HUNTINGTON — Wednesday and Thursday could shape up to be huge days for Marshall head coach Charles Huff and the rest of college football coaches across the nation.
Starting Wednesday, the NCAA’s Division I Council meets with several keynote items expected to be discussed in its two days of meetings.
Of immediate interest to Huff is the potential end of the NCAA’s recruiting dead period, which has been in place during the COVID-19 pandemic.
There is significant talk that the recruiting dead period will be lifted on June 1, which would cause a recruiting frenzy in the summer months with official campus visits and in-person recruiting being re-instituted.
That frenzy would especially ring true for Huff, who came in just before the February National Signing Day and did not have his full staff in until just before spring drills started.
Huff said that in-person recruiting is important in several regards when it comes to the success of Marshall’s program.
“Getting kids here to be around our players, to be around our staff, to be around this community, I think is a plus,” Huff said. “You can read about this place and everybody’s got an opinion about West Virginia and Marshall and Huntington and what it is, but until you get here and get your feet on the ground and you actually get a chance to look around, it’s one of those places that you’ve got to see to believe.”
For the last 13 months, the only recruiting that has taken place has come virtually with coaches using Zoom meetings and directing potential student-athletes on virtual tours of campus to gain their interest in the program.
Huff, who was named 247Sports top recruiter in 2020, said that the COVID-19 pandemic has taught all in college athletics about one of the most important aspects of the student-athlete experience.
“I think this pandemic has taught all of us the one thing that we probably overlooked, which was the human interaction that we need in life,” Huff said. “This is going to give us a chance as safe as we possibly can to get kids here to get that human interaction.”
The NCAA decision comes as vaccination for COVID-19 becomes more available, which makes the safety of in-person communication attainable.
One sign that the dead period is inevitable is Huff announcing Marshall’s summer camp series this week on social media.
There are nine high school one-day camps set for the month of June, which enables prospective student-athletes to come to Huntington and work with Marshall’s coaches and staff.
According to reports, there are two models being considered — both of which allow for summer camps, which is why the schedule release happened this week.
The first is a normal NCAA recruiting calendar for each respective sport as of the June 1 date while the other is a hybrid model that has been termed a “modified quiet period” in reports.
In the modified quiet period, camps are able to take place and recruits can visit campuses.
Other items expected to be discussed involve the one-time transfer legislation that has been anticipated in recent years, which would allow qualifying athletes to transfer once during their NCAA eligibility window without having to sit out a year.
If passed, it is expected that athletes who have already transferred this academic year and those currently in the transfer portal would become immediately eligible.
Other fall sports athletes would have until July 1 to notify schools that they are transferring to take advantage of the rule.
Qualifying athletes include those in good academic standing without disciplinary issues.
If passed, the measure would need approval by the NCAA Board of Directors at its April 28 meeting.
There is debate anticipated on that issue and the chance remains that the NCAA Board of Directors could again impose a moratorium on the issue, as it did in 2019-20.