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NCAA – No more “Bump Rule”


If you are a college football recruit and a college coach seems to be “short” with you, when you meet him at your high school, no worries. He is not “messin” with you. Just following orders.

The NCAA is really enforcing the old “bump rule.” In fact, there is no longer a phrase – “Bump Rule.” Compliance Offices across the country are warning college coaches to limit conversations with recruits as they stop at high schools.

A very short informal “Hi- How are you doing?” Maybe a “come to our camp,” but for the most part, that is it. No longer – long conversations or watching video together.

Quite different than two years ago when I sat in the high school coach’s office with four college recruiters (3 BCS) talking with a QB for over a half an hour. We even looked at some video in that time frame. Those days are hopefully over.

I talked with Ohio State about the new emphasis on the “Bump Rule,” by the NCAA. OSU is following the new emphasis. With the target on their backs, Buckeye coaches feel that they cannot even bend the rule. Probably would not happen, but a head coach’s job could be affected.

Sometimes when governing bodies like the NCAA or the OHSAA make new rules or regulations, I scratch my head. Why? Why? Is this really what is best for the high school athlete?

Why not let them spend just 10 minutes with the college coach? This is education for the recruit. He learns to communicate. He learns what to look for, from and in a college coach. He learns how to answer questions.

With the internet, texting, and Facebook, young people are losing the ability to talk face to face with people. Not just college coaches, but with all age levels and all professions. Talking 10 minutes with a college coach is educational.

Also, spending 10 minutes with a recruit can serve as a motivational tool. College coaches can encourage him to work harder both in the classroom and in football. Now, I am not a football coach, but I believe “kids” need to hear the negatives, as well as the positives.

Although this sounds cruel, college coaches spending 10 minutes with a recruit, will help a coach decide to not recruit the prospect – elimination. That decision saves time in the big picture. Of course, the opposite could happen and the coach starts to recruit the prospect harder.

Texting and Facebook messaging are still good. No limits there.

If the NCAA needs to make more rules, here are two that would be good. One – No phone calls to recruits between 10PM and 7:00 AM. Recruits can not make or receive calls from college football recruiters. Two – No texting during school hours. Begins with the first bell. Ends with the end of school day bell. Reason – Kids need time to be kids. Need time to focus on books.(believe it or not). Need time to listen to their teachers.

Back to the no “Bump Rule.” Everything the NCAA does seems to be focused on the “Big Five.” Spending 10 minutes with a recruit gives a non BCS coach time to make a good impression. The Michigan’s, O-State’s, and Alabama’s have no problem, but the Toledo’s, Ohio’s, and Miami’s need an edge. Sometimes the personality of a coach gives them that edge.

As usual, anything that McCallister says and $1.59 will get you a free cup of coffee at McD’s.

If a college recruiter seems to be “short” with a recruit, do not be concerned. The Compliance Office is watching him. And the NCAA is watching the Compliance Office.

As well, if a college coach wants to “chat,” with you, as a recruit, leaving the “chat” might be best. If the coach breaks the no “Bump rule,” how many more rules does he break? Dishonesty in the recruiting world is pretty commonplace. Do not add to it.

Name – Rank – Serial Number. I forgot – that is the Army. But keep the conversation short!!


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  1. Anonymous

    April 28, 2015 at 11:45 am

    Hello Coach, can you explain the bump rule a little more? I don’t want to get anyone in trouble, but D1 coaches have come to talk to my son last week and this (today even), and had conversations. Is that ok? Is my son allowed to talk with them?

    Thanks much.


    • John McCallister

      April 28, 2015 at 12:43 pm

      The “Bump Rule” is pretty much allowing the coach to meet the recruit and say “hello” and go on. That was stretched “big time.” now, as I have written NCAA Compliance is really cracking down on that old rule. I was told by three different BCS schools and two MAC schools that “saying “hello” is the limit. In fact – one compliance office of a BCS school called the recruiter just before he visited the high school coach. If a college recruiter talks for more than a few minutes, he is breaking the rule. Your son should be fine, but I will find out more.


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