The Auburn`Tiger Prowl’ limo sits in front of Hoover High School April, 2009
The NCAA passed a new rule Thursday night banning schools from using limos or extravagant busses on recruiting trips. You might as well call it the “Auburn Rule”. The rules have been that schools could send out seven coaches, during the Spring four week evaluation period .
As most of the nation knows by now, Auburn has been sending four to six coaches out in limos, concentrating on one area at a time. The new rule will prohibit more than two assistant coaches from visiting a recruit at the same time or in the same day. Never mind that the coaches are already prohibited from talking to the recruits, but rather must confine their visits to principals, coaches, and counselors.
Heretofore the NCAA have crafted their rules to prevent schools from gaining undue advantages, by using money, gifts, dates etc. , to attract a recruit’s interest. Now , they are taking a step further by essentially saying that programs can not be innovative in creating interest in their schools. Isn’t that really the meaning behind the word “recruitment”, to ”create interest” in the school? These Tiger Prowls have done that for all prospective students … not just the athletes.
Auburn High’s Head Coach Tim Carter said this week that the kids in his school, were buzzing about the Auburn Coaches impending visit. And that’s the point … create interest. He further said “If it draws attention in a way that gets people talking, I think it’s worthwhile.” That’s exactly what Hoover High Head Coach, Josh Niblett said happened at his school in 2009, ” People kept calling all day, asking ‘What time are they gonna be here’ ?”
So what’s the big deal? Does several coaches arriving at a school in a limousine give a school an undue advantage? Are the prospective recruits receiving any illegal rewards by the fact they are aware several coaches arrived at their school, and that they did so by limo? The answer to both questions are no and no.
I work part time at a local high school and I know of one SEC Head Coach that visited our school by helicopter. The kids were all a buzz about it too. It was an unusual innovative way to make his appearance. Everyone thought it was neat. Should the NCAA ban the coaches from arriving at schools in helicopters? What about 4 wheelers, go carts, or how about on horse back?
I try to be positive in the articles I post , but this action folks can only be described as ludicrous. Just some more bureaucrats coming up with nonsense rules, like this year’s new celebration rule. Don’t these guys have anything better to do?