On Tuesday, the NCAA passed a new rule that allows universities to pay for two parents or guardians to accompany recruits on their official visits. The current rule is that schools are only allowed to pay for the prospective student-athlete's travel expenses. But this rule change, which will go into effect on August 1, permits colleges to pay for the recruit's parents' round-trip travel accommodations. Will this rule change have any impact on Notre Dame recruiting?
In short, definitely.
Paying for two parents to accompany student-athletes on official visits is big for a school like #NotreDame. Shouldn't have taken this long.— Tom Loy (@TomLoy247) April 19, 2016
We always hear about how imperative it is to just get recruits and their families to campus and let Notre Dame sell itself. Just getting the kids to campus is good. But when the parents or guardians are on board with everything Notre Dame has to offer, that can really have some sway on the recruits. Being able to guarantee that parents or guardians can visit Notre Dame at no charge to themselves will further increase the number of official visits in which recruits are accompanied by family, which means parents can feel more comfortable in letting their children leave home for South Bend, and recruits are more likely to pick the Irish if that's what they might want to do.
This is particularly important when considering that Notre Dame recruits on a national level. Parents from Florida, California, and Texas are often not able to make such a long journey to South Bend on their own dime. It's pretty expensive to make a two-way, 1,000-2,000 mile trip, you know? But, due to this rule change that will be coming into effect shortly, those expenses for parents/guardians will be nonexistent. It should allow the parents to get more direct contact with the staff and the campus, increasing the chances that the Notre Dame recruiting pitch can really hit home with the entire family.
I expect this ruling to have a huge impact on the number of recruits that bring their families along for official visits. It really is great news for Notre Dame. The Irish face enough challenges on the recruiting trail, and this ruling removes one of the most challenging obstacles you face when you recruit on a national level. It should be really interesting to see at what extent Notre Dame will be able to reap the benefits of this new rule.