SEC submits recommendations to NCAA
OMAHA, Neb. -- The Southeastern Conference recently submitted recommendations to the NCAA in an effort to modernize and streamline football recruiting nationally, the league's commissioner said Tuesday.
Proposed by the SEC after its coaches and administrators met four weeks ago in Destin, Fla., the changes include a lift on the NCAA's four-year-long text-messaging ban from coaches to recruits and a modification of the contact and evaluation periods.
SEC commissioner Mike Slive said the league sent a letter detailing its recommendations in response to a request from the Recruiting and Athletics Personnel Issues Cabinet.
"It was a result of meetings and legislation that we were already discussing and, in some instances, had already started to implement within the SEC," Slive said during the College World Series finals between South Carolina and Florida. "And ultimately, its goal is just to modernize the current rules, catch up to technology and society and to make a confusing process easier not only on the schools but the prospects and their families."
A summary of the letter sent by the SEC to the NCAA was obtained by CBS Sports and published Tuesday on its website.
Slive told ESPN.com that the SEC also supports an earlier start date for official visits, currently allowed after July 31. Additionally, he said, the SEC has passed legislation to preclude league coaches from hosting or attending seven-on-seven football events. The SEC plans to sponsor national legislation to follow the same guidelines, Slive said.
The text-messaging ban has remained in place since Aug. 1, 2007.
"It's time to revisit that," Slive said, "to better come into line with the form of communication that young people use."
The commissioner said the SEC also recommended that the NCAA permit any staff member to receive calls from prospects and their families.
The league suggested that the NCAA consider combining the contact and evaluation periods. Such a change would allow coaches to speak with prospects off campus during spring evaluations and prevent pre-arranged "bumps" between coaches and prospects, which are legal but difficult to legislate.
"There's a contact period, evaluation period, dead period, quiet period," Slive said. "Let's take a look at that. I mean, do we need all of those? Are there ways to make it easier and do it in a manner so that the student prospect isn't subject to an onslaught?"
Another suggestion dealt with social media. Explained in the CBS Sports report, the SEC proposed that college staffers receive clearance to accept followers on Twitter and Facebook friend requests without an OK from compliance officials.
Mitch Sherman is a senior writer for ESPN.com. Ryan McGee is a senior writer for ESPN The Magazine.