Connelly for Commissioner Let’s Fix Recruiting

As commissioner, I will ...

3. Make recruiting fairer for everybody, especially the athletes.

I like to think I know what I’m talking about regarding a lot of different aspects of college football. But I’m not going to pretend to be an A-grade expert when it comes to recruiting. Luckily, I know someone who is. We'll put him in charge of recruiting.

To talk about what changes need to be made to the college football recruiting process, in early April, I turned to SB Nation’s recruiting czar, Bud Elliott, in podcast form.

Based on this conversation, here are some of the conclusions we reached about how to improve recruiting.

  • Mandate that schools automatically let a player go if a pre-specified coach (head coach, coordinator, and perhaps position coach or chief/area recruiter) leaves. Too many coaches were leaving after Signing Day in February already, and now there's an additional signing period in December, right in the middle of the coaching carousel.
  • Investigate the effects of the new early signing period and weigh the potential of adding more space between the current December and February periods, to give athletes and schools more time. That might mean moving the early period up to late July ... or it might mean moving the late period back to May or June.
  • If cost-effective, expand the number of official visits a recruit can take from five to seven. Recruits can take their visits earlier now; we should give them more opportunities to weigh their options.
  • Or, if increasing official visits isn’t an option, increase the number of opportunities a coach has to visit a prospect. Make sure both coach and prospect are gathering the information they need to gather.
  • Alter the academic redshirt in one of two ways: either eliminate ninth grade graders from the "who has to take an academic redshirt" equation (to account for later bloomers who end up finding football as a way out of tough situations) or allow schools to take on one academic redshirt case per year who does not count toward either their 85-scholarship limit or their 25-man annual limit. Students should be encouraged to use athletics as a way to advance their situations, and schools should not be discouraged from taking risks on such students, as long as those students progress academically once in college.
  • Undo regulations that high school coaches can’t be paid to take prospects to football camps and that high school coaches associated with certain recruits can’t get hired by colleges. These rules deny some coaches of actual opportunities, and working through middlemen and "uncles" doesn’t clean the process up any.
Let’s make the process work a little better for everybody, not just the coaches and five-stars

A few other proposals on this commissioner platform would obviously affect recruiting.

Deployingthe Olympic model for player compensation, for instance, might steer recruits toward schools with more endorsement opportunities. A spoiler, though: they’re the same schools that get most of the blue-chippers already.

Meanwhile, one potential effect of the Olympic model is that some players might decide that being the big fish at a smaller school is a better way to stand out.

Other effects of this platform:

  • Promotion and relegation would dictate that schools moving up would have more scholarships to offer, while schools moving down would have fewer.
  • Any school electing not to agree to licensing with the new EA NCAA Football game might encounter a disadvantage among potential recruits who want to play as themselves on the game.
  • Playoff expansion would give more schools a chance at a Playoff-related recruiting bump.
  • A bill of rights would ensure that recruits are starting out on the fairest possible ground, no matter where they commit.

Connelly for Commissioner