New rules = new ways to recruit

New rules = new ways to recruit

Football

New rules = new ways to recruit

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By Will Vandervort.

By Will Vandervort

When Dabo Swinney looked at his cell phone after Clemson’s upset win over LSU in the Chick-fil-A Bowl on New Year’s Eve, he had more than 200 congratulatory text messages.

Clemson’s head coach pointed out he was glad he had that many friends who cared enough about him to send him a message like that and that “it is a good thing.”

But when he thinks about how overwhelming it is for him to get that many messages on only certain days, he wonders how college football recruits over the next couple of years will handle getting that many text messages every day.

With the NCAA’s new recruiting guidelines set to take place in August, schools will be able to contact a prospect as many times and as many days and different ways as they want. Coaches or personnel staff will be able to send unlimited text and social media messages to a prospect as well as call him as many times as they want.

“That’s going to be every day, all day,” Swinney said. “It is never going to stop. You don’t have to take somebody’s call, but the text messages are going to roll in.”

Schools will also be able to mail as many printed material to prospects as well. The new rules are going to subsequently change the way the recruiting game is being played.

Another rule will allow anyone in the football office, not just coaches, to recruit a player, which means schools are going to have to form a recruiting department, which will house its own personnel. If not, it can risk falling behind.

“I think Clemson is one of those programs that will have to make a decision on the direction we want to go,” Swinney said. “Do we want to continue to be elite or be satisfied on being pretty good because the rules are going to drastically change the way business is done.”

Recruiting coordinator Jeff Scott says he will work with Swinney on trying to find creative ways to utilize the new rules.

“I get excited listening to Coach Swinney talk about the new staffing and everything that we are going to have to hire here at Clemson,” he said. “I will sit back, along with our staff, and really think about that and try to be creative in some of the stuff that we do because that is going to open that up.”

Swinney has seen changes coming in recruiting for a couple of years now, and he has tried to stay out in front of the whole subject.

“Basically what they have done is deregulated everything,” he said. “Everybody can spend their money in the way they want to spend it. What’s going to happen is these major programs, and we certainly have the wherewithal here, they’re going to create personnel departments. It’s that simple.

“Everybody can recruit. Everybody in your building can recruit so I have some really quality people here already that can’t leave the campus, but they can get back to recruiting. It will be great for Brad Scott to be able to get on the phone and Woody McCorvey. They are some pretty established guys.

“You are going to have programs, and you already have some, that have enormous support staff and a lot of finances committed to that support staff,” he continued. “Not a little finance, but a lot of it. Now those guys are all going to be able recruit and that’s only one part of it.”

Swinney says the new personnel department at these schools will have everyone evaluating, recruiting, calling recruits and texting them.

“There is no limit on communication based on what they are saying,” he said. “Everybody is going to be doing this stuff. It is going to be crazy.”

And that’s what has Swinney and Scott concerned when it comes to the prospects.

“I think 10 years from now we are going to all look at it and go, ‘What have we created?’ If we could just go back to the way it used to be, I think it would be a lot easier for the prospect and for the coaches,” Scott said. “But that’s society and that’s where we are. It is changing. If you don’t keep up with it, you will get left behind.

“We are definitely going to be studying those rules between now and August and find ways to better market Clemson using those new rules.”

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