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Michael CarvellMichael Carvell

SEC’s appeal of NCAA recruiting rule to be heard on Tuesday

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LSU’s Les Miles hopes the SEC is successful with Tuesday’s appeal of the NCAA’s most significant rule for college football recruiting within the last year.

“That’s a bad rule,” Miles recently told the AJC. “Any time you’re going to operate in the dark and the scenario is set up to do so, it’s just a mistake.

LSU's Les Miles (AP)

LSU’s Les Miles (AP)

The rule has to do with high school seniors (who are approved academically to enroll early in college) being able to sign a financial aid agreement – which, in turn, rewards that college with several recruiting benefits, including “unlimited contact” with the prospect until he signs a national letter of intent (NLI).

After a few prospects signed financial aid agreements with multiple colleges this past year, the NCAA issued a new interpretation – the prospect could still sign with multiple colleges, but only the first college would have the extra recruiting benefits.

The logic makes sense on the surface, but the big problem is that unlike the NLI program (which is governed by the NCAA), the records on financial aid agreements are shared only between the recruit and that respective college.

According a top NCAA official, the lack of required communication between colleges on financial aid agreements “created a little bit of a concern among some in the membership that aren’t comfortable with — that it might result in inadvertent violations.” Here’s a more lengthy explanation.

For example, a kid could sign financial aid agreements with Georgia State, UGA and Georgia Tech. The three colleges don’t have to share that information with each other, so all three might think they all have “unlimited contact” with the kid and recruit as if they do. If it was later proven that the kid signed first with Georgia State, then UGA and Georgia Tech would be guilty of NCAA recruiting violations for the “unlimited contact.”

The NCAA’s Div. I Legislative Council will review the SEC’s appeal, among other things, at Tuesday’s meeting.

Said Les Miles, “To think somebody would sign a piece of paper that would give you the opportunity (for unlimited contact), and then unbeknown to you, you were in violation at the end because you did all these things, it doesn’t make sense.”

“I’m certain that the NCAA will re-visit that. They’re a very insightful group, the best that they can be. And I can’t imagine that it will allow this to continue.”

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– By Michael Carvell, AJC’s Recruiting Blog

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