Meyer Talks Spring Football, Recruiting Rules

Ohio State returned to the practice field after an extended time off for spring break, and the head coach of the Buckeyes was not thrilled with the results. He also talked about a recent NCAA announcement regarding potential deregulation of recruiting.

Urban Meyer sounded happier with a recent repeal of a couple of NCAA rules changes than he did with how his Ohio State football team practiced Tuesday.

"I don't think it was a great day," the head coach said. "I don't think it was awful, but it was not a great day. We'll help them with the excuses – first day back from spring break, first day in pads and we're not in great shape because we're not expected to be in great shape yet. It just was not a top five practice, so we'll have to have a great one Thursday."

He added that the so-so Tuesday was in contrast to the last time the Buckeyes practiced, saying that March 7 session was maybe the best of his tenure in Columbus.

The most noteworthy personnel development involved Jordan Hall, the senior who is transitioning from tailback to H-back in Meyer's spread offense. He was among the standouts in the first week of spring practice, but Meyer conceded he might have pushed it too hard in his comeback from a knee injury that scuttled the last half of his 2012 campaign.

"I saw him stretch out for a couple plays and the amount of running compared to a running back that a receiver does, he just wasn't ready," Meyer said of work in week one, prior to spring break. "I looked right at our strength coach when he did it and we both realized we made an error. We should have backed him off a little bit."

The head coach of the Buckeyes sounded satisfied at the news the NCAA board of directors decision to suspend a pair of rules changes that would have deregulated the recruiting process to a certain extent.

Gone is a rule that would have allowed teams to hire an unlimited number of coaches who would be allowed to handle recruiting duties while a limit on printed materials that can be sent to prospective student-athletes was reinstated.

A third proposal, one that would eliminated restrictions on types of communication coaches may utilize and periods when communication is allowed, is subject to override by NCAA members.

"First of all I've never talked to a coach that wanted them, so that makes you think who is on the committee," said Meyer, who expressed concerns about the potential rule changes in February. "It's the livelihood and the lifestyle of the coaches, and there aren't enough coaches on the committee. So that's my No. 1 concern. Who in these meeting rooms is making these decisions? I keep hearing basketball likes it, but we're nothing like them. We have 105 people on the team."

After pointing out every Big Ten coach voted against the changes, he wondered why members of his profession do not have more input on the rule-making process.

"My question is, ‘Why is it not 80 percent coaches?' " Meyer wondered. "They're the ones that live the lifestyle.

"One of the concerns our staff has and I know the Big Ten coaches have is the fall is for coaching players. If it's unlimited phone calls and all that stuff then you're spending all your evenings calling recruits. We don't need to speed up the process anymore. Recruiting, the calendar is perfect the way it is."

For more notes and observations of day three of spring football at Ohio State, see our Ask the Insiders message board.


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