Tuesday, April 12, 2011

NCAA banning colleges from subscribing to some recruiting websites

According to NBC's College Football Talk blog, the NCAA has banned colleges from subscribing to the popular recruiting website, rivals.com

The popular ncpreps.com website is part of the rivals network.

According to the NBC site, the move comes after some street agents who sell "scouting services" to college for profit got some schools, such as Oregon and LSU, into hot water.

It notes that John Infante, assistant director of compliance at Loyola Marymount, noted on his popular NCAA Bylaw Blog, said the NCAA has banned schools from subscribing to Rivals. The NCAA views it more as a scouting service now than media.

This rule applies to all similar recruiting sites that use paywalls, like scout.com and espn.com team sites.

The NCAA is now requiring colleges that maintain subscriptions moving forward to report them as secondary violations.

Infante says the reason the NCAA has changed its view is because these recruiting sites offer video of non-scholastic competition not available to the general public; things like 7-on-7 tournaments for football.

Some other reporters, like Bryan Fischer of CBSsports.com, say some of the team-specific sites share information with coaches that some of the paying members to a site might not be privy to.

But one thing I found most interesting in Infante's blog post: he advocates boosting the role of non-scholastic activities in the recruiting process beyond the high school coach.

He writes:

"The NCAA should let go of high school athletics as the primary way prospects prepare themselves for intercollegiate competition. The entire of Bylaw 13 should be scrapped and rebuilt, reflecting the new reality that non-scholastic sports have overtaken high school sports in recruiting. This includes rethinking recruiting calendars to the non-scholastic schedule, changing contact rules to counter the influence of third parties, and altering inducement regulations to reflect the payoffs and under the table deals prevalent in club sports.

"And by focusing on non-scholastic sports, the NCAA can become a force to improve them. Preference in recruiting calendars could be given to leagues and organizations that operate according to certain standards. iHoops could spawn a rival to the AAU circuit for talent and development that surpasses it in transparency. And 7-on-7 football could be built in the image of what the NCAA would prefer and what college coaches need, not in image of grassroots organizers and investors."

What do you think?