Rules being broken? Ed Orgeron calls out organized recruiting visits to campuses during NCAA dead period
The NCAA has mandated that the recruiting calendar grind to halt since the COVID-19 pandemic began in the spring, but that hasn’t stopped programs from recruiting.
If anything, the NCAA taking coaches and prospects off the road has given college coaches more time to get to know their current targets on the recruiting trail, albeit in a virtual form, instead of meeting in-person. Current NCAA rules prevent any official visits or in-person contact until Oct. 1.
But that was only going to last so long and now prospects are starting to visit campuses across the country. However, considering the NCAA has postponed all recruiting activities, programs are not permitted to pay for travel for recruits to visit campus.
Nothing is stopping recruits from visiting on their own, however, but they are not allowed to make contact with any members of the coaching staff and are not supposed to be given a tour of the facilities during their trips to campus.
Over the weekend, a number of touted prospects showed up in Athens for a visit, including five-star California defensive lineman Korey Foreman and five-star Louisiana defensive lineman Maason Smith. They were “hosted” by a few Georgia commits, including QB commit Brock Vandagriff. Oklahoma QB commit Caleb Williams held a similar event over the weekend for Sooner targets.
Foreman and Smith are arguably the two biggest remaining targets on LSU’s recruiting board so you can imagine how well their appearance in Athens must be going over in Baton Rouge.
During his Tuesday press conference, Ed Orgeron was asked about whether he’s encouraged recruits to visit the LSU campus — much like others may be doing.
“We have not done that. Obviously, we want to follow the rules,” Orgeron responded. “I’m not gonna comment on other stuff. Let’s see how the NCAA handles it, but I think it’s getting — it’s pushing the line a little bit, but we’ll see.”
An SEC program skirting the rules to impress a pair of five-star lineman on the recruiting trail? Surely that’s never been done before.
Kidding aside, it’s notable that Coach O publicly addressed these visits as no rules are being technically broken by prospects simply visiting campuses. But if any members of the coaching staff at Georgia or Oklahoma (where the visiting recruits allegedly had access to the football stadium) made contact with these players, Orgeron may have a real case for recruiting violations potentially occurring here.
As Coach O said, we’ll see.