Stoops calls new recruiting rules 'a circus'

Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops addressed several potential recruiting changes on the horizon during his news conference on Wednesday for national signing day. From early signing day to relaxed recruiting rules, Stoops weighed in on the changing landscape in college football.

Like several of his peers around the country, Stoops is not a big fan of the changes in recruiting rules, particularly Proposal 13-3, which removes restrictions on numerical limitations and modes of recruiting communication. Proposal 13-3 will become a NCAA bylaw on Aug. 1.

Starting with the Class of 2014, college coaches can call, text and communicate privately by any methods available, without restrictions. If a coach wants to call a recruit 10 times a day, he can.

“You will be able to connect with them more, but can you imagine the recruit in school when there are fifty schools trying to get ahold of him and fifty schools texting him?” Stoops wondered. “His phone is going to blow up and his girlfriend is never going to be able to get through to him. It is going to be different; we will see how it goes. I am not in favor of all of it entirely.”

NCAA president Mark Emmert has been focused on streamlining the rules with less regulation with the goal of focusing on the "major" problems as the NCAA tries to enforce its rulebook. Yet, it could open Pandora’s box for recruits who will be inundated with calls, emails and texts as rival coaches strive to out-recruit and outwork each other.

“I think it will be a circus, I am thinking of the student athlete,” Stoops said. “I couldn’t imagine how their phones are going to blow up. Just being able to text him anytime you want. You know how it is in the spring; every school in America is going to be hitting everybody. Then you have the personnel department in the office hitting everybody. I don’t know where it is going to end.”

Another NCAA rule change would allow members of the program other than coaches to contact recruits, giving programs the opportunity to essentially create a personnel department with the ability to contact and recruit players.

“Well, if they deregulate entirely, and that is not for sure that is going to happen since there is still opportunity for presidents and athletic directors to block that, but if they do, then we will have a personnel department like everyone else will,” Stoops said. “We don’t have enough time to talk about what changes that is going to bring. I might have to hire [former Sooners coach Barry] Switzer to come help me. It is going to be different.”

As far as an early signing period, Stoops would only be in favor a mid-December date similar to junior college signing day. An early signing period would save schools money when recruits make an early commitment to sign and never waver in the months leading up to signing day. It would remove the need for coaches to continue to invest resources in recruiting those players even though their decision has been made.

“I think it would be a positive,” he said of a mid-December signing day which would remove six additional weeks from the process. “I wouldn’t be for something in August or September because then your whole recruiting calendar would need to change.”