| NEWS NCAA once again pushing to abolish limit on football staff sizes- FootballScoop


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After the issue failed to pass in 2023, the NCAA Football Oversight Committee has once again advanced a proposal to abolish the limit on football coaching staff sizes, according to a report Wednesday from Yahoo Sports.

The proposal is in the "socialization" stage, with the Oversight Committee prepared to reconvene in mid-May to consider feedback gathered over the spring. Assuming the proposal passes through this stage, it could be formally approved by the Division I Council and go into effect in time for the 2024 season.

To understand why the Oversight Committee is trying again to adopt this change, it's easiest to shift into FAQ mode.

Why now? It's part of an overall shift in temperament within the NCAA and the schools that, in a landscape where NIL, Congress and the courts rule the day, it's simply no longer worth the effort to enforce what an analyst can and can't do. There are much bigger fish to fry.

“This is probably the most common sense approach that we could make,” AFCA executive director Craig Bohl told Yahoo. “For years, we’ve had analysts and quality control coaches who have had a desire to coach. So much has changed with the landscape with players now being compensated. To be concerned that you’re going to have an assistant quarterbacks coach out there coaching is counter productive. It’s been a compliance nightmare.”

The countable coaches rule has also become obsolete when viewed from another perspective. Other recent rule changes will allow for the use of in-helmet communication for one player on each side of the ball, and for the use of digital tablets on the sideline. Allowing analysts to watch tablets but not share what they're seeing would simply be silly.

What about the AFCA? The American Football Coaches Association is fully behind the proposal, and in fact one of the driving forces behind it. The AFCA believes that more coaching jobs would be good for the profession, by either allowing young coaches to move up or to give veteran coaches a greater value on their staffs, or both.

" I think it’s really good for the profession. Our job as coaches is to grow and develop those on your staff," West Virginia head coach Neal Brown said.

How will this play out in the real world? Are SEC teams suddenly going to have 50 coaches? Never say never, but the consensus is that major college football would follow the NFL model. "Senior analysts" would promote to "assistant quarterbacks coach," "assistant offensive line coach" and so on. "I don’t want 40 coaches,” Auburn head coach Hugh Freeze said.

What about recruiting? Teams would still be limited to 11 designated off-campus recruiters. The feeling among those involved is that, while the rule book would not stop programs from hiring 10 coaches to do nothing but recruit off-campus, market forces would. Recruits, especially high school recruits, will still be much more likely to commit to their position coach than a traveling salesman.

“What I see, when you’re out recruiting, you are still projecting," Bohl said. "The relationships… the guy who recruits these guys is going to want to coach them.”

In some ways, removing the cap on countable coaches would be nothing more than a common-sense adjustment that allows support staff members to do more of what they're already doing. In others, it would be the most radical change to college football coaching since 1890, when Amos Alonzo Stagg became the first football coach to accept a salary.

And it could happen within the next couple months.
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