Weather Updates

NU coach Pat Fitzgerald not a fan of unlimited texting

Wednesday’s National Signing Day was a chance for Pat Fitzgerald to look forward to the future of his football program, but the Northwestern coach also took time to sound off on the future of his sport.

Fitzgerald expressed his distaste with proposals made by the NCAA last month to deregulate all private electronic communication and allow more off-campus visits for coaches including potential home visits to a prospect during his junior year.

“Those rules were not made with the student-athlete in mind,” Fitzgerald said. “The changes were not made with the quality of life of our assistant coaches in mind. I would like to revert back.

“There’s not a coach in the country that wants to unlimitedly text message anybody, especially juniors. I don’t want unlimited phone calls for a senior class. These [current] rules are in place for a little bit of quality of life for these kids.”

Fitzgerald is an American Football Coaches Association trustee and vowed to educate the organization’s constituency on the negative effects of this potential legislation by the NCAA.

Among Fitzgerald’s biggest concerns regarding the potential changes in recruiting is the quality of life of his assistant coaches. The new rules would require assistant coaches to spend even more time away from their families.

In turn, big-conference programs like Northwestern would have to add personnel which would cost money and hurt some schools’ non-revenue sports.

“I guarantee you what’s going to happen if these things get passed is we’re now going to have a scouting department,” Fitzgerald said. “So now we’re talking about millions of dollars at each program that we’re going to have at each program. So the trickle down now goes to our other 18 sports.”

© 2014 Sun-Times Media, LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be copied or distributed without permission. For more information about reprints and permissions, visit To order a reprint of this article, click here.