Sunday, June 01, 2008

SEC Wants NCAA to Cut Zooker Loophole

Get this: The Southeastern Conference will sponsor NCAA legislation that would prevent head football coaches from visiting high schools for any reason during the spring evaluation period, Jon Solomon of the Birmingham News reports.

This is in response to a loophole in the "Saban Rule," which prohibits head coaches from making off-campus visits with prospects during the spring evaluation period from April 15-May 31.

One of the biggest critics of the Saban Rule has been Illinois' Ron Zook, and the Zooker quickly exposed the loophole by speaking at six high school coaching clinics.

"It's one-stop shopping," Zook told Teddy Greenstein of the Chicago Tribune.

Saban also found his way around the rule through technology. The Alabama coach introduced video conferencing as a way to keep in touch with prospects, but the SEC proposal won't address that. The league already prohibits its coaches from participating in off-campus clinics and merely wants to extend that rule to cover everybody else, namely the Zooker.

USC's Pete Carroll, who said he felt "caged" by the Saban Rule, has gotten his message out through his website and Facebook page.

"We're just winging it in a creative sense and seeing what people like and what they don't like," Carroll said.

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