NCAA's Rule Changes And The Impact On Notre Dame

Matt Jones, Staff
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Several legislation changes came down from the NCAA on Friday that will have an impact on Notre Dame.

10th Assistant Coach

Notre Dame quarterbacks coach Tom Rees was hired by head coach Brian Kelly to be the team’s new 10th assistant, but Rees will now work the 2017 season in a graduate assistant role.

Rees, a former Notre Dame quarterback, is restricted to only on-campus recruiting. He is allowed to communicate with recruits over phone and social media, but cannot hit the road with the team’s other nine assistants.

The 24-year-old Rees is able to become a full-time assistant when the rule goes into effect Jan. 9, 2018.

Early Signing Period

Like basketball, college football will now have an early signing period.

Rather than just one signing period in February, the new rules create a 72-hour window in December where players can sign with a school, the same period previously reserved for mid-year junior-college transfers. The old National Signing Day in early February remains unchanged.

Two years ago, Kelly was asked about a potential early signing period.

“I'm in favor of it,” Kelly said. “Any time, especially here at Notre Dame, when we have a school that really kind of gives a young man a clear indication of what they are looking for with a Catholic university, small campus, high caliber academics; that kids can make an early decision on a Notre Dame, that we are in favor of that."

Official visits can now begin April 1 of a prospect’s junior year.

Two-A-Days 

Under the new rules, program’s can not hold full-contact two-a-day practices.

"A single day may include a single, three-hour, on-field practice session and a walk-through. During walk-throughs, protective equipment such as helmets and pads can’t be worn, and contact is prohibited. Walk-throughs also can’t include conditioning activities and, in the Football Championship Subdivision, are limited to two hours in length. Three continuous hours of recovery are required between on-field practice and a walk-through. Activities such as meetings, film review, medical treatment and meals are allowed during recovery time."

Notre Dame held four two-a-days last August.

"Individual Associated With A Prospect”

The new rule prohibits colleges from hiring coaches and other individuals that are associated with a high school prospect. This often applies to high school coaches who are looking to move up in the profession.

This rule applies to a two-year period before and after said recruit’s enrollment.

Notre Dame’s hire of assistant strength and conditioning coach Dave Ballou could have possibly fallen under this new legislation. Ballou previously worked at IMG Academy, where many of the nation’s top prospects play.

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Here is a rundown of what the legislation accomplishes (from the NCAA):

• It changes the recruiting calendar to allow for an early signing period in December (effective Aug. 1). Only the Collegiate Commissioners Association can create new National Letter of Intent signing periods.

• It adds a period for official visits that begins April 1 of the junior year and ends the Sunday before the last Wednesday in June of that year. Official visits can’t occur in conjunction with a prospect’s participation in a school’s camp or clinic (effective Aug. 1).

• It prevents Football Bowl Subdivision schools from hiring people close to a prospective student-athlete for a two-year period before and after the student’s anticipated and actual enrollment at the school. This provision was adopted in men’s basketball in 2010 (effective immediately, though schools may honor contracts signed before Jan. 18, 2017).

• Football Bowl Subdivision schools are limited to signing 25 prospective and current student-athletes to a first-time financial aid agreement or a National Letter of Intent. Exceptions exclude current student-athletes who have been enrolled full-time at the school for at least two years and prospective or current student-athletes who suffer an incapacitating injury (effective for recruits who sign after Aug. 1, 2017).

• It limits the time for Football Bowl Subdivision coaches to participate in camps and clinics to 10 days in June and July and requires that the camps take place on a school’s campus or in facilities regularly used by the school for practice or competition. Staff members with football-specific responsibilities are subject to the same restrictions. The Football Championship Subdivision can conduct and participate in camps during the months of June and July (effective immediately, though schools may honor contracts signed before Jan. 18, 2017).

• It allows coaches employed at a camp or clinic to have recruiting conversations with prospects participating in camps and clinics and requires educational sessions at all camps and clinics detailing initial eligibility standards, gambling rules, agent rules and drug regulations (effective immediately).

• It allows Football Bowl Subdivision schools to hire a 10th assistant coach (effective Jan. 9, 2018).

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