The NCAA Division I Board of Directors had much more important business to attend to at its most recent meeting, like approving the new governance model proposal and signing off on the Leadership Council’s transfer waiver changes. But the board also adopted a piece of football recruiting legislation which further expands what institutions can provide to football prospects.
Back in October, the Board of Directors adopted Proposal 2013–33 for both FBS and FCS. The bylaw created by that proposal, Bylaw 188.8.131.52.2, allows football programs to pay for meals on an official visit for not only prospects but also up to four family members. Previously institutions could only pay for meals for a prospect’s parents, legal guardian, spouse, or children; that remains the rule for sports other football.
That created an odd situation though when it came to another staple of official visits: complimentary admission to athletic events. After the adoption of Proposal 2013–33, institutions could provide meals for a prospect and four family members. But institutions could still only provide three complimentary admission to home athletic events, which includes the prospect. There was an exception that provided more comp admits, but only to parents of prospects who are members of “nontraditional families (e.g., divorce, separation)”. That means if a prospect’s whole family include siblings came on an official visit, some tickets would need to be purchased.
Proposal 2014–1 fixes this by providing football prospects with the three complimentary admissions they normally receive on official visits plus up to two more for family members. A family member is defined as a spouse, parent, legal guardian, child, sibling, grandparent, domestic partner, or any individual who has “the practical equivalent of a family relationship” with the prospect. Now an entire family of five can come on an official visit and the institution can take care of all meals plus admission for everyone to home athletic events.
The next step for football official visits will be to allow institutions to pay for the transportation of a prospect’s parents or legal guardians and possibly other family members. Transportation for up to two parents is currently allowed in men’s and women’s basketball. Loosening some of these restrictions is one of the areas earmarked for five-conference autonomy under the new governance structure and may be adopted quickly under the new system.