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Lessons from the AFCA’s Legislative History

The American Football Coaches Association announced today that they will draft and submit to the NCAA legislation on recruiting communication and limits on noncoaching staff. Of the big three coaching associations (the National Association of Basketball Coaches and Women’s Basketball Coaches Association being the other two), the AFCA is the least active legislatively. While both the NABC and WBCA have proposed all sorts of wild legislation, the AFCA generally offers both fewer proposals which are smaller tweaks.

Here is a listing of the legislation in the NCAA’s database which was drafted in conjunction with the AFCA or was supported by the AFCA before it was initially submitted.

1997-39 (adopted)

This proposal made changes to the spring practice schedule, increasing the number of practices with contact, while reducing the number that included tackling and scrimmages.

2004-29 (adopted)

Allowed football coaches to re-award an athletic scholarship when an athlete quits during fall camp prior to the start of school and the first game. Recipients of the scholarship must have been on the team for at least one year and not previously received an athletic scholarship.

2004-30 (adopted)

Prevented football teams from bringing midyear enrollees (both freshmen and transfers) to bowl games.

2004-31 (adopted)

Allowed teams to conduct one-hour walkthroughs during the five-day acclimatization period at the start of preseason football practice provided no pads, helmets, or other football equipment is used.

2004-32 (adopted)

Allowed football coaches to replace one another during a recruiting week. Previously the seven coaches who started a recruiting week were the only coaches who could recruit that week. Since this proposal was adopted, recruiting weeks have been replaced by evaluation days.

2004-33 (adopted)

Limited institutional football camps and clinics to two periods of 15 consecutive days during the months of June and July. Previously camps could be held at any time during June, July, and August.

2005-151 (adopted)

Prohibited football coaches from hosting or evaluating at combine events primarily devoted to “agility, flexibility, speed and strength tests”.

From this, we can see some of the trends. The big issues for the AFCA are quality of life for coaches and getting more access to players. A recruiting communication proposal from the AFCA is unlikely to include much more unlimited communication. There is less guidance about noncoaching staff limits.

And as far as the ongoing review of the football recruiting model, we have a good idea what the AFCA will think about the two big issues. They will likely not support deregulation of 7-on-7 recruiting or allowing coaches to evaluate at 7-on-7 events. And they will likely support as much summer conditioning and practice as the Leadership Council and Board of Directors will let them get away with.

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