Source: College Football Oversight Committee Pushes to Expand Coaching Responsibilities for All Staff

An aerial view of Rose Bowl Stadium preparing for the Rose Bowl game on December 27, 2023. (David McNew/Getty Images)

In many ways, college sports are steadily expanding.

For example, the College Football Playoff has grown from four to 12 teams. The total number of teams in the four major conferences will increase to 13 next school year. League television contracts continue to grow, coaching salaries have soared and the schedule itself is getting longer.

Next up: the coaching staff.

The NCAA Football Oversight Committee this month introduced a legislative proposal that would expand the capabilities of football support staff, allowing all staff to provide skill and tactical guidance to players during practices and games. After failing to gain approval last spring, the policy was lifted limiting coaching to the NCAA’s maximum of 11 “countable” coaches: 10 assistant coaches and 10 head coaches.

The proposal strictly keeps the number of off-campus recruiters at 11, but gives head coaches the flexibility to designate any 10 staff members as “countable” coaches eligible for off-campus recruiting.

The proposal is currently in a six-week socialization phase, with Oversight Committee members receiving feedback from their respective meetings. The committee plans to meet in mid-May to evaluate feedback and potentially pass the legislation. Any adoption by the committee is subject to the DI Committee being the NCAA’s main governing committee, consisting of 40 members from all 32 conferences.

Craig Ball, executive director of the American Football Coaches Association, said if the proposal passes, it would take effect before summer practices or fall camps begin. Ball said AFCA “100 percent” supports the proposal. Who are the members of the Oversight Committee?

“This is probably the most common sense approach we can take,” he told Yahoo Sports. “Our analysts and quality control coaches have been eager to coach for years. The player situation has changed a lot.” “Now. is being compensated. It’s counterproductive to worry that you’re going to have an assistant quarterbacks coach there to coach. It’s a compliance nightmare.”

For years, coaches have encouraged executive leaders to expand coaching capabilities to their entire staff, not just the 11 countable coaches. Most FBS programs have more than two dozen support staff with various titles such as analysts, recruiting coordinators, quality control coaches and directors. Director Player Personnel, Player Development and Player Relations.

Per NCAA rules, these staff members, many of whom are former position assistants and head coaches, are not allowed to provide coaching instruction to players in the building, during practices or games. This is a somewhat unenforceable rule that many schools are already violating. degree.

“It really removes all the gray areas of what each role can and can’t do,” said AFCA board member and West Virginia coach Neal Brown. “How departments view it is different from other Departments are different. I think that’s really good for the profession. As coaches, our job is to develop and develop our staff.”

However, the lifting of restrictions has opened the door to further expansion of a workforce that has swelled over the years.

Last spring, the Division I committee rejected a similar proposal, a move that was surprising and angered many in the coaching community. The committee, which is largely made up of administrators and representatives from the FCS and non-football leagues, did not adopt the proposal primarily for the following reasons: The policy change triggered a surge in coaching staff.

Coaches pushed back against such notions. Auburn coach Hugh Freeze is one of the strongest proponents of the change, arguing that most teams at the major league level will hire a second assistant at each position group and staff them on special teams. A solo coach.

The policy change could result in more coaches with NFL-like titles, such as assistant offensive line coach or assistant quarterbacks coach.

“You can have too many. I don’t need 40 coaches,” Freeze told Yahoo Sports. “We need more people than ever to try to keep our team together. We need these institutions to help. Capture our kids and culture and run our team.” 85 (men’s roster). At some point, we limit their growth. “

In addition to increased headcount, there are some potential unintended consequences.

The change could be seen as another way for more well-resourced programs to separate themselves, spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to stockpile coaches. Many expected the move to spark more coaching movements from the Group of Five to the Final Four.

There’s also the question of the proposal’s impact on graduate assistant positions, with each team assigned two graduate assistants who would be able to provide coaching services to players. Opening up coaching capabilities to all staff would remove GA’s unique advantages.

Ball, who oversees the committee reviewing the issue, believes there would still be a sustainable and healthy path for graduate assistants in the academic model if the proposal passes.

A few weeks ago, the NCAA Rules Committee recommended implementing a Player to helmet communication systemCoaches will be able to communicate with a player on either side of the ball through a helmet microphone, which cuts off with 15 seconds left on the game clock. They can also watch previous games on the sidelines on digital tablets — one reason Ball said coaching advice extends to in-game instruction.

The committee reviewed several versions of the proposal, including one that stipulated that only 10 countable coaches and head coaches could provide skills instruction on game days. The current version of the proposal may change as committee members receive feedback.

“With the advent of tablets, it seems counterproductive as a coach to not allow coaching duties during games,” Ball said.

In the area of ​​recruitment, 11 staff members will be designated for off-campus recruitment. The 11 staff members will be required to adhere to NCAA protocols and current recruiting restrictions. While this may be beyond the scope of position assistants, Bohl believes most position assistants want to recruit players as a way to start building relationships with future players.

“Some people say you hire a bunch of quality control people to coach and then have other people do the recruiting. That’s the NFL model,” Ball said. “I think when you go out and recruit, you’re still projecting…the relationships that these guys have…the people who are recruiting these guys are going to want to mentor them.”

Brown said the recruiting portion of the proposal would have flexibility similar to the NFL, and that coaches in non-coaching roles would be allowed to coach.

“This provides an opportunity for experienced staff who don’t like the grind of recruiting to get back on the field as coaches rather than in an advisory role,” he said.

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