It seems a big deal is made about athletic directors getting permission before recruiting other schools' coaches. Is this based on some rule or is it more of a professional courtesy? And under what conditions can permission be denied?
I think the same factors are in play for both college and professional leagues. At the end of this article, the writer notes that:
The only time a team is required to grant permission for assistants who are under contract to interview with other teams is for head coaching positions. Interviews for other types of positions are at the discretion of team officials.
Schools may request permission to interview coaches for a few reasons:
- Professional courtesy: they'd want to have the same courtesy extended when other schools wish to speak with their coaches
- Some coaches may be under contract: in these cases, schools may permission to speak with coaches under contract to prevent breach of contract lawsuits
Note: The rule specified in the article above applies only to the NFL, which has additional rules governing the coaching interview process.