Newspaper article The Tuscaloosa News

Saban: NCAA Rule Change Won't Affect Tide

Newspaper article The Tuscaloosa News

Saban: NCAA Rule Change Won't Affect Tide

Article excerpt

By Chase Goodbread

Sports Writer

MOBILE | An NCAA rule that had placed restrictions on how much text messaging coaches could engage in with recruits has been lifted, giving Nick Saban and other coaches more freedom to make contact with the next big star.

But the University of Alabama coach doesn't sound as though the clearance will necessarily mean big changes in how his staff's time is prioritized.

"I think it's always important to be able to communicate. I think it's a fine line between how much you need to communicate and be effective at doing it, how much attention someone really needs to get and when it should start," Saban said. "I think we all have to be conscious that we have a responsibility and obligation to have time and attention to the team we have on campus right now."

Saban said the returning UA team will begin its weight lifting program today, and the goals in place for the offseason development program must get their due attention.

"I'm not just concerned about recruiting the next player, I'm concerned about the guys that we've already recruited, making sure they're doing all the things they need to do to be successful personally, academically, athletically," Saban said. "To balance that, I think the rules should reflect that."

Saban made his annual visit to the Monday practice of Senior Bowl week at Fairhope Stadium, posing for a photograph with the Crimson Tide players on hand for the workout. The coach had an extended chat with outgoing Oregon coach Chip Kelly during practice and signed autographs before leaving.

Among the other actions by the NCAA will be various deregulations, including changes to its enforcement and infractions policy. NCAA president Mark Emmert discussed the revisions as a means of streamlining the NCAA manual and repairing the image that it is overly cumbersome.

"Some of our rules are counterintuitive, outdated and just unenforceable," Emmert said. "They don't make sense in the world we live in. …

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