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New NCAA rules passed for official visits, hiring of high school coaches

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Jeff Hanisch/USA TODAY Sports

The NCAA Division I Council has passed two new rules that aren’t likely to be well-received by a couple of SEC coaches.

The NCAA now will allow official visits to take place from April to June for football recruits. They also have set restrictions on high school coaches for potential employment with college programs.

The new recruiting calendar allows for official visits to start on April 1 of the prospect’s junior year; they can visit any school until the Sunday before the last Sunday in June. A caveat: The prospect cannot visit a school at the same time as his participation in that school’s camp or clinic. This rule becomes effective August 1.

In addition, college programs cannot hire for a support/off-field position individuals who are close to a prospective student-athlete, including coaches, for a two-year period before and after the student’s anticipated and actual enrollment at the school. An important note: The individuals can be hired for on-field coaching roles. A similar rule has been in place for men’s college basketball since 2010.

RELATED: Early signing period for football gets approval from NCAA council, would start this year

The news rules are part of a big package that was passed Friday that includes approval of an early signing period and the addition of a 10th assistant coach.

Alabama’s Nick Saban and Georgia’s Kirby Smart were against the so-called “high school coach” rule; both said it would cut down on opportunities for high school coaches.

In addition, the rule regarding April-June visits had been couched in Big Ten vs. SEC terms, with Big Ten coaches generally in favor and SEC coaches generally against it.

RELATED: NCAA allows 10th assistant coach, starting in January 2018

In regard to camps and clinics, programs will be able to hold them during 10 days in June and July; these camps must be held on campus and in facilities used for practices or competition (think of this as the “Jim Harbaugh Rule”). College coaches will be allowed to have recruiting conversations with recruits during these camps. It also requires educational sessions detailing initial eligibility standards, gambling rules, agent rules and drug regulations.

(You can follow Dan Mathews on Twitter @DanMathewsATL)

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