Zoom calls and virtual tours will continue to dominate the recruiting landscape in all college sports over the coming weeks, even as college football players and other athletes prepare to return to campuses across the country throughout June and July.
Previously set to expire on June 30, the recruiting dead period will now extend through July 31.
“The extension maintains consistent recruiting rules for all sports and allows coaches to focus on the student-athletes who may be returning to campus,” said Division I Council Coordination Committee chair M. Grace Calhoun, athletics director at Pennsylvania. “The committee is committed to reviewing the dead period again in late June or early July.”
In addition to another extension of the recruiting dead period, the council is now allowing a key change — student-athletes can request that strength and conditioning coaches virtually observe voluntary workouts.
Under previous regulations, student-athletes were not allowed to share video of their workouts with strength and conditioning coaches, forcing programs like Texas to institute “accountability teams” that asked a leadership group to monitor their teammates by having them send videos of their workouts.
Texas head coach Tom Herman recently expressed his confidence in that approach.
“To be honest with you, our guys are hard working dudes,” Herman told Football Scoop. “You can’t survive in our culture if you don’t have a great work ethic. There’s a few that need a reminder every now and again from their teammates, but for the most part I’ve been extremely pleased with how our leaders have gone about keeping everybody accountable.”
However, the Committee on Safeguards and Medical Aspects of Sports Prevention and Performance Subcommittee made the decision in order “to protect the health of and provide a safe environment for each student-athlete.”
The next step may be to allow strength and conditioning coaches to hold virtual voluntary workouts to ensure the safety of student-athletes — the committee continues to explore that possibility.