The proposal was part of a package of proposals passed by the NCAA Division I Council Coordination Committee in a virtual meeting on Wednesday.
The committee also voted to grant blanket waivers for all Division I members for one year to allow basketball and football student-athletes to participate in currently defined summer athletic activities without being enrolled in summer school and to allow committed prospective student-athletes to participate in virtual team activities after completion of all academic requirements for high school graduation or transfer to a Division I school. That would allow signees who were not early entrants to participate in summer drills being held virtually during the coronavirus pandemic.
The committee also granted waivers of recruiting rules effective May 11 to make them more flexible during the dead period the group imposed, which currently lasts through May 31.
The group also committed to make a final decision on an extension of the recruiting dead period through June 30 at the group’s May 13 meeting. The dead period began in March to protect the health, safety and well-being of prospective student-athletes and their families, as well as coaches. NCAA Chief Medical Officer Dr. Brian Hainline addressed the group and discussed the resocialization of sports guidelines released last week to help guide their decision-making.
A decision to extend the dead period to June 30 would be especially impactful on summer evaluation events in both football and basketball. Many of the top prospect camps for both sports are traditionally held in June.
Several of the recruiting rules changes were designed to enhance the “virtual visits” currently taking place. For instance , any school staff member may participate in recruiting calls between a countable coach and a recruit. In normal circumstances, only coaches, and a few others in limited situations, may communicate with uncommitted prospective student-athletes via telephone or video calls.
The committee also lifted the restriction on the number of uncommitted prospective student-athletes (and their family members) who may participate in a recruiting call with a countable coach.
As noted, current student-athletes may now participate in recruiting calls with coaches, as long as that time counts against the eight hours of countable athletics related activity that the committee permitted in all sports earlier this spring. The move is intended to provide prospective student-athletes with virtual experiences like what they would have been able to experience during a campus visit. The flexibility begins Monday for all sports and applies only as long as the COVID-19 recruiting dead period lasts.
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