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New college football rules for recruiting and summer access and their impact on Kansas
The NCAA on Wednesday adopted and released the details of five new football rules pertaining to offseason recruiting and coaches' access to players during the summer.
According to a news release, the rules are effective immediately and, at a program like Kansas which is in the middle of a rebuilding project, may have an immediate impact.
The new rules include:
• 1 • Allowing football players to participate in eight hours per week of required weight training and conditioning during the summer. Up to two of the eight hours can consist of film review.
• 2 • Prohibiting school staff members from attending all-star games or activities associated with those games, which prohibits in-person contact by coaches from the time an athlete arrives at such an event until the time they return home.
• 3 • Establishing an extended dead period when no in-person recruiting can take place in December and January. For 2013-14, Dec. 16 through Jan. 15 is now a dead period.
• 4 • Establishing a 14-day dead period in late June and early July for FBS schools.
• 5 • Allowing schools to pay for meals for up to four family members who accompany a recruit on an official visit. Previously, schools were allowed to pay for meals for the recruit, his parents/legal guardians and spouse or children but not siblings or other family members.
Here's a quick look at how these rules may affect KU:
Rule No. 1 certainly will not hurt anyone and could actually stand to help a program like Kansas, which would benefit from as much time as possible for player development of its athletes — new and old — in the ongoing effort to close the gap between KU and the rest of the Big 12.
Rule No. 2 takes away a valuable recruiting tool because coaches often benefit, in terms of relationships, from supporting athletes at all-star games and, oh so rarely, can stumble upon unknown talent at such events.
Rule No. 3 is the biggest blow to the current KU program — and those like it — because if a team does not make a bowl and therefore is not practicing during the new dead period (Dec. 16 through Jan. 15) it no longer can make up time on the recruiting trail while bowl teams are busy practicing. In addition, it severely limits the role Allen Fieldhouse can and does play in football recruiting.
Rule No. 4 hurts Kansas a little because very few head coaches are as actively involved in going out on the road to recruit as Charlie Weis is and this takes away a two-week advantage he had on several coaches.
And Rule No. 5 is one that can only help recruiting because it will make life easier on several prospects and encourage more family members to join athletes on visits, which gives coaches more people to connect with.
None of these (aside from No. 3) are earth-shattering for college football but they will create a period of adjustment, as is the case with most rule changes.
Weis and his staff already work meticulously to maximize every minute of allowed recruiting time and, no doubt, will continue to do so. But functioning under the new rules will require even more organization, focus and strategy, all of which appear to be strengths of the KU coaches on the recruiting trail.