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Winter Storm in Atlanta Prompts Questions of NCAA Waivers

The frenzy of football recruiting in the run-up to signing day combined with the winter storm in Atlanta to cause the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Michael Carvell to muse about what the NCAA might have done in a couple hypothetical situations:

  • If Richt had stayed overnight, would it have been an NCAA violation? Yes, it’s an NCAA violation for a college coach to spend the night at a recruit’s house, but the NCAA grants special waivers in emergency conditions. So doubtful.
  • If Saban and Spurrier postponed their in-home visits and Bryson leaves for an official visit to UGA on Friday, when will the coaches reschedule? The NCAA’s dead period begins on Sunday, correct? … There’s also the slim possibility that either coach could request an NCAA waiver, due to weather conditions, to see Allen-Williams during the dead period, say Monday or Tuesday. You would have to think that Spurrier (since Bryson is committed there) would try to make a big effort to see his prized prospect one last time.

Of the two waivers, a coach staying overnight at a prospect’s house seems more likely to be granted than a coach getting to reschedule an off-campus contact during a dead period. The former is a potential safety issue while the latter is more about avoiding a disadvantage.

Plus this is not just any dead period. The dead period leading up to the initial signing date is more important than all the others exactly for the reason coaches would be desperate for a waiver in this case. Even sports without a real recruiting calendar have dead periods surrounding the initial signing date. Without access to the NCAA’s waiver database, I cannot say it would never happen, but it seems like a long shot.

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