I am a new coach (2nd season) but I love my conference a lot! Everyone is really kind and helpful, and some very skilled coaches there. I don't think I would ever want to take recruits from them. In this game, the ultimate goal is to win the championships. Various strategies are employed- I think this is a great and ethical strategy. Avoiding in-conference battling will potentially help my entire conference, and in turn also help me :) But also, I would not feel good to take a recruit from a conference mate, even if the recruit was really good. I am in DIII and to me so far it seems battling in-conference mates for players is not a necessity, unless they engage you first. The cool thing is everyone has this opportunity, so no one conference necessarily has an advantage over another one, in that sense.
All this said, I really have a fond attachment to my conference, and seeing them do well is almost as important to me as doing well myself. That may sway my opinion a little. Also, I had a recruit taken from me last minute by a conference mate this last recruiting period... so even if some players feel avoiding conference battles is a good tactic (like me), the conference really won't have much of an advantage unless ALL players in the conference do not battle each other. I think it is very kind to your conference, and it promotes a friendly atmosphere :D