Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

NCAA Football: Deregulation Is A Move Away From Football Socialism

The NCAA Division 1 Board of Directors expects to pass major rules changes for college football at this weekend’s NCAA Convention. In all, 26 rule changes have been proposed so far, and most are expected to pass with little resistance. These proposals are a significant step towards deregulation and are, according to the NCAA, designed to move away from the focus on “competitive equity,” or parity, to acknowledging that some programs simply are larger and have more appeal.

For years the NCAA has added rules to the game designed to create a sense of parity, but the current proposals will allow more freedom in many areas which could create a bigger competitive advantage for major programs. This move away from “competitive equity” toward a fair competition model is explained on the NCAA website with a comment saying that current rules produced “too many rules that are not meaningful, enforceable or contributory to student-athlete success. The shift to a fair competition model acknowledges that natural advantages exist between campuses that cannot – and should not – be regulated.”

One major change would allow non-coaching staff members to contact recruits — a function previously reserved for specific members of the coaching staff. Larger, more lucrative programs could build entire departments devoted to player-personnel functions. Other changes would remove restrictions on the amount of communication to recruits by the staff and eliminate the restriction on the number of coaches allowed to recruit off-campus at a given time.

Another rule would allow signed recruits to be employed by camps and clinics conducted by the schools. Some resistance is likely for this proposal because smaller programs without strong off-season camps or clinics would not be able to employ as many recruits as larger programs.

The NCAA revises rules regularly. Last year, rule changes focused on safety issues  which we detailed on in an article. These new proposals come with a two-year period where the changes can be evaluated and tweaked as needed. You can review all of the proposed changes by reading the NCAA’s summary online.

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