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Ch-ch-changes: NCAA rules that coaches would like changed

Mike Riley
Mike Riley (AP Images)

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College football legislation never rests. The game is always evolving. Gameplay rules are tweaked with regularity and NCAA bylaws are added and erased constantly. Sometimes change comes about at a snail’s pace. Other times, it’s takes place with a knee jerk. The only constant is that everyone has an opinion.

It’s why recently asked 13 major program head coaches what rules they’d like changed. The responses were wide-ranging, dealing with everything from staff sizes to the on-field placement of referees. Each answer is listed below.


“I would say the one that they just changed, I'm not a big fan of the spring official visits. Not a fan of that. I would change that back to the way it was right now. That's one thing. That's what I would say.”


“Currently I’d changed the targeting rule, but that’s a good question. There’s a lot. I think it would probably be, honestly, only letting us bring 105 players to camp. That would be the first one I’d change. I think that’s a really archaic rule. We talk all this about player safety and how concerned everybody is about it, but we have a rule that, during the hottest time of the year when you’re practicing the most, we have less players. That means that guys are going to be taking more reps and more hits and having that distributed among a smaller group of people. That doesn’t make a ton of sense.”


"I’d say that, at some point in the spring, they should let the head coach hit the road and recruit a little bit."


“I think I would push for moving the umpire. I mean, we have a center judge already. I think the umpire enters too much into the football game. I’ve thought that for a long time.

“I want to put him back there - before we added the center judge – on the opposite side of the referee. I don’t think that’s going to happen, but that’s what I think.”


“One of my biggest concerns right now is that we’ve got to find a way to put a lid on staff sizes nationally. We had an issue like it with strength and conditioning probably seven or eight year ago. Things there were getting a little out of hand and people were doing things they shouldn’t be doing in that field … in that quote-unquote field. At some point, we are going to have to come to grips with how many people it really takes to run a college football operation efficiently. Whether that number is 29 or 49, I really don’t care. But there needs to be some uniformity. We have to try to find a way to rein it in. A lot of it is recruiting-driven, quite frankly.”


“On of the areas I don’t think gets talked about a lot is time. We talk a lot about how we can maybe minimize their time, but there are a lot of players that want to be coached more. We don’t talk about helping those guys out.”


“I would tweak the rule that puts some very, very strict limitations on the amount of time that you can spend with a young person in your program as it relates to things other than just football. They have this 20-hour rule. I can live with that in regards to practice, but there are other impacts that a coach or a staff can have on the lives on young people. The restrictions prohibit that from taking place because it counts as meeting time or practice time, when it’s directed toward trying to enhance their lives. I take issue with that.”


“I think just in general terms, I'm concerned about some of our recruiting legislation that we're pushing forward without really any idea about the repercussions. I'm all for player safety and player development and those sorts of things. Right now we have eight months for kids to take official visits during the year. That seems a little excessive to me.”


"I haven’t spent much time thinking about that. I don’t know. Pass."


“There’s quite a few things that you wish that were different. But I'd have to think about it. I don't have an answer for you. I'd have to really think about that as you go into it. Because the rules are constantly changing on how things happen, what's recruiting, what's not recruiting. There are rules on the field, how they call things or how they do things that I think need tweaked. And I think they will agree to it, too, just how they do certain things. I mean, it's not their fault. They have to call the game by the rules. The recruiting rules, some of those are getting really tough, the way the signing period is and the visits in the spring. I think all those things were very good intent but not well thought out and is going to be extremely hard on coaches.”


“I think really, it’s the communications stuff for me right now. It’s how phone calls are viewed and how text messages are viewed. In this day of technology, I think you’ll see us turn the corner here and get to an unlimited use of communication. I think that’s probably the biggest thing that ties people up from time to time on an accidental basis. You just have to be mindful of it, but things are changing a bit in this day and age. To the credit of our organization, we’re trying to make sure that we fit the times.”


“I don’t know. I know it would probably have something to do with recruiting, but I’d have to sit down and think about it.”


"If you twisted my arm, maybe clock stopping with a first down in the last two minutes. I think it would make the game more exciting to just let it run. I kind of like the NFL rules a little bit better on that."