One Coach Likes The Saban Rule

The Travelers Championship PGA Tour Celebrity Pro-Am event at the TPC River Highlands in Cromwell, Connecticut, last week included Connecticut Coach Randay Edsall, who was among several celebrities sharing comments on Alabama football related subjects.

Randy Edsall, head football coach, University of Connecticut – a supporter of the "Saban Rule" prohibiting the head football coach from making off-campus recruiting visits during the spring evaluation period. The rule got its name from Alabama Coach Nick Saban's ambitious schedule in visiting high schools during the spring non-contact period in his first spring at Bama in 2007.

"I didn't know it was the ‘Saban Rule.' I think it's a great rule."

He favors the rule because, "I think that rule is being abused. It put the coaches in a really tough position because high school coaches would want to have kids meet the coach and everything else. I thought it was a rule that we're not allowed to have contact in the spring so this way it didn't give anybody an advantage. If you went out and did the right thing and other people happened to talk to kids it made it a situation where some schools might have been at a disadvantage."

Edsall's main objection to the head football coach visiting high schools in the spring - "It's not a contact period so why do the head coaches need to be out? That's where your assistants go out and get all the information. They can go out and get all the information that you should have because in the springtime it's about evaluation. It's not about contact."

Coach Edsall's counter offer to college football head coaches believing in the idea of visiting the high school coaches to build deeper relationships and recruiting issues. - "You can get on the phone and call them. You're going to meet the high school coaches during the contact period. I think there's a lot of things in recruiting that needs to change. I think kids shouldn't be offered scholarships until August 1 going into their senior year. I think what we've done to these young people in terms of putting pressure on them making them bigger than really what they are with all this media attention that they get - most of these kids, sixteen and seventeen year old kids can't handle it. So I think the whole recruiting system needs to be revamped before it really gets out of control."

Coach Edsall on changing some of the NCAA rules - "I think there are a lot of things that have to be done from a recruiting standpoint. I really do. I think it's getting out of hand with all the early offers and all the identifying kids. You don't have all the information on kids in terms of academics, in terms of a lot of different things. I wish we could keep the evaluation period the way we have it in May. Have your camps. Get the final transcripts and don't offer kids until August 1 going into their senior year because I think there is too much pressure and I think there is to much attention drawn to the student-athletes in high school at to early of an age.

On scheduling SEC schools in the future - Vanderbilt (2010 and at Vandy 2011) and Tennessee (2015 and at Tennessee 2016) are presently on the schedule – "We've got Tennessee and we'll probably look into some different schools to play from down in the Southeastern Conference. We've got Tennessee in a home and home. Our schedule is pretty much booked up until the 2013, 2014 in that range so long range we'll probably look at a few more SEC schools."

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