At the SEC spring meetings back in May, the league repealed the rule that banned its members from hosting recruits at a game held on a neutral site. In other words, going forward, the home team in the Georgia versus Florida contests could host recruits at the annual showdown in Jacksonville, Fla.
As important as recruiting the Sunshine State is for the Georgia program, this would seem like a boon. But right after the rule was abolished, both Georgia and Florida agreed to not host recruits during the game.
"Georgia and Florida have agreed not to do this,” Georgia assistant athletic director Claude Felton told DawgNation in June.
That left a lot of people scratching their heads -- recruits included.
Florida commit Nick Washington (Jacksonville, Fla./Trinity Christian Academy) was the only prospect among those contacted Monday who said he intends to go; his family is still looking for tickets, however. Others had yet to decide whether to try to make plans and secure tickets on their own.
The schools have their reasons for the agreement not to host. According to Athletic Director Greg McGarity, the problems are twofold. The first is the fact that the coaches see little benefit in doing so.
“The NCAA rules state that we could not have any contact with them whatsoever because you are off-campus,” McGarity said. “So they could not talk to our coaches. We could not even have someone from our football recruiting office checking them in for their tickets. So all we could technically do is give them a ticket to the game which would be issued by a member of our ticket office. So there could be not contact, no conversation -- really it is not worthwhile.”
The second issue concerns the actual tickets themselves.
“Where are your tickets going to come from?” McGarity said. “They have to come out of your allotment. In the past -- as it still is today -- that is a very difficult ticket. And there are logistical issues you have to deal with. You have enough issues with player parent’s tickets to go through, but if you invite 500 or 600 on an unofficial visit -- well that part you could handle -- but the NCAA rules prohibit any real usefulness of doing that other than just giving individuals tickets to the game. So both schools choose not to do it because it is just not a very responsible thing to do.”