NCAA looking to ban early scholarship offers

Apr. 01, 2010 - Los Angeles, CA, USA - 01 April 2010: Head coach Lane Kiffin during a USC spring football practice at the Howard Jones/Brian Kennedy Football Practice Field on the campus of USC in Los Angeles, CA.

The NCAA is reviewing whether or not to ban scholarship offers to recruits before July 1 in the summer between their junior and senior years of high school, according to ESPN.com.

The rule would apply to all sports if passed later this year or next. Some coaches are hopeful it could slow an arms-race mentality that has led to earlier and earlier commitments by unproven prospects.

Two years ago, the National Association of Basketball Coaches said it opposed accepting commitments from students who had not yet completed their sophomore seasons in high school. Jim Haney, the group’s executive director, says he understands the reasoning behind the new proposal.

The proposal would also require coaches to receive a high school transcript documenting at least five semesters or seven quarters of academic work for a recruit before offering a scholarship.

Considering Lane Kiffin recruited a 13-year-old quarterback this past February, I’d say it’s about time that the NCAA did something about this. Kids are easily impressionable and even though being offered an athletic scholarship is a great thing, I’m sure some feel pressured to commit early.

Teams that have always recruited well might not like this proposal, but this is a good thing for everyone involved. Schools can take a longer look at a potential recruit without feeling pressured to get a commitment out of him too early, and the recruit can have more time before deciding where to attend. Hopefully the NCAA follows through with this next year.

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