NCAA board rescinds camps and clinics rule
The NCAA Division I Board of Directors rescinded a rule Thursday that prohibits Football Bowl Subdivision coaches from holding or working at camps and clinics away from their school.
The rule was adopted earlier this month by the Division I Council.
The board has also directed the council to carry out a broad assessment of the FBS recruiting environment.
The so-called camps and clinics rule received widespread attention after it was adopted earlier this month with supporters contending the rule would keep coaches on campus with current student-athletes and steer recruiting toward the classrooms. Detractors say the camps provide opportunities for students who haven’t been previously recruited to get noticed by high-profile coaches and possibly receive scholarships.
The board’s action now means the camps and clinics rule currently in place is no longer in effect and football coaches may be employed at any camp as long it follows the Division I camps and clinics rule.
“The Board of Directors is interested in a holistic review of the football recruiting environment, and camps are a piece of that puzzle,” said Board of Directors chair Harris Pastides, president of the University of South Carolina. “We share the Council’s interest in improving the camp environment, and we support the Council’s efforts to create a model that emphasizes the scholastic environment as an appropriate place for recruiting future student-athletes.”
The board has asked the council to consider the entire recruiting model, also including potential modifications to camps and clinics participation.
Council chair Jim Phillips, member of the board and athletics director at Northwestern University, says the board’s decision will give the council an opportunity to review the recruiting environment in a more thorough way.
“It’s clear that the membership has differing views on this subject, and the Council appreciates the Board’s insights into this important issue,” Phillips said. “This review will provide an opportunity to identify the most effective ways prospective student-athletes can have their academic and athletic credentials evaluated by schools across the country."
The rule was accepted after members of the Division I Council carried out a weighted vote (two votes each for the Atlantic Coast, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12 and SEC conferences and one vote for Conference-USA, the American Athletic, Mid-American, Mountain West and Sun Belt conferences) that came out 10-5.
In the past, coaches have used camps and clinics of the sort to provide skill instruction to young people and to generate revenue. Actual recruiting activities are prohibited at camps and clinics, and the events have not been subject to recruiting calendars. Leading up to present day, the camps and clinics have become commonly viewed as a recruitment tool.
The camps and clinics system also saw change in 2008 when a rule change prohibited FBS coaches from evaluating prospects during “live” non-scholastic football activities. The general perception was that the rule was intended to reduce the influence of third-parties in recruiting, while others believe it only served to increase the pressure on coaches to use the camps as a way to identify future talent. Some coaches have even broadened their recruiting approach by working at camps held by other schools, including Football Championship Subdivision schools.
The board says initial recommendations for improving the college football recruiting environment from the council are due by Sept. 1, which is the deadline for legislative concepts to be submitted ahead of the upcoming season.