Sankey doesn't view parts of recruiting package as 'healthy'

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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) Southeastern Conference Commissioner Greg Sankey is hoping for further review of new football recruiting rules to be considered by the NCAA's Board of Governors this week.

Speaking to an Associated Press Sports Editors Southeast regional meeting Monday, Sankey voiced concerns with the timeline for early campus visits by high school juniors and the 25-player football signing cap.

''Those two pieces, I don't view as healthy,'' Sankey said during a question and answer session.

The Board of Governors will consider Wednesday a sweeping package approved by the NCAA's Division I Council. The changes would include allowing players to sign with schools as early as December, doing away with two-a-day practices and letting high school juniors take official visits from April through June.

Bowl Subdivision schools would also be limited to signing 25 prospective or current players to a first-time financial aid agreement or a National Letter of Intent, with exceptions for current players who have been enrolled full-time at the school for at least two years and those who suffer an incapacitating injury

Sankey said the league, which already has a signing limit for member programs, wanted to expand the time range for counting scholarships toward the current class.

''What's called a hard cap on signing, I don't think that accomplishes what it's intended to accomplish,'' he said. ''I think what it's going to do is remove some opportunities that should exist. So somebody signs, isn't eligible for some reason, the school is prohibited from replacing that scholarship with someone new, an initial counter. ''

As for the change regarding early visits, Sankey cited a member of the student leadership council who wondered why schools would want recruits making official visits outside of the regular academic schedule.

He said the SEC proposed an amendment that would have permitted them just in April.

''But the idea of bringing young people to visit a campus when you're not having regular campus life is not a direction we would support,'' Sankey said.

He also said he didn't understand the addition of a 10th football assistant coach, which he called ''a bit of a sweetener'' in the package.

''I think there's some good in there and I think there's clearly some issues we did no support as a league and don't think are heading in the right direction at this moment,'' Sankey said. ''Hopefully they will be subject to further review sooner rather than later. But through every piece of that, I am absolutely certain our schools will continue to recruit successfully at the highest level of college football. There's been nothing to indicate otherwise.''


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