Football coaches finally get summer access

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IOWA CITY -- Iowa football coach Kirk Ferentz often has asked why basketball coaches have summer access to their players while football coaches did not enjoy similar privileges.

Ferentz never again will have to bring that topic. The NCAA last week approved new measures to enable football coaches to meet with athletes for up to two hours per week in the summer for film study. The time comes from a player's eight-hour weekly allotment for strength training and conditioning. The time cannot be used for on-field instruction.

"The way the rules were set up, (the athletes) were here but our coaches couldnít really interact with them," Iowa Athletics Director Gary Barta said. "That just didnít seem to make common sense. I think our coaches would say itís good to have that time to sit down and see how theyíre doing, probably talk some football.

"In this case they wonít be doing any coaching on the field; it will just be more mental work. In reality, just talking to them about how things were going and what they should look forward to this fall."

The access rule was one of immediate five football changes passed last week by the Division I Board of Directors. Among the other changes include installing a recruiting dead period from Dec. 16, 2013 through Jan. 15, 2014 and a recruiting dead period the final week of June and the first week of July in 2014. Coaches also are prohibited from attending all-star events or contacting prospects who attend those events.

Schools now are allowed to expense meals for up to four people on an official football recruiting trip, rather than paying for just the prospect and his or her parents.

"All five of the rules Iím supportive of," Barta said.

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