NCAA D1 Reconfiguration?
NCAA D1 Reconfiguration?
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Coaches to debate combines
The recruiting process will be a hot topic at the annual convention of college football coaches.
Alan Schmadtke | Sentinel Staff Writer
Posted January 9, 2006
Wary of sapping control from high school coaches – or concerned about making recruiting a longer, more difficult process than it already is – football's major-college coaches will consider how to handle combines for high school players at their annual convention this week in Dallas.
Two types of non-high school gatherings are becoming prevalent for athletes hoping to play Division I-A football, combines hosted by recruiting services and camps put on by I-A coaching staffs away from their campus. Both will be debated this week, according to coaches planning on attending the I-A coaches meeting this week.
The combines, which charge up to $400 for each athlete, have become popular with players and coaches. Players, who run 40-yard sprints, lift weights and have their heights and weights measured, like the fact they can get their numbers out to a big audience, particularly if there is recent improvement to mark.
Coaches are happy because the combines allow them to scout a large number of players in one location.
Camps are more hands-on. NCAA rules permit college coaches to hold or work camps away from campus. Like combines, such camps afford coaches a time and place to watch prospective recruits up close.
Both the combines and the camps effectively limit the control that high school coaches have on their athletes and on the recruiting process. Some college coaches are concerned about the football recruiting process becoming more like the ones in basketball and baseball, sports in which high school coaches are less important than youth-league coaches or other sets of outsiders.
"We don't want football to get like basketball," UCF Coach George O'Leary said. "We've seen how that's gotten. We need to get control before it gets out of hand."
USC Coach Pete Carroll isn't as concerned.
"I don't get involved in those [combines], but if they give more exposure to the players, that's probably a good thing," Carroll said. "I think the bottom line is about the work load. Some guys don't want to have to go, but that takes away from the coaches that do want to go the extra mile and outwork the next guy for a player."
Coaches could not do anything to eliminate the combines. They can recommend that coaches be prohibited from attending them. They also can recommend coaches not be permitted to work skill camps.
Also this week, coaches:
Will deliver their first-year impressions of releasing their Top 25 votes to the general public. There was little controversy over the top two teams (USC and Texas) because they were the only two unbeatens after the regular season. BCS officials have said they would like the AFCA to increase the number of coaches who vote but coaches have been resistant.
Will debate the merits of five years of eligibility for I-A football players. Coaches in the past have supported it, believing that recent increases in academic standards will allow players more time to blend football and school.
Would like to stem the migration from Division II. Many schools are opting to move to I-AA for more visibility. The NCAA is already looking at possible reconfigurations of Division I.
Any NCAA proposals that come out of the convention are merely recommendations. They would not be voted on by NCAA leaders until at least February 2007, according to the NCAA's legislative cycle.
Alan Schmadtke can be reached at [email protected]