College Hockey News from CHN
November 1, 2018
April Vote Could End Early Verbal Commits
by Adam Wodon/Managing Editor (@CHN_AdamWodon)
Last week, I wrote a column expressing the belief that recent changes to NCAA recruiting rules were nothing more than cosmetic.
That interpretation, however, jumped the gun. And with the full rundown now available of the proposal currently on the table, the changes will be — whether you agree with them or not — substantial. Mea culpa.
Recruiting is a never-ending topic of discussion, and the NCAA legislation that covers it is massive, and constantly evolving. So getting your hands around is like trying to wrestle an oily pig.
But in a nutshell, the legislation currently in the approval pipeline would alter the landscape of recruiting in hockey by eliminating verbal commitments before August of a player’s upcoming junior year of high school. And it would eliminate all contact with a recruit prior to January of the sophomore year, when a recruit is usually 15 or 16 years old.
(See below chart)
In an era of verbal commits as early as 14 years old, with no restriction on recruit-initiated contact, that is certainly a change.
This is a hockey-specific proposal, which is an offshoot of the all-sport proposal. The NCAA passed an all-sport package last April that addressed some issues, but left others to be determined. The current all-sport proposal has some later dates than hockey.
The legislation has been worked on for two years, and was ultimately presented to the Division I Management Council, which then put it on its docket. The proposal is currently under the review period and will come up for vote at the Council’s April 2019 meeting, and most people are optimistic it will pass.
The so-called Gentleman’s Agreement, a handshake deal from over a decade ago, was an attempt to prevent teams from pilfering each other’s players they had already initiated contact …