Rhoads on soapbox regarding campus visit rules

Big 12 Football Media Day

Section 13 of the current NCAA Manual is titled “Recruiting” and it takes up about a quarter of the pages in the book of rules and regulations for college athletics. There aren’t many topics in college sports that get debated more than recruiting.

As the ink dries on the National Letters of Intent (NLIs) signed Wednesday, some people are continuing their discussions about potential rule changes for recruiting. The NLI program is administered by a group called the Conference Commissioner’s Association, a 32-member panel of league administrators.

Among the proposals that group is studying are: an early signing period (for football), unlimited text messaging to recruits, an additional contact with a prospect the in the spring and a new definition for the “bump” rule (when a coach “bumps” into a prospect outside of a visit).

There is another proposal that Iowa State Coach Paul Rhoads wants addressed, and quickly. Football programs cannot currently pay for parents or guardians to come on campus visits with their sons.

“There aren’t many people in this room – that when they were 18 – would make a big decision like this (where to attend college) by themselves,” Rhoads said at his signing day news conference.

Rhoads and his staff recruit the entire nation and showcasing the campus, university and football team to parents as well as prospects is how the Cyclones like to market their product.

“I continue to push hard – you gave me the opportunity to get on a soapbox (with your question) – that the rule has got to change so it allows program to bring in parents and/or guardians on these visits,” Rhoads said Monday. “When it comes time to make a decision (and the athlete asks) ‘what do think mom and dad…’”

The answer shouldn’t be that the parents never saw campus or met the coaches.

Rhoads wants families involved with every step of the recruiting process. There isn’t much of an argument against that logic, especially when some sports are already doing so.

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