Coaches in favor of new NCAA rule changes
Published: Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, June 20, 2012 19:06
The NCAA passed a rule in January that will now allow coaches to work with players during the summer.
With the new rule, coaches get two hours of full instruction and six hours of strength and conditioning per week, spread out over eight weeks.
For West Virginia head coach Bob Huggins and the rest of the men’s basketball coaches in the Big 12 Conference, it’s a welcome change.
"We’re supposed to be responsible for them 24 hours a day, but we’re not allowed to talk to them, and we’re not allowed to be around them," Huggins said. "This is very positive. I’d like to have a little more than two hours a week, but two hours is certainly a step in the right direction."
In order to participate in the instruction over the summer, the rule states that players either have to be enrolled in summer classes or be in good academic standing in order to practice if they are not in summer school.
Texas head coach Rick Barnes agreed with the sentiments that, if nothing else, the extra time the coaches will get to spend with players will be a great way to build relationships with the players – especially the incoming freshmen.
"For 15 years, I’ve thought the NCAA should let coaches be more hands-on, so we can not only deal with our guys basketballwise but academically as well," Barnes said. "We can just spend time getting to know them.
"If you want to develop a relationship with someone, you have to put time into it. People have asked us to take their kids and help them mature and grow. The more we’re around them, the more we can do that."
New cell phone rules give coaches unlimited contact with recruits
When the clock struck midnight last Friday, many of the top college basketball recruits in the nation saw the inboxes on their cell phones flooded with messages from coaches across the country who are interested in their services once they graduate high school.
Starting June 15, the NCAA’s new cell phone contact rules went into effect. With the change, coaches are now allowed to call and text message recruits who have finished their sophomore year of high school as much as they want.
While the change is great for coaches, who will now have the ability to keep in touch with a player without having to worry as much about committing secondary violations, the new rule could make it difficult on the players who will now have to deal with hundreds of texts coming in from potential suitors.
Some high school coaches have already started to look at ways to limit the distraction that comes with the new rule, especially once school starts in August.
"We will have a rule that no coaches can text (players) during school hours here," said Huntington Prep (W.Va.) head coach Rob Fulford. "If they don’t respect that rule, they will not be allowed in our practices. We want coaches to understand how serious we are about giving the kids some space."
Fulford, whose Huntington Prep team features the No. 1 rising junior in the nation Andrew Wiggins and top-20 senior guard Xavier Rathan-Mayes, thinks the rule could end up speeding up the recruiting process.
If nothing else, the players will commit to see the calls and texts not come in as often.
"Some coaches will abuse the rule, but it will be more evident on who the kids are serious about," Fulford said. "If they’re responding to you, they’re interested. If not, how long will it take (the coaches) to take the hint?
"I think kids will commit sooner to eliminate the issue if it gets out of hand."
West Virginia head coach Bob Huggins said that it is important for him and his staff to make sure they’re talking to the players in whom they’re interested, but not to go overboard.
"There’s a saturation point," Huggins said. "You may get a kid every once in a while that is enamored because you call him every day, but most of them get as tired of answering it as you do of talking to them.
"All they’ve got to do is turn the phone off."
The rule change could be annoying at first for the players, but once it’s been in effect for a while, there’s a good chance that things will be back to normal, for the most part.
"The big thing is, with today’s game, there are a lot of people involved in recruiting," said Iowa State head coach Fred Hoiberg. "I’m not sure how much that will change, but it’ll give us direct communication with the kid.
"That’s the most important part."