Do recruiting rules changes help or hurt OSU?

A RULES CHANGE this offseason means no college coaches can attend the various camps and combines that generally run from January to June. On top of another change that has garnered far more press, that head coaches are not allowed on the road during the May Evaluation period, will the end result be a help or a hindrance to Oregon State recruiting efforts?

The argument can be made that camps and combines being off-limits to college coaches actually helps Oregon State.

College recruiters used to be able to see, roughly, somewhere around 200 senior-to-be prospects on a Saturday through the camps and combines.

That's a lot of birds with one stone -- when you consider that during the week, a really good day for a coach is visiting seven high schools.

So the rule could help produce more hidden gems this class, ones that as many college recruiters either won't come across or, at least, won't come across as early as has been the case in years past. Sure, there will be still be reports of what happened at the camps and combines, but most schools want to see a guy themselves. That could help a school like OSU.

And it would in turn put even more of a premium on staffs to be adept at evaluation and projection, and rewarding those prescient enough to do so.

The flip side to that coin is that for a hard working staff, there's a governor placed on their recruiting efforts this spring -- a ceiling is now in placed on how many recruits they can see during the crucial May Evaluation period. That makes life more difficult.

WHY DID both rules, which were passed at the January NCAA convention, come into play? And why is it such a contradiction from college basketball?

After all, college basketball head coaches and recruiters are right now out en force, and all remain able to attend the offseason AAU tournaments. There doesn't seem to be an answer for that inherent contradiction between the two sports.

Some were initially saying two SEC coaches, who would have rather stayed home, were behind the head coach rules change. But most of the national media has since been referring to the rule that prohibits head coaches from being on the road as the "Saban rule".

The grumbling has been that Alabama's Nick Saban had been the biggest violator of the "no-bump" rule of recruits during the spring.

The rule is that no coach can have direct face-to-face off campus contact with prospects at this time of year -- any contact is to be unintentional and brief. But some head coaches' proclivity "bumping" into recruits has apparently drawn the ire of their brethren.

And forget about Saban for a moment -- other coaches outside the SEC have long complained about varied coaches who violate that rule. The Arkansas Times had a seemingly innocuous mention a couple years ago that bears that out. Because after all, "brief" is a term open to interpretation.

In the spring of '06, it came to be at Pulaski Academy, a school in Arkansas, that an announcement was made by the school one day that any student wanting to come by the gym was welcome to meet USC coach Pete Carroll.

It just so happened that Broderick Green, the 4-star, No. 12 rated running back prospect in the nation, attended Pulaski. He later signed with Carroll and USC.

REGARDLESS OF WHY the two rules were implemented, both rules are in place, at least for this year. And how Oregon State approaches them will go a long ways towards producing the makeup of their recruiting class.

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