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LANDMARK BY JUSTIN FEIL


“Somebody’s got to save us from ourselves.” Those were the words of Drexel men’s lacrosse coach Brian Voelker, who worried about the growing trend of early recruiting, as quoted in The New York Times. It was published May 25, 2012, but college coaches have been looking for measures to slow early commitments since 2008.


They say early recruiting has raised the pressure for prospective student-athletes to commit before they are developmentally ready, led to mistakes by coaches who commit to players years before they will join their program, and trickled down to hurt younger levels of lacrosse.


“It is a scourge,” US Lacrosse CEO Steve Stenersen said.


Now the NCAA DI Council will vote on Proposal No. 2016-26 when it meets April 13-14 in Indianapolis,


DECISION


THE NCAA WILL SOON VOTE ON EARLY RECRUITING LEGISLATION THAT COULD REVERSE A TROUBLING TREND IN LACROSSE


and its passage could make lacrosse the pilot of a new anti-early recruiting movement. The landmark measure would ban all recruiting contact, including phone calls, between college coaches and lacrosse players until Sept. 1 of their junior year of high school. “We’ve kind of been the pioneers here,” said Duke


women’s head coach Kerstin Kimel, the chair of the IWLCA’s NCAA Division I Legislation Committee. “This is clearly a hot topic in college athletics. I think something is going to be done on some level.” If the proposal passes, it could go into effect Aug. 1, 2017. If not, the NCAA has typically not reconsidered defeated proposals that are resubmitted for two years. “Let’s hope we can get the lacrosse [proposal] through this April,” said Harvard athletic director and DI Council member Bob Scalise. “And if not, we’ll keep pushing as soon as we can.”


The Proposal


Proposal No. 2016-26 has plenty of support, but is it enforceable? It’s also just one of 42 recruiting propsals submitted to the NCAA Legislative Committee last year, with several other sports seeking similar reforms. Scalise argued that adopting the measure would allow compliance officers to use lacrosse as a pilot program “which would inform a bigger, broader reform movement down the road.”


Previously existing NCAA rules on communication like emails could help, said Tricia Turley Brandenburg, the deputy director of athletics at Towson who also is president of the National Association for Athletics Compliance and sits on the NCAA Legislative Committee. “We have plenty of rules on the books that are challenging to enforce,” Brandenburg said.


24 US LACROSSE MAGAZINE March 2017 USlacrosse.org


©PHOTO CREDIT


©BRIAN SCHNEIDER; ©JOHN STROHSACKER; ©KEVIN P. TUCKER


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