AUSTIN, Texas -- Alabama was the first across the threshold when the NCAA decided to throw open the door and allow football programs to hire unlimited personnel specifically devoted to recruiting.
Texas has decided to follow closely behind the Crimson Tide.
"Alabama is ahead of all of us with the number of personnel that they’ve hired," said Texas coach Mack Brown. "And that’s something that everybody is looking very closely at."
Texas has gone beyond looking and is now acting. The Longhorns posted a job for a director of player personnel Thursday. Alabama hired former Baylor coach Kevin Steels as its director of player personnel last week.
The hirings are made possible by the NCAA’s efforts to deregulate what had been perceived as unwieldy legislation as it pertains to recruiting. (Also included in the deregulation are such things as the removal of restrictions on text messages, dead periods and once a week phone calls.)
"There is a lot of discussion about an overriding committee that will slow some of this down this spring," Brown said. "And that some of the rules might change and that they might just hold them right now. Everybody has been a little all over the place. Where’s it going? What’s going to happen? How many personnel will they let you have?"
Texas decided not to wait on too many answers. Instead the Longhorns, who have some of the deepest pockets in the nation, have decided to stay ahead of the curve, all the while believing that administrative staffs may be reigned back in by next year.
"Some (programs) don’t have as much money, and those are things that NCAA, athletic directors and presidents are going to have to look at very closely," Brown said. "I think what we will see is more sense will be put into those rules."
Knowing there are likely to be more changes and at least some restrictions put back in place, Brown and Texas are not willing to start hiring an abundance of personnel, because any additions might quickly have to be subtracted if the rules are to change again.
"It’s confusing right now across the country to people in our business as to exactly where it is headed, and everybody is talking about it," Brown said.
What Texas is talking about is hiring someone who will allow the program to step back into the lead in recruiting.
"What we feel like it needs to be is as good a recruiting coordinator as there is in the country," Brown said. "That would mean a guy that can look at the new rules and see what can we send out. And be the best.
"At one time we were the best in media guides and we were the best in our website, and I don’t think we are right now and we need to get back to that," he added. "That’s who this person we think needs to be."
There will also be a heavy social media component involved in the position, as well as the aggregating and distribution of video.
"Every kid is on Twitter. Every kid is on Facebook. Now they are jumping on Instagram," Brown said. "It’s just changing so fast that we feel like there is a person out there that can help do a better job with our process."
But first Texas has to start the process of making a hire. The Longhorns took the first step toward doing that Thursday.