The Emails: Recruiting Deregulation Did Not Go Over Well in the Big Ten

By Jason Priestas on May 29, 2013 at 3:03 pm
Urban Meyer was not a fan of recruiting deregulation.

In January, the NCAA announced several recruiting rules changes, including unlimited contact, unregulated staff sizes and a wide-open policy on printed materials for recruits. The announcement was met angrily by Big Ten coaches and administrators with Ohio State coach Urban Meyer among the first to speak out against the changes and the league followed by issuing a joint statement from coaches.

Ultimately, the NCAA tabled the three changes that were to bring the most changes, but the Cedar Rapids Gazette followed up with open-records requests and received a text message from Meyer to Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald, among other league background chatter:

“There are already teams that have made plans to have separate scouting depts. [sic]. there has already been nfl scouts that have been told they will be hired to run the dept. (hired for over 200k). I checked with an NFL friend and he confirmed that there was much conversation about this. Appealing to scouts because of no travel. Also, there has been movement to hire Frmr players/coaches with big names to work in that dept. and recruit full time. This will all happen immediately once rule is passed. Thought u should be aware if [sic] this nonsense to share with who u feel can assist.”

Meyer's text led to a an email chain among league coaches and presidents. Commissioner Jim Delany followed up with an email to NCAA President Mark Emmert, expressing concern and hoping the NCAA would delay or table the new rules. Emmert was surprised by the backlash, saying the proposals had been vetted for months by the NCAA's membership committee with only narrow opposition:

“If now the membership doesn’t want some of these changes, fine by me,” Emmert wrote. “But to be honest, I don’t know how the membership wants to make decisions. The process used to make these changes was as open, representative and democratic and I could imagine — other than the old town hall convention model I suppose.” Emmert also mentioned Big Ten staff worked on the group. Michigan State President Lou Anna Simon chairs the NCAA executive committee.”

Complicating matters, Michigan State President Lou Anna Simon was the chair of the NCAA executive committee and she was not happy with what she percieved to be an about-face.

That's so B1G.

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