Saturday, July 6, 2013

The "Bump Rule"

      Old news now, but last week I read where supposedly Urban Meyer turned in a Florida assistant football coach for an alleged "bump rule" violation. Of course, Meyer denied this charge and an investigation into the "secondary violation" turned up nothing. Worrying about the allegation and the way Coach Meyer handled the charge is secondary to me. What is more important to me is that people understand the "bump rule" and the silliness of the NCAA rule.
      According to NCAA rules, college coaches may visit a prospect's school twice between April 15 through May 31. Once for an athletic evaluation and once for an academic evaluation. During these visits coaches are not allowed to set up visits with a prospect, but, of course, they are allowed to schedule visits with the high school coach.
      College assistant coaches will often ask the high school coach if there would be a time that he could accidentally meet the prospect or prospects. If this happens, the college coach can shake hands with recruit and chat very briefly. This meeting is called the "bump rule." The intent of the rule is good, but like almost every rule, it is "stretched" at times.
      The "bump rule" is good and often abused. By that, I mean coaches go into a separate rooms to visit with prospects. Say, a BCS school is visiting a prospect at the school, and a D-2 school is visiting two more prospects. To better reach the prospects, they go to separate areas. Prospects come to the coach's office or classroom to meet the college assistant. Two years ago, I was in a room with three BCS assistant coaches and a mid-level assistant coach. They watched some video as they all talked with the same recruit. Recently, a head coach offered an underclassman a scholarship during the "bump period." I am not trying to impress anyone, but am making a point that the "bump rule" is often abused, but still important.
      Actually, I like the "bump rule," and think that it should be stretched as far as it can be. College coaches need as much time to evaluate a prospect as possible. A recruit needs as much time to evaluate a college coach and his program as possible. This small amount  of "bump" time is valuable to everyone. For the high school coach, more college coaches will come to his school, if the college coach feels welcome and comfortable.
      Regardless of the demands of the NCAA, any amount of time that gives a recruit a better chance to evaluate college programs in the "dishonest and ugly" world of football recruiting, I am for.
      Since I am allowed to visit recruits at the high schools, and since I run into coaches all of the time, I would be silly to expound on the "bump rule." The rule actually helps me gain insight about a college coach and , more importantly, insight about a recruit.

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