Tom Herman's suggestion to fix adjust IAWP rule that has upset some coaches

Posted by: Chris Vannini on Thursday April 20, 2017


Of the new rules adopted by the NCAA Division I Council last week, the limits on hiring individuals associated with a prospect have drawn the most backlash by coaches — especially when it comes to working camps.

The rule doesn’t just involved hiring coaches to a staff. It includes hiring them for a camp, and that can cause some problem when you have camps with hundreds of kids. On the Big 12 coaches teleconference, Tom Herman said he understood the reason for the rule, but said this wasn't the way to fix it.

“I think the intent is good,” he said. “We shouldn’t be like basketball was before this rule where coaches can hire AAU coaches for $300,000 a year to be a video analyst or whatever was going on. But there needs to be a case-by-case analysis of it, rather than throw a blanket on the entire sport.

“We’ll have upwards of 500 kids for our one-day camp. In previous years, we’ve paid high school coaches whatever it is, 200 bucks, to come help us coach and manage these kids, and for these kids to get quality instruction, and now we can’t do that if there are any recruits at that coach’s school. Same with our high school (coaches) clinic. We had the most-attended high school camp in the history of the University of Texas football, we had two high school coaches speaking, two state champions, and now we won’t be able to do that. We can’t even employ them on a volunteer basis.

“The rule is well-intended, but the NCAA has seem some of these extreme things going on, and instead of attacking the extreme and deal with the other ones that are perfectly OK separately, we’ve attacked the entire system and thrown a blanket over it that affects a lot of high school coaches in a negative way.”

Asked what he would change about the IAWP rule, Herman pointed to camps first. If the NCAA is worried about colleges paying the high school coaches, set a cap on how much you can pay them.

“I think the camps and clinics would be the first thing. Make it exempt,” he said. “If you want to put a cap on it, put a cap on it. Maybe $500, $400 appearance per school anywhere you go to help coach. Something that’s not outrageous, but something that is worth the coach’s time to come on a Saturday and help you.

“Camps and clinics, we should be able to pay a nominal fee and not worry about if they have recruits at their school or not, whether they have a relationship with recruits or not.”

Herman also said that, based on his interpretation, hiring an off-field staffer from another school could also fall under the IAWP designation. That would create a world of problems for staffers.

Between that and talk of limiting the size of a support staff, labor laws could come into play down the road, like it did with the restricted-earnings positions years ago.

“What hurts, too, and I’d be surprised if we don’t see a labor lawsuit filed against the NCAA at some point, because if my director of player personnel leaves and I want to hire Texas Tech’s director of player personnel, I can’t, because he has a relationship with thousands of recruits that would deem those ineligible to participate at the University of Texas,” Herman said.

“To say to a person in a support staff role as a career and now allow them upward mobility in their job, you’re talking about federal labor laws now, not just NCAA rules.”

Chris Vannini is in his fifth year with CoachingSearch.com and serves as its managing editor. He has previously written for the Detroit Free Press, The Oakland Press, The State News, MLive.com, 247Sports and SB Nation.  A graduate of Michigan State University, Chris now lives in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.  Be sure to follow @coachingsearch and send emails to chris@coachingsearch.com.