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The Loop

Recruiting only the start of NCAA changes

December 05, 2010

Recruiting calendars will be the focus of discussion at both the Golf Coaches Association of America and that National Golf Coaches Association's national conventions, which begin in earnest tomorrow in Las Vegas—as I type I'm about to jump on a plane for Nevada to see what's in store. Hearing and reading reactions from coaches about the issue leading up to the conventions, it's obvious that there will be some lively debate and, I'm guessing, some true concerns on the parts of many about the proposals that will be forwarded for recommendation by the associations.

Lets be clear though on at least one thing: the status quo of changing nothing and having no restrictions on recruiting is not an option at this point. The NCAA Division I Recruiting and Athletics Personnel Cabinet wasn't just trying to see how quickly coaches' associations can do paper work when it made the request of these groups for proposals to amend the current recruiting models. The cabinet is indeed going to make changes, whether coaches like it or not. It only behooves the associations of all sports affected, then, to make their own voices heard as to how they would like to see the changes be made. In jumping through the hoops the GCAA and NGCA have in the past several weeks, at least they can feel like they've had a say in the matter (provided of course the NCAA actually listens to their ideas).

Meanwhile my guess is that this is only the proverbial tip of the iceberg. Changes to recruiting I believe are just the first step in a process that will include reforms in several other areas that potentially will affect golf in a significant ways. Sources involved in the process of drafting proposals for the recruiting calendar have noted their believe that days of competition and seasons of competition are topics that could well be reviewed in the coming years.

As the former president at the University of Washington, new NCAA president Mark Emmert (above) knows full well the financial challenges that face colleges and universities. Don't be foolish, then, to think that bloated athletic department budgets aren't as much a concern as student-athlete well being in how the NCAA proceeds in the future—and that wholesale shifts in how college athletics operate aren't going to be up for discussion.