MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- You're probably not sure what RWG-13-3 is, but you're likely hip to the concept. That particular piece of NCAA legislation adopted by the Rules Working Group in January did away with every restriction on any kind of school-to-prospect communication during recruiting.
You heard it called the unlimited texting rule. Though it was controversial when presented as an intrusion or aggravation for a 17-year-old kid who might receive several hundred text messages a day, it was also accepted in many corners because, hey, kids text these days and colleges have to speak that language.
Well, RWG-13-3 was later suspended thanks to a review process that requires 75 votes to reverse a decision. The opposition party counted 83 votes. What was easily the most significant of the more than two dozen adoptions in January was pushed to the side.
Just when you think there's a little bit of order, perhaps even sanity, when it comes to the laws and the people who govern college sports, consider the plight of RWG-11-3-B. It, too, was adopted in January and it, too, was controversial, so much so that 94 schools voted to override it.
And the NCAA is ignoring that and pressing on to do away with something that's critical in college's smaller sports. RWG-11-3-B prohibits live scouting.
Live scouting is basically prohibited in football, basketball and volleyball, with some exceptions, like winning a Big 12 tournament game and scouting the game after yours to get a look at the next day's opponent. Yet those sports make live scouting somewhat unnecessary because it's just about impossible to not get a particular game on film these days. Even Big 12 volleyball has a rule for teams to upload matches to a server, from where conference foes can download and scout.
The rule is supposed to address a competitive concern. Alabama's football coaches could charter a jet and go watch an opponent live during an open week while Wyoming's coaches couldn't afford such a luxury. But that situation isn't realistic. It doesn't happen.
"The rule's being put in for football and basketball, but the thing is nobody outside of football and basketball has a national server where you can get every single game everywhere and the quality of the film isn't different from institution to institution," said West Virginia men's soccer Coach Marlon LeBlanc, whose world will be flipped upside down unless RWG-11-3-B is spiked next week.
"You can go into an arena and get great film at Texas Tech, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, but we're not going to get that from Northern Illinois. It doesn't exist."
When LeBlanc was in the Big East, schools shared every match on a server - and really, this is something major conferences, including Big 12 women's soccer, do as a common sense courtesy because it's fair and makes teams better.
Most of the schools even subscribed to a statistics and scouting software program that allowed opponents to get very particular about preparation.