Dan Mullen approves of recruiting degregulation...with a twist
If you spend any time on the Internet at all, you already know how the storyline has played out. The NCAA announced it was pulling back its rules limiting the amount of time coaches could spend contacting high school seniors in January. Not long after, the Big Ten came out in opposition of the new rules (or, specifically, lack thereof) and not one nanosecond later, the Internet community mocked the Big Ten in full force in essence for not wanting to work as hard as coaches from other conferences.
The thinking here has been that there are plenty of coaches across every school, conference and division thinking the same thing as those Big Ten coaches, only they haven't spoken out for fear of being labeled as not wanting to recruit as hard as his peers.
More than a month after the changes were announced, a big-name coach has finally come out against the NCAA's proposal with an amendment of his own. Here's Mississippi State head coach Dan Mullen with his take on recruiting deregulation, speaking to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
“I don’t want to want to sound like a non-worker, but everybody worries about these new rules, and how you will be working 24 hours per day," Mullen said. "They want to know where is your down time? If they want a time for where coaches have to shut it down, then you designate four weeks in the summer where you’re completely off. You can do no recruiting during those four weeks, and you’ve eliminated the problem for all coaches."
It's unrealistic to expect coaches to recruit 24 hours a day for 365 days a year and not expect burnout to set in. Like in any other walk of life, college football coaches have responsibilities outside of their jobs. This shouldn't be breaking news to anyone reading this.
Mullen explains his four-weeks plan here:
“Currently, we have eight weeks where we’re not allowed to do anything with our (current) players. You can do that for coaches with recruiting, too. You would let the schools pick their four weeks because schools get out earlier in the South than they do up North. Schools up North, they would need later recruiting times to do camps and summer visits. You can pick your four weeks, and move from there. So for four weeks, you can’t do anything during the summer.”
Should Mullen's plan be implemented, one would have to study the ins and outs of the schedule because I'm not sure there's any point where taking off four weeks straight could work for the majority of programs, if any at all. But at least it's a start.