Recruiting Changes

David Berst of the NCAA told a congressional subcommittee last week that his organization soon will implement legislation that will adopt new restrictions in regard to recruiting. Options include shortening campus visits from 48 hours to 24 hours; prohibiting off-campus entertainment; reducing from five to three or four the number of visits a student now can take; capping university spending on travel, meals and lodging; and requiring athletes to cover the costs for any visits.

The unseemly conduct of recruits during official visits has prompted a quick response from the NCAA.

Last week's congressional hearing was prompted by reports that Colorado football recruits were promised sex, enticed with strippers and taken to off-campus parties.

Colorado school president Elizabeth Hoffman has set new rules prohibiting recruits from attending private parties, requiring adult supervision of recruits at all times and establishing an earlier curfew.

Here in Florida, heralded Miami Carol City prospect Willie Williams was pinned with three criminal charges during his stay in Gainesville. Williams, who signed with the Miami Hurricanes, could land in jail for violating the probation from his most recent of 10 previous arrests.

Williams is currently under house arrest in Miami and his admission into UM is under "suspension."

"We hope it works out the best for this young man," UM coach Larry Coker said last week.

"I think he's a good young man. I was aware that he had had some issues in the past. The specifics? No. The coaches and the people at Pace and Carol City had rave reviews of willie williams. You try to be thorough - as thorough as you can be. I don't have any regrets."

Miami, Florida State and Florida officials say they didn't know about Williams' rap sheet.

Current NCAA rules allow a host $30 a day to spend entertaining a prospect.

At FSU, a host also is limited by a list of rules he is required to read and sign.

That list includes:
Do not provide a prospect with material gifts.
Do not transport a prospect more than 30 miles from campus.
Do not allow in-person recruiting conversations between a prospect and an alumnus and/or booster.
Do not consume alcoholic beverages and then drive; if a prospect is a minor, do NOT offer or make present a situation where alcoholic beverages are served.
Do not use illegal drugs.

Berst also told the congressional subcommittee that the NCAA will soon implement many of Colorado's restrictions, including prohibiting recruits from going to parties, requiring adult supervision at all times and limiting visits to 24 hours.

According to the NCAA database, 31 schools have been penalized for major recruiting violations since 2000. In many cases, coaches gave cash, plane tickets or other banned benefits to the high school athletes or family members.

Nole Digest Top Stories