Finally, the governing body of collegiate athletics finally did something right! If decisions like this were made more often people would have a better vision for the future of the NCAA and collegiate athletics as a whole.
After spending nearly 7 years in college recruiting, I can tell you first hand that no one in the athletics building enjoyed doing photoshoots. From the student assistants to the coaching staff and creative directors, most people thought this was a waste of time. It was a waste of time because when student athletes came to our facilities, we would much rather use this time to get to know them on a personal level, talk about the university, dive into what their future would look like if they attended our school, discuss academics, and ultimately jump into the film room. Photoshoots would often take at the very least 20 minutes for each athlete to change, get their pictures taken, and change again. Also, this was a moment often taken by some athletes to steal gear.
For example, we would have coaches bring dozens of athletes to our facility simply just to take pictures in our gear with absolute zero interest in attending our university, but just to post on social media the clout of wearing our uniforms.
This decision by the NCAA was concluded by listening to people from small to big schools saying the only reason photoshoots are done on unofficial visits is because everyone else is doing so. Everyone in the athletics building did not enjoy doing these photoshoots, especially the creative department. The creative department at nearly every school is underpaid and understaffed, so doing their normal tasks and job responsibilities are a lot to handle. Adding hours and hours of shuffling, editing, and sending out hundreds of pictures from daily photoshoots would often take up way too much of their day. I would bet in the future we will see even more great content from dozens of schools across the country who can put more time into content instead of daily photoshoots.
In the end, the staff in the building do really enjoy when prospects and student athletes visit our campus. It gives us the opportunity to get to know them on a personal level and show what makes our school great. Now instead of spending hours and hours on photoshoots, we can use that time talking about their future for the next 4 years and the following 40 after that. At the end of the day, the most important decisions when choosing a school a student athlete will attend for the next 3-5 years are academic support, knowledgeable training staff, proof of success after football, personal support staff, developmental coaching staff, and more.
I am hopeful that this ruling is the beginning of the NCAA actually listening to the people in these buildings everyday on things that need to change for the betterment of college football! I am not getting my hopes up, but this is a positive sign that the NCAA is heading into the right direction. Only time will tell however…