The NCAA Finally Gets An Unlimited Phone Plan
One of the most common infractions that college coaches run into during recruiting is “illegal contact,” where they get in touch with a recruit during unsanctioned times. The NCAA has long maintained a rigid, often non-sensical, set of rules when it came to contact with prospective recruits that have gotten coaches in trouble for simple comments as they pass, like “good game,” or by accidentally including them in a tweet or social media message.
One of the most common infractions, however, involves coaches or assistant coaches calling or texting recruits more than their allotted contacts, often resulting in probation for the school, or in the case of former Oklahoma/Indiana head coach Kelvin Sampson, a stiff penalty for the coach. Well, the NCAA has finally figured out how to cut out these illegal contact penalties altogether…by getting rid of the illegal contact rules. You know what they say, if you can’t beat them….give up.
Starting Friday, Division I men’s basketball coaches will be able to send unlimited texts and make unlimited calls to recruits who have wrapped up their sophomore year of high school. The NCAA also will also allow coaches to send private messages to prospective players through social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter.
“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.
Coach Pastner, as you may recall, recently got into a bit of trouble using social media to contact a recruit, which he promptly blamed on his pregnant wife. So he’s probably really excited about this new rule because his couch is getting uncomfortable.
The NCAA has been fighting a losing battle against technology for years. Despite trying to keep contact to the approved time and places, social media and unlimited texting have made it impossible for them to properly enforce these rules. Eliminating these rules will allow them to free up some resources to enforce other completely draconian and unenforceable rules.
For recruits who have been raised on texting and Facebook, this seems like a ‘duh’ kind of decision. Most kids today have more conversations by text message or social media than they do face-to-face, so they’ll transition just fine to the deregulation of recruiting rules. What they’ll have a more difficult time with is likely the middle-aged to elderly men calling and texting them at all hours of the day and night trying to talk them into coming to their school. So, future recruits, remember to silence your cell phones, because that ring tone you think is super clever and awesome is going to get real old, real fast after a thousand “LOL ” texts from Jim Boeheim. He’s incessant with the emoticons.