Arkansas Team News

Bret Bielema concerned about unexpected effects of new NCAA recruiting rules

Bret Bielema 2016
Nelson Chenault/USA TODAY Sports

Too much, too soon? Arkansas coach Bret Bielema has his doubts about the new NCAA recruiting rules package – and its potential unintended consequences.

He discussed the effect of the NCAA’s recent recruiting rule changes on “The Audible” podcast with Fox Sports’ Bruce Feldman and Stewart Mandel.

Bielema said the legislation, passed last month, may have a wider effect than desired, and he used an analogy from a school science class to make his point.

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“When you’re learning to do an experiment, there’s a thing about variables,” Bielema said. “If you do more than one variable at a time, you never know the result because there are too many variables.

“We just put a whole bunch of variables into action at one time.”

Rather than the comprehensive package approved by the NCAA, Bielema said he would have preferred more modest, one-at-a-time proposals that would enable their individual effects to be evaluated more easily.

“I would have loved to see the spring visit dates and keep the recruiting calendar the same and see how that changed,” he said.

He’s concerned that the expanded spring visit period is too long, which Bielema fears will negatively affect academics – particularly in light of the changes in recent years that limit the amount of academic ground students can make up as a senior.

“They passed a rule, that’s one variable, that now kids have to concentrate better through their junior year,” he said. “Now, all of a sudden, we’re going to take them out of their highest-performing semester because you can still take repeat classes up to the spring semester of your junior year.

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