Coaches can text without counting
Posted: Tuesday, June 26, 2012 6:05 am
By LUKE MEREDITH
AP Sports Writer
Coaches can now pick up their smartphones without trepidation.
Starting Friday, Division I men’s basketball coaches were able to send unlimited texts and make unlimited calls to recruits who have wrapped up their sophomore year of high school. The NCAA will also allow coaches to send private messages to prospective players through social media sites like Facebook and Twitter.
It all means that sending a recruit an LOL (laugh out loud) will no longer get you a TTYL (talk to you later) from the NCAA.
The NCAA is allowing coaches to text, tweet and talk to their hearts’ content because, as Missouri athletic director Mike Alden put it, the organization “recognized the evolving nature of communication with students.”
In essence, coaches can finally get with the times without getting into trouble.
“I really believe it will help. I’m excited about it. And I think it’s going to be good, more so than the texts, just the ability to call and making sure to have that direct verbal communication,” Memphis coach Josh Pastner said.
The new rule was adopted by the Division I Board of Directors last October after being recommended by its leadership council. The NCAA realized that coaches were having a tougher time than ever building relationships with recruits who already know their way around social media and then some.
What was even more worrisome was that while coaches had their thumbs tied behind their backs, third parties were using new technology to get to recruits more easily than ever.
“Now instead of going around people to get to the kid or the parents, you can call them directly. I think that’s a very valid point as to why they made the rule change,” first-year Illinois coach John Groce said.
But just because a coach can call and text a kid at will doesn’t mean he should.
Knowing when to contact a recruit and when to back off could be the tricky side of this new policy.
With these new guidelines, the NCAA has essentially legalized the activity that got former Oklahoma and Indiana coach Kelvin Sampson bounced from the game a few years back.
“You know, honestly I think it’s just too hard to keep track of,” West Virginia coach Bob Huggins said.