NCAA member universities "will no longer be permitted to subscribe to recruiting sites like Rivals.com and Scout.com after the NCAA designated the athletic websites as a scouting service," according to Mel Bracht of the DAILY OKLAHOMAN. The NCAA reportedly ruled that "institutions can no longer subscribe to Rivals.com and its affiliated sites, which focus primarily on college football and basketball reporting." The rationale is that Rivals "provides video of nonscholastic competition that is not available to the general public." An NCAA spokesperson said, "All recruiting/scouting services are held to the same legislated standard and we consider Rivals.com to be a recruiting/scouting service." A Rivals spokesperson said that the company "is in discussion with the NCAA on the issue" (DAILY OKLAHOMAN, 4/9
). CBSSports.com's Bryan Fischer
reported, "Every single school just had to report a secondary violation 'if they were or ever have been subscribed' to Rivals" (TWITTER.com, 4/8). In Birmingham, Jon Solomon noted the recruiting services now banned "could seemingly become kosher by making all of their video free," but if Rivals "goes that route, how would that impact its business model?" This mandate shows the NCAA "has quickly defined 'scouting services' in its attempt to cut out street agents who use them as a front for under-the-table deals." Solomon added, "The interpretation also feels like the NCAA is fed up with web-based recruiting services that technically could fit the new definition of scouting services" (BIRMINGHAM NEWS, 4/9).