The NCAA is seemingly on the verge of sweeping changes to the current recruiting model for college basketball. Change in this case is usually good, but the question remains what will the new rules mean for college coaches and prospects alike?
One of the biggest changes is that the proposal will make text messaging, emails, and phone calls unlimited for college coaches to prospective recruits starting June 15 of their sophomore season. This is a major change. Currently the rules vary, but depending on the time of the year and the age of a prospect college coaches can only make one call per month to an athlete, and really the most they can get is two calls per week for seniors.
Also allowing text messaging back will be big. Many coaches have asked for text messages to be back open, and now there will be no limit on them. In the old rules unlimited emails were allowed, but not texts. With the age of smart phones, the line between an email and text, while clear, was really becoming obsolete, so now the rules committee is proposing this change to allow coaches more access to their recruits.
Along with added contact via electronic media and the phone, the NCAA has also allowed added face-to-face contact. College coaches can now make in-home visits with juniors during the month of April and also every other month during an evaluation period coaches will be permitted to speak with juniors at their high school. Currently the rules only allow coaches to speak with seniors when evaluating them at their school.
Another change is that contact will be allowed during the July period. Right now it is unknown if coaches will be able to face-to-face speak with recruits while at July events, or if it will simply be that they are allowed to call, text, and email the recruit. Either way, this is a big change, as currently there is absolutely no legal contact between recruits and college coaches during the evaluation period when a kid is at an event.
Maybe the biggest change being proposed involves official visits. Not only will visits be permitted to be taken starting January 1 of a prospect’s junior year, but also parents are now included on the visits.
As the rules are currently written, prospects can’t make official visits until the start of their senior academic year, and if parents wish to go on the official visit they must pay their own way. This sometimes caused parents to not be able to make the trips. With this change obviously parents, if they wish, will now be able to make the visits, and also more kids will be able to make official visits before they issue a commitment to a respective school, as decisions have outpaced the old calendar for official visits.
In terms of raw evaluations, there is a huge change coming. Currently in April coaches can only watch prospects in un-organized events at a prospect’s high school. That means they can watch an open gym, but not an organized practice. Also in July there are two 10 day evaluation periods, but now that is changing to three separate four day evaluation periods.
In April no dates have been assigned as open yet, but the entire weekend, Friday starting at 6 p.m. until Sunday, will be open for coaches to watch NCAA sanctioned AAU tournaments. In July instead of 20 live days, they will have 12 live days.
This is something coaches have asked for because they wanted to see the progression of kids from the spring through the summer. Needless to say, this is a big change for coaches and for the recruiting calendar in general.
One of the more interesting changes is rather ambiguous right now. In some way shape or form coaches will be allowed to evaluate kids while on their college campus. Now does this mean they can put the kid through an individual workout, through an official practice, or some other official workout during the summer, that is not yet known. However currently prospective recruits aren’t allowed to go through anything like that. Currently prospects can play in open gyms, but the coaches aren’t permitted to watch.
Until October 27 none of these changes become official, but if they do happen in this way, there will be some major changes in how recruiting goes in college basketball with coaches getting significantly more access to their prospective recruits.