Could an NCAA rule amendment change the way schools recruit?

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Whether it’s college basketball or college football, the NCAA has worked hard in recent years to limit the effect that “go-betweens” have on the recruiting process.

Has it worked? That’s certainly up for debate, but more change could be on the horizon should the NCAA go through with a proposed amendment to its rules on who can recruit.

Currently in college basketball only the head coach and the three assistants are allowed to handle recruiting, from the phone calls and letters to home visits (and prospective student-athlete visits as well).

According to Steve Yanda of the Washington Post, the NCAA’s desire to shrink their large rulebook could lead to the elimination of the rule that allows only the head and assistant coaches to participate in recruiting.

The NCAA Rules Working Group has proposed that this rule be eliminated, allowing staff members now known as directors of operations or directors of player personnel to watch film of a prospect or to contact a prospect’s coach or guardian.

Off-campus recruiting — such as in-person evaluations and visits to a prospect’s home — would still be limited to head coaches and assistants. The amendment, if passed, would go into effect Aug. 1, 2013.

That could very well mean the addition of another position to coaching staffs, one in which a general manager-like figure is able to take on recruiting tasks as their sole responsibility.

But will this move truly eliminate the prospect of coaches and go-betweens that the NCAA does not want involved in the process having influence?

“The NCAA really wants to avoid non-coaches from being the beginning and end-all of recruiting,” said Mike Farrell, the lead football recruiting analyst for Rivals.com. “They don’t want AAU basketball. And the AAU model has been those AAU coaches are the guys that really determine where kids go to college. They handle most of the recruiting, and some of them are good; some of them are unscrupulous.

“If you allow schools to have non-positional coaches recruiting kids, then who’s to say that colleges aren’t going to start hiring a local seven-on-seven coach who’s tied into the area and has relationships with all the kids, and he can start working the phones?”

If this were to happen it’s likely that the NCAA would need to expand its rule that schools hiring someone from a high school, AAU or junior college program connected to a recruit can’t place them in a non-coaching role to this position as well.

Because as Farrell points out in the above quote, if there aren’t stipulations placed on this role more schools would look to pick up the very folks the NCAA is trying to block out.

Raphielle is also the assistant editor at CollegeHoops.net and can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.