Southwest Conference Commissioner Fred Jacoby said Saturday he planned to make a concerted effort to reduce the amount of "negative recruiting" that exists in the league as part of an effort to repair the SWC's tarnished national image.
"I think we need to work diligently with the coaches not to have negative recruiting," Jacoby said."I plan to send a letter out within the next 10 days urging them to stress the positive things about their schools.
"They should be talking only about their schools. I think anytime you mention another school at all it is negative recruiting."
Jacoby's remarks came at the end of a relatively quite league meeting.
The most controversial action taken at the annual business session was a non-binding request that all schools take X-rays of all incoming freshmen athletes.
Such action, he said, would protect schools from future liability and also help detect and treat injuries suffered in high school.
The SWC has suffered through a rash of bad publicity in recent years and more appears on the way. The University of Houston is expecting a ruling from the NCAA any day concerning scores of alleged recruiting violations and Texas A&M is investigating its program in light of allegations made against coach Jackie Sherrill.
The league's reputation, Jacoby said, had caused many Texas and Arkansas football players to attend school elsewhere. And he said school's outside the SWC have used negative recruiting against the league.
"We always meet with our football coaches one week after the national signing date," Jacoby said. "And last spring I asked (Baylor coach) Grant Teaff which school was most guilty of negative recruiting. He told me the name of a school outside the conference."
Nevertheless, Jacoby said, wiping out negative recruiting within the league would be a major step toward improving the SWC's image.
"If there is a problem, we want it handled on a coach to coach basis," he said.
"If that doesn't work, we will ask the athletic directors to try to handle it. And if there is still a problem, the conference can step in and impose penalties. It could be a public reprimand or we could take a coach off the road for a month or so."
Last year, Jacoby said, one assistant coach within the conference was not allowed to recruit for one week because of negative recruiting.