Recent NCAA rules initiatives – banning satellite camps and deregulating text messaging and social media communication – impact not only the lives of football recruits but the coaches who spend their days recruiting them, too.
While some coaches, like Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh, have searched for loopholes to figure out how to be even more aggressive and spend more time recruiting his team’s next wave of talent, others like Ole Miss’ Hugh Freeze have recently opined that the satellite camp ban is good not only for fairness but because it will not take up as much of his staff’s otherwise quality time with family.
Yes, coaches do work hard. They also get paid handsomely for it. Urban Meyer, while coaching at Florida, was as aggressive as Harbaugh is now; he let it consume his life and affect his health.
Asked by OnlyGators.com on Wednesday whether he leans more towards the Harbaugh or Freeze mindset, Florida head coach Jim McElwain said he will take advantage of and abide by any rules set forth by the NCAA, but he also has no plans to let it affect what he believes is a “fine balance” between work and life that he’s set up not only for his family but those of his assistants.
“I learned this at a couple different places: If you don’t keep fresh, if you don’t keep your guys fresh, it’s hard,” he explained. “Taking those times where, you know what, get away from it — go fishing, I don’t care, just get away.
“If you don’t do that, it will consume you in some of the simplest details. Things you need to do to be successful will be missed.
“Our guys work their tails off, obviously, but I’m a believer that when it’s time to get away, you get away.”
Regarding the new messaging rules, which basically allow coaches open non-voice communications with recruits, McElwain would not say whether he approves or disapproves of the NCAA’s decision. His plan is to adapt and do what’s necessary to remain competitive in the college football landscape.
That said, he also recognizes that the rules may make the recruiting process even more of a burden for high school players who are already facing enough stress and a tough decision about their future.
“I just hope it doesn’t become a nuisance for those players,” he said. “But you know, that’s the way it is. Everybody playing by [the rules], and that’s the way we’ll do it.”