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Jeff Kolpack, Published December 10 2013

New FBS rule makes Bohl's double-duty easier

FARGO – A new recruiting rule adopted by the NCAA Board of Directors this year made it easier for North Dakota State head coach Craig Bohl to remain with the Bison this week.

Commonly called a “dead period,” coaches will not be allowed in-person recruiting from Dec. 16 to Jan. 15. So when the University of Wyoming officially named Bohl as its head coach on Sunday, there was only about a week left of contacting potential recruits anyway.

“So when I looked at that timetable and said, ‘OK, this is doable,’ ” Bohl said. “The administration there wanted us to complete our task here, and when I say our task, that’s exactly what I mean. I look and I say this is the 2013 NDSU Bison, and we’re doing everything we can to win our third national championship.”

The recruiting dead period is for FBS schools like Wyoming only. The FCS did not support the proposal because its coaches needed more time to discuss it, according to an NCAA release.

The FBS rule was meant to ease the distractions of high school recruits during the holiday season and extends until after the annual American Football Coaches Association convention in January. It means Bohl and his new Wyoming staff won’t be able to hit the recruiting trail until well after the Division I FCS national title game on Jan. 4 in Frisco, Texas, should NDSU make it that far.

It also means all focus for the staff and players is on the FCS quarterfinal game Saturday against Coastal Carolina at Gate City Bank Field at the Fargodome, Bohl said.

“Maybe it sounds simple to say, but we have not lost a beat,” he said. “I would not have accepted the responsibility to continue to lead this football team and make sure we’re set and ready to go if that’s something I was not capable of.”

Bohl said the veteran nature of a Bison team that has 24 seniors has helped minimize the distraction factor. He said practice on Monday – the first one since the news hit on Saturday night – was sharp.

Bohl flew to Laramie on Sunday afternoon to be introduced as the team’s coach. He returned to Fargo on Monday. All of the NDSU assistants remained in Fargo to work on the Chanticleers.

“I spent less than 24 hours on that campus, got things into place and was back here,” he said. “I felt it’s important to be in business mode to get ready for Coastal Carolina. This is a big challenge. This team has a lot of weapons.”

Forum reporter Jeff Kolpack can be reached at (701) 241-5546. Kolpack’s NDSU media blog can be found at www.areavoices.com/bisonmedia