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How do 2021 recruiting restrictions impact Buckeyes?

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Ben Christman was at Ohio State for its season-opening win over Florida Atlantic. (Birm/Lettermen Row)

Recruiting Question of the Day

How do 2021 recruiting restrictions impact Buckeyes?

Have a question about Ohio State recruiting? This is the place for you, five days a week. Submit your questions on Twitter or on the Lettermen Row forums. Check-in daily to see what’s on the mind of Buckeyes fans all over the country. The Labor Day question asks what — if any — impact the Buckeyes self-imposed recruiting restriction in the Class of 2021 will have on their recruiting efforts.

Ohio State Recruiting Question of the Day

In the big picture of recruiting, I don’t think the news that Ohio State will be limited for the next week (and in some cases two weeks) in its 2021 recruiting efforts are a big deal.

How could it be, really? Let’s review the infractions committed by the Buckeyes, just for fun.

  1. The Buckeyes, while hosting 2021 prospects and their families for unofficial visits, printed the player’s name on the itineraries that were given to the players and their families.
  2. The NCAA allows prospects that are on campus — even if it’s before Sept. 1 of their junior season — to receive text messages from the schools they are visiting. While they can get text messages, they are apparently not allowed to receive text messages from the schools they’re visiting if those messages include photographs taken by the school during the professional photoshoots that have become a major part of visits all over the country.

That’s what the Buckeyes did, and it’s pretty easy to look around social media over the last few months and see that a lot of schools have had no problem sending photos to kids in the Class of 2021. The fact that Ohio State has self-reported their violations shows its commitment to following the rules as much as it can — when it knows the rules. I don’t know how I’d personally keep up with all this inane garbage that the NCAA tries to police for some unknown reason, but the Buckeyes do work very hard to stay above the line.

I’m not here to defend the program or anyone else. But there are dozens of examples of current junior prospects or younger who I’ve spoken to over the last few months who have made it clear that Ryan Day’s program has been more cognizant of the rules than most during their contact with Ohio State.

Lorenzo Styles-Lorenzo Styles buckeyes-Lorenzo Styles ohio state-Lorenzo Styles pickerington

If the NCAA doesn’t want sophomores and juniors getting pictures from schools, they shouldn’t let them be in uniform during visits. (Lorenzo Styles/Courtesy)

Jim Harbaugh made waves in recent weeks when excerpts of a new book, Overtime by John U. Bacon, were made public in which the Michigan coach said it was “hard to beat the cheaters” in college football recruiting.

He’s right.

Though Harbaugh’s comments were unspecific, many lept to the conclusion he was talking about the SEC. Like everything else the Michigan coach does, an uproar followed.

It’s widely-assumed in college football recruiting circles that real cheating runs rampant in some major conferences. And despite those assumptions, there’s little recourse for the programs breaking the big rules. No one wants to talk about it publicly because it’s basically unprovable and no one wants to tell on themselves. Plus, it’s easier to call Harbaugh’s words sour grapes than to acknowledge the elephant in the room that is widely discussed behind closed doors inside of programs around the country — and he could have mitigated it all by being specific in his assertions.

The rules that Ohio State broke are pretty small potatoes, but obviously a program never want to be associated with NCAA rule-breaking. So, in that way it’s a negative for the Buckeyes. However, losing a week (or two) in the Class of 2021 isn’t going to be a major hit for Ohio State, because the players themselves are shaking their heads at the incredible nature of these violations just as much as the average person is.

The best way to stay on top of all that recruiting #stuff? Subscribe to Lettermen Row’s Scarlet Sunrise newsletter to start your day with the Ohio State news you need to know. 

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