Blog Entry

NCAA's inane, arcane phone rules strike again

Posted on: June 16, 2011 12:25 pm
Edited on: June 16, 2011 12:42 pm
By Matt Norlander

Because a coach sent a text to a cellphone instead of an email, Georgia was put on 30-day probation in May, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

All together now: facepalm.

The advent of phone technology has rendered a lot of the NCAA's contact rules in regard to coaches and recruits not only obsolete, but dumb and irresponsible.

Here's what happened, per the Journal-Constitution:
Men’s basketball assistant coach Kwanza Johnson sent an impermissible text to prospect Robert Carter of Thomasville on April 25. Johnson immediately reported to the UGA complaince office that he had intended to send the note to Carter via his phone’s email function (email is permissible). Nonetheless, UGA self-imposed a 30-day communication ban in May and prohibited Johnson from phoning prospects for two weeks, which the SEC accepted without adding penalties.
A sensible resolution for a problem that should have never become a problem. May isn't a huge recruiting month, so Georgia got out of this relatively unscathed, but it doesn't make the rule any less stupid. The NCAA is in the process of slowly but surely changing its texting, emailing, Facebooking and tweeting regulations, as it should be. The rules don't make sense anymore. If email is allowed, any other form of electronic communication should be as well.

There's also a movement afoot to eliminate a limit on phone calls during the recruiting period.

The blog post linked above also shows that Georgia football was hit for "inadvertent" phone calls. Pocket dials. Of course! Thank goodness there's reform coming, because the pocket dial could and would become the ultimate cop-out, though the NCAA would have none of it, I'm sure.

The frustrating aspect about all of this is how slow the NCAA has been to change its guidelines, when smartphone usage has skyrocketed in the past three years. It is now the highway for recruiting. The NCAA catches a few high-speed delinquents from time to time, but more often than not it's pulling over violators for things that amount to a broken tail light.
Category: NCAAB

Since: Mar 18, 2009
Posted on: June 16, 2011 4:52 pm

NCAA's inane, arcane phone rules strike again

NCAA is not the only "governing body" that hammers the minor offenders to demonstrate to the brain dead general public how attentive they are to the little things, thus presenting a front that there is not a chance any big thing will get past them.  A timeless crock 'o poop, and every intelligent fan/voter/citizen knows it. 

But we "sheep" rarely do anything but grouse about it, because when the large offenders and offenses are properly hammered, more people get hurt.  Why we sell ourselves on the logic that there is always collateral damage to "innocent bystanders" is a poser for the ages.  Hammer the big dogs and the little ones won't have a reason to cheat to win his power broker's favor or fear making a mistake that has no bearing on what should be right and reasonable in "amateur" athletics.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or