As the entire globes scrambles to implement new strategies to combat the challenges of COVID-19 the sports world is right there in the thick of it.
Leaders are continuing their search for solutions to regain some normalcy and structure for the future. It’s easy to call attention to the more immediate impacts of the national shut-down and how it relates to sports but it’s the long-term ripple effects that will be the major obstacle as spring turns to summer and so on.
Several collegiate athletic governing bodies are working to review various alternative recruiting practices for the class of 2021 and beyond. The NABC, WBCA and NCAA are working together to amend current rules in support of student-athletes safety along with complying with anticipated state and federal regulations.
Most notably, the NABC Board of Directors and the WBCA executive committee have recommended that the NCAA extend the recruiting dead-period to July 31st.
As of now the NCAA dead period would run only through May 31st.
If the NCAA were to add those two additional months to the dead period it will certainly have an impact on both the players and teams but the potential move would come as little surprise. Traveling and face-to-face contact is going to be highly monitored for the next several months at minimum. So getting out ahead of this with an extension of the dead period would only make sense.
TCU head coach Jamie Dixon also serves as the NABC President had this say regarding the recommendation to the NCAA.
“The summer months are crucial to the recruiting process for coaches and prospective student-athletes alike, the NABC is committed to working alongside the WBCA, the NCAA and scholastic and non-scholastic event personnel to encourage the development of alternative evaluation opportunities as soon as circumstances allow.” Dixon said. “It is important to note that these temporary changes would not decrease the number of available scholarship opportunities.”
The wellbeing of prospects and their families, current players, coaches, staff and our communities must remain our top priority. pic.twitter.com/5FDQOYRGQO— NABC (@NABC1927) May 12, 2020
The mention of not reducing scholarships is huge because the class of 2021 is already facing an unprecedented burden. A player’s junior year of high school and summer heading into their senior year is one of the most crucial periods in their recruitment. It’s a time where college coaches really get the chance to evaluate players on the AAU circuit and make meaningful contact with families.
Without that, it presents a major challenge for kids who are eager to get on the radar of prospective programs, especially those that have seen recently rapid development and maybe don’t have as much notoriety.
There is sure to be more developments and proposals as time moves forward.