Only have time for a quick note on this and a few thoughts, but CBSSports.com is reporting that the SEC is proposing major changes to the rules for college football recruiting, most of which would undo or overhaul current restrictions. This isn't exactly small peanuts, at least not in the always-granular world of what is and isn't a recruiting violation; we're talking getting rid of the Urban Meyer rule, largely eliminating the bump rule, and the like.
In addition to allowing for earlier official visits and earlier contact between coaches and recruits, here are some of the big ones:
Getting rid of the "Urban Meyer rule." This is the restriction on text messaging that got at least some of its momentum from the Florida coach's pre-Zen habit of peppering recruits with text messages.
In talking with several administrators from other conferences, there should be plenty of support if the SEC puts forth a proposal to allow texting. The letter does note that while the conference's position is to allow texts, there should be limits in order to not overwhelm prospective recruits.
That seems like a healthy compromise of sorts. No one wants a coach to spend hours every day texting recruits, overwhelming them with SMS messages about the latest piece of equipment in the weight room. Besides, that wouldn't leave Houston Nutt with time to text message local news anchors about the football team.
Essentially dumping the bump rule. This is a little bit more complicated that simply jettisoning a rule; it works by consolidating the number of recruiting periods and all the various rules connected with those. But it's aimed at the bump rule, and CBSSports.com summarizes the upshot.
Coaches would be able to talk to players freely when they visit campuses in the spring and it wouldn't be all that surprising to see the number of verbal commitments to skyrocket as recruits commit when a coach comes to visit.
Nick Saban should be pleased.
Social media rules. I didn't realize that the NCAA was this draconian when it came to regulating Twitter and Facebook -- though it doesn't surprise me. The NCAA has always thought that reality should follow its rules, rather than the other way around.
Current rules force compliance to monitor follower requests on Twitter and friend requests on Facebook sent to institutional staffers (coaches, administrators, etc.).
Those rules don't make a lot of sense and -- as the SEC apparently notes -- takes away compliance staff time that could be used on other things. Like making sure that players aren't selling their Independence Bowl jerseys, for example.
Whether any of these changes take effect or whether it's just an opening salvo for the SEC to get some smaller movement on these ideas isn't clear. But either way, it could cause major ripples in the arcane world of recruiting rules.