“Coaches can now pick up their smart phones without trepidation.”
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.
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.”
With these new guidelines, the NCAA essentially has legalized the activity that got former Oklahoma and Indiana coach Kelvin Sampson bounced from the college game a few years back. But all coaches have had to walk a tightrope of monitoring phone calls made by themselves and their staff to recruits, and the new rules should help them breathe easier.
“You know, honestly, I think it’s just too hard to keep track of,” West Virginia coach Bob Huggins said. “If you can’t legislate it, if you can’t enforce it then you probably ought to just go ahead and make it legal. I think that’s kind of what happened with Prohibition.”
There also could be an unexpected benefit from allowing more contact between coaches and recruits.
It will be easier for everyone to know the level of interest — say, a BFF (best friends forever), a BFFN (best friends for now) or it’s C-YA time.
“I think it’s a win-win for everybody,” Minnesota coach Tubby Smith said. “Kids, they all have a cell phone where they can identify who’s calling. They can pick up the phone or not. That gives you an indication about where you stand.”