SoonerScoop (via CBS Sports) is reporting that former Missouri football player Dorial Green-Beckham is currently in Norman, OK meeting with Oklahoma football coaches. There is just one problem with that: it is currently a dead period during which any in-person contact with prospects is prohibited, on- or off-campus.
There is some confusion about whether this applies to Green-Beckham. First, it is a dead period, although this particular dead period is brand new. Proposal 2013–35 was adopted in October which established a 14-day dead period beginning the last Monday in June (unless July 1 is a Monday, then July 1). You can see it on the NCAA’s FBS recruiting calendar (scroll past the confusing words to the handy color-coded calendar).
Second, dead periods apply to potential transfers, although the NCAA does not make that conclusion obvious. A person becomes a prospective student-athlete when they start the ninth grade, regardless of whether they play sports. That status continues until the prospect:
- Enrolls full-time at a four-year college;
- Participates in a regular practice or competition at a four-year college;
- Enrolls in a four-year college’s summer term; or
- Reports to an orientation session open to all students that is within 14 days of the start of a regular term.
At that point, the prospective student-athlete becomes either a regular student or a student-athlete. But when a student-athlete wants to transfer, what happens? The answer is the NCAA’s permission-to-contact rule, which is entitled “Four-Year College Prospective Student-Athletes”:
If permission is granted to contact the student-athlete, all applicable NCAA recruiting rules apply.
Nothing says dead periods do not apply to transfers. An illustrative example is the old men’s basketball phone call rule. Prior to getting unlimited phone calls, men’s basketball coaches could make two calls per week to seniors in high school. But how often could they call transfers? Because the exception for men’s basketball only applied to high school seniors, transfer prospects (both junior college and four-year college transfers) reverted to the standard rule for all sports of one call per week.
There are two ways though that Green-Beckham could be on Oklahoma’s campus being recruited by OU coaches without violating the dead period.
First is if Green-Beckham is not actually “meeting” with the Oklahoma coaches. The dead period does not prevent Green-Beckham from being on Oklahoma’s campus. It also does not prevent the coaches from calling him or taking his phone calls. Picture Green-Beckham strolling around the OU campus while chatting on the phone with the coaching staff. That is permissible.
Second is if Green-Beckham signed a financial aid agreement with Oklahoma. Then dead periods do not apply. And because Green-Beckham is not a midyear enrollee intending to graduate high school early, this interpretation does not apply. So Oklahoma is not at risk for a violation of the letter of intent restrictions if Green-Beckham does not ultimately enroll at OU.