Posted on: January 6, 2012 3:19 pm
Edited on: January 6, 2012 3:58 pm

NCAA still not showing enough transparency

By Matt Norlander

We'll never stop second-guessing the NCAA tournament  Selection Committee the Monday morning following Selection Sunday. It's masochistic American tradition to harangue the 10 earnest, knowledgeable members in charge of selecting and seeding the world's greatest sporting event.

But the NCAA is somewhat determined to mute the cries and complaints. In what it thinks amounts to a big step forward in transparency, earlier this week the NCAA announced it would "lift the curtain" on the process of selecting 68 basketball teams each March.

It's a noble effort, but one that falls well short of what most are asking the outfit to do. I applaud the NCAA for wanting to let more people see how the sausage gets made, but the real decisions behind how and where teams are placed will remain cloaked. (Part of that is OK. Again, we'll never settle the debate, even if the Committee was completely honest and forthright afterward.)

The crux of the matter here is, the NCAA thinks you want to and should care about the RPI. Here we go again with the RPI, which is worse than snow in September. The RPI is part of nitty-gritty reports, which house some essential information, but also glean a lot of their data off the RPI, like strength of schedule and records against top-25 -50 and -100 teams. Again, all of that data is per the RPI system, which is worse than stubbing your toe in the dark.

If you'd like to see what a nitty-gritty report is, have at it. Here's more from the NCAA:

“The bottom line is that the more we can do to enhance and further inform that discussion and debate through transparency, the more you can have thorough discussion,” said Division I Men’s Basketball chair Jeff Hathaway. “When the field is announced, everybody will have had the opportunity throughout the regular season to go back and look at the information, just as if they were sitting on the committee.”

The RPI is just one of the tools both committees use to select, seed and bracket the Division I basketball championships.

It also might be the worst one. I will get the chance to confirm that when I travel to Indianapolis for the mock selection process in mid-February (an opportunity I'm thrilled to finally get to take advantage of). What's harrowing to me -- the NCAA revealed in its release that it uses the RPI to select and seed in everything from field hockey to women's lacrosse to water polo. Not water polo, no! The RPI should be pretty much eliminated from the deduction and selection process. Until that happens, the field of 68 will be, in part, influenced by a flawed measuring tool.

Elsewhere, Seth Davis suggested the committee go for something that would be a lot of fun to see, but cause so much more arguing than we need: a full 1-through-68 seeding list. We already get a general idea of the order; duh, it's there in the seeding. I don't think we need to know which team just failed to miss the cut of being a 6 or a 7 seed, even if that is a critical distinction in the bracket. I'd love to know it, but you're inviting that many more petty arguments to squeeze into a 48-hour window.

More from Hathaway: “Our work isn’t simply based on numerical information. If it was, anyone could just put it in a computer and look at the results. Committee members are watching hundreds of games on television and in person throughout the season. Any committee member past or present will tell you the value of the eyeball test is a key part of the evaluation process.”

The nebulous "feel" people have for teams probably amounts to the most fun, and frustration, in the process. We'd all love to be a fly on the wall when those debates are happening. Then we'd love to mutate from a fly into the Hulk and scream at these lucky SOBs who are ruining everything for the 30th year in a row, am I right, people? We could do it so much better.

Which leads to the other problem that doesn't get addressed by the NCAA. Everyone involved comes from the same asylum (I say it endearingly). The committee is comprised of eight athletic directors and two conference commissioners. Let's spice up the pot and get two more voices in there, two people who don't work for the NCAA or any member institution. A variance of backgrounds, so long as they're related to the sport and people who clearly have the credentials, would be a good thing.

The NCAA tournament is equal parts fun, critical, monetarily vital and essential to the college sports experience. So it's then wrong that there's still too much haze around how teams get selected and who goes where. For something this big, we should have more insight. The NCAA earns a dose of credit for letting us put our ear against the door with this initiative, but it's past time to let us get in the room, the real room, when the final slashes, additions and subtractions are being done and examine the process.

Until then we'll be here, complaining in the hallway.
Posted on: December 28, 2011 10:57 am

Many schools fighting multi-year scholarships

By Matt Norlander

There now stands a good possibility that the reality and fairness of multi-year scholarships will not come to be. At least not in the near future. Plenty of NCAA member institutions have been trying to table the plan in the past two weeks.

It's the second halt on a major sign of progression for the NCAA in the past two weeks; on Dec. 15, the $2,000-per-athlete stipend/cost-of-attendance-allowanc
e boost was officially nixed after more than 125 schools said, "Unh-uh, we're not cool with it."

Doesn't speak well to NCAA president Mark Emmert's power or influence that he tried to usher these rules into effect with unprecedented fastidiousness -- and is now seeing his representatives push the papers back at him.

The nuts and bolts of this rule/situation: Every year, a player has to renew their scholarship and sign papers over to his or her school. Why doesn't a player just get a four-year scholarship? Great question! It's because coaches want the ability to bring in the best players possible, and the only way they can do that with a complete grasp of their program is if they have the ability to not renew a player on scholarship, instead sit a male or female for a year and deal with it down the road. Smelly things roll downhill, etc.
The AP reports on the latest push from dozens of schools who want to repeal the vote that got the OK two months ago.:

More than 75 schools are asking to override a plan approved in October to allow multiyear athletic scholarships rather than the one-year renewable awards schools currently provide. That's the minimum number of dissenters needed for reconsideration by the Division I Board of Directors when it meets next month in Indianapolis at the annual NCAA convention.

"The NCAA and presidents step up with this legislation and then the universities want to vote it down," said Christian Dennie, a former compliance officer at Missouri and Oklahoma."They say, 'We don't have enough money,' and then the coach gets a $2 million raise," Dennie added, speaking in general terms rather than about a specific school. "It's really a resource allocation issue."

The Division I Board of Directors has three options: scrap the two reform measures and operate under previous NCAA rules; modify the rule or create a new proposal that would go back to the schools for another 60-day comment period; or allow members to vote on the override, which needs a five-eighths majority of the roughly 350 Division I members to pass.

A permanent reversal could force the NCAA and its schools to have two sets of standards, with an obligation to honor multiyear scholarship offers and stipend payments for some students but not others.

You mean to tell me more than 75 schools see the potential for players to be locked in with multi-year scholarships, taking the power out of the hands of the coaches and programs in the process, and they're against such a proposal? Shocker!

This conundrum doesn't happen often, but it does happen, and once is more than enough. A player picks a school most times because he chooses it for the coach and the scholarship in tow. Sweeping the rug out from under a player to make room for another is dirty (and why people were confused/angry initially over the Andre Drummond-Michael Bradley situation).

The NCAA's vice president of governance for Division I, David Berst, believes many schools would not be opposed to this -- they just don't like how fast everything's moving.

"The overriding concern had to do with the time to prepare and plan (for a change) rather than objecting to the concept," he said to the AP. "I'm anticipating the rule will still be in effect (after the next board meeting)."

And that is promising. Also promising, but a bit veiled, according to the AP, some of the schools against multi-year schollies: Boise State, Wyoming, Indiana State, Vermont, Marquette, Utah, Marshall, Boston U., Rutgers. Lots of small fries, but BCS-level programs, too.

The negative to this is, would a player be locked into his or her program? Could they not transfer? That absolutely shouldn't be an issue. Just like a coach can, and almost always does, if they want to leave, they should be able to leave without hindrance.
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: December 23, 2011 12:20 pm

NCAA posts Shaheen's job as head of NCAA tourney

By Jeff Goodman

The NCAA is looking for an Executive Vice President for Championships and Alliances. 

It's a high-powered position within the organization, one currently held by Greg Shaheen -- who basically negotiated and orchestrated the NCAA's recent 14-year, $10.8 billion television deal with Turner and CBS. He's also the guy who oversees the entire NCAA tournament. 

Here's a a portion of a posting by Parker Executive Search, the firm hired by the NCAA to fill the position currently occupied by Shaheen. 

Position Overview: The Executive Vice President for Championships and Alliances will oversee the strategic direction, operation and management of all NCAA championships across the three divisions and the association's multiple broadcast and marketing rights. This position will be actively engaged in strategic planning and development of all championships and will serve as a leader in their promotion, implementation and development. The position has oversight of all championships personnel including operational issues, financial management and staffing. The Executive Vice President will report directly to the Chief Operating Officer and will have direct access to the President.

Shaheen is extremely well-respected in this industry - by coaches, media, sponsors and many I have spoken with in the NCAA. His current job title -- which has included the word interim since shortly after NCAA president Mark Emmert took over -- means that he oversees 89 championships in all for the NCAA -- including, of course, the NCAA tourney. 

Sources told CBSSports.com that Shaheen remains under consideration for the position. 

However, this doesn't exactly appear as a positive sign for his future within the organization. 

Posted on: December 2, 2011 12:34 pm

LaQuinton Ross cleared to play at Ohio State

By Jeff Borzello

Coming off a 22-point beatdown of Duke, the last thing Ohio State really needed was another talented player to join the fold.

On Thursday night, that’s exactly what happened, as touted freshman LaQuinton Ross was cleared by the NCAA to play for the Buckeyes. Ross was denied eligibility in September after his high school GPA and SAT score were deemed insufficient.

He retook the test on November 5, and the NCAA notified Ohio State that he was good to go.

“We are excited to get LaQuinton back,” head coach Thad Matta told The Columbus Dispatch. “I don’t have a timetable for when he will be ready to compete. A lot will depend on what he has done while away and how quickly he picks things up.”

Ross, a 6-foot-8 small forward originally from Mississippi, was a top-10 recruit during the early part of his high school career. His ranking dropped during his junior and senior seasons, but he is still as talented as anyone in the class. Ross is an excellent 3-point shooter who can also create his own shot off post-ups or mid-range jumpers. The problem with Ross is his work ethic; he simply doesn’t play hard on a consistent basis.

If he’s focused and working hard, he’ll be a huge asset for Matta and the Buckeyes.

Like they needed more weapons.

More College Basketball coverage
Posted on: November 17, 2011 2:33 pm
Edited on: November 17, 2011 2:38 pm

NCAA making more and more money off tourney

By Matt Norlander

Not exactly a headline that get you stiff in your seat, is it?

The NCAA's finance books have always been publicly available. Most don't get into them because, basically researching and sifting through financial records of the NCAA isn't a lot of fun. It's dense, burdensome work that isn't really fruitful, unless you stumble upon a tax scandal that would blow the whole thing open. Not likely to happen. Not much reason, other than random curiosity, to actively hunt through hundreds of pages filled with numbers that just glaze past the uneconomical eye.

But in the wake of Deadspin posting -- at 2:25 a.m. -- what it initially thought was privileged information, the organization's records have been a topic of interest on the Internet today. Just how much money is the NCAA bringing in? We've got that info for you, plus the dollars attached to the men's and women's tournaments.

They're lofty numbers, and they continue to climb. For anyone who fights and advocates for college athletes to earn money at means above a scholarship, these figures only serve to rile and further invigorate your cause. In terms of the NCAA tournament, here are the dollar amounts attached to it (read: the profits the NCAA makes off its massive bovine) since 2005 and up through 2013. In 2005, the NCAA made $420 million. The next year, it went up to $453. In 2007: $490 million; 2008: $529 million; 2009: $571 million; 2010: $617 million; this past spring: $657 million.

Yes, the numbers will keep climbing. Next year will be a $710 million-dollar check, and 2013 is a $764 million boost to the organization. The NCAA record show most -- most -- of this money goes back to member institutions, as well as putting on all of the NCAA championships/tournaments in the sports that don't raise money. What I take from this: college football, which has fractured off its TV money from the NCAA (something basketball can and could do by 2025, in my opinion), isn't the beast in all areas we think it is.

Men's hoops is vital, so, so, vital to the NCAA continuing to exist and be the behemoth that it is. Without the tournament TV money, what is the NCAA? Not nearly as power or influential.

For a view of how much the men's D-I dominates, next spring, the NCAA will make 18.8 million from the women's field of 64.  And the NIT is now a measly $56 and a half million check that is spread out over 10 years, expiring in 2015.

Here's one of the copies of the financial records, if you so choose to peer.

2008 Ncaa Financials Copy

Photo: Getty Images
Posted on: November 12, 2011 11:01 am

NC State's Leslie among three suspended Friday

By Jeff Borzello

North Carolina State announced on Friday that forward C.J. Leslie will sit out the first three games of the season due to receiving impermissible benefits.

Leslie and his half-brother accepted $410 from a friend after a car accident last May. The friend, a former NC State student, allowed Leslie to borrow his car and also paid an apartment application fee for Leslie’s half-brother.

NC State reported the violations to the NCAA.

“I understand the issue and regret what has occurred,” Leslie said. “I will support my teammates in every way possible and look forward to getting back on the court.”

Leslie missed the Wolfpack’s 84-75 win over UNC-Asheville on Friday, and will also be on the sidelines for Sunday’s contest against Morehead State, and Wednesday’s game against Princeton.

He averaged 11.0 points and 7.2 rebounds per game last season.

Glen Rice Jr. suspended for violating team rules

Shortly before Georgia Tech opened its season against Florida A&M, head coach Brian Gregory announced that Glen Rice Jr. had been suspended for three games for a violation of team rules.

Gregory did not get into specifics.

“The guys are learning that there are consequence, but there’s also going to be growth,” Gregory told reporters after the Yellow Jackets’ 92-59 victory. “We’re here to help him grow from this.”

Rice Jr., a 6-foot-5 swingman, averaged 12.8 points and 5.6 rebounds last season. He sat out last night’s game and will also miss next week’s matchups against Delaware State and Saint Joseph’s.

Marquette’s Juan Anderson suspended for three games

The NCAA has suspended Marquette freshman forward Juan Anderson for three games because he accepted a free ticket to a Brewers’ playoff game.

The Golden Eagles self-reported the violation.

“My college eligibility is much too valuable for me to risk,” Anderson said.

The freshman from California had been receiving rave reviews for his performance in early workouts and practices.  

Photo: US Presswire

More College Basketball coverage
Posted on: November 11, 2011 3:13 pm
Edited on: November 11, 2011 3:17 pm

Oklahoma placed on three years' probation

By Jeff Borzello

This is the last thing the Oklahoma basketball program needed heading into another rebuilding season.

The NCAA announced on Friday afternoon that the Sooners have been placed on three years of probation and issued a $15,000 fine for violations in the basketball program.

The Division I infractions committee vacated all 13 wins from Oklahoma’s 09-10 season, removed a scholarship and also placed limitations on its recruiting.

The punishment stems from former assistant coach Oronde Taliaferro failing to report that a player received an extra benefit, lying to investigators in the process.

Oklahoma was still on probation from violations involving Kelvin Sampson’s phone calls infractions when these rules violations occurred. According to the NCAA, a repeat violator could have their sport dropped for at least one season.

For the latest updates on Oklahoma's violations and subsequent punishment, go here

Category: NCAAB
Posted on: October 28, 2011 10:50 am
Edited on: October 28, 2011 7:42 pm

New recruiting model garners favorable reaction

By Jeff Borzello

Recruiting needed to change. Everyone knew it – including the NCAA.

On Thursday, the NCAA Board of Directors adopted a new recruiting model for men’s basketball, changing or adjusting six major rules. More importantly, the rules will go into effect within the next several months, meaning we won’t have to wait two or three years for the changes – like most of the NCAA’s changes.

The two biggest changes, according to most people, are the deregulation of contact between coaches and recruits, and the fact official visits can now begin January 1 of a prospect’s junior year. Other major adjustments included opening up April for two weekends to coaches, while trimming July into three four-day periods. On-campus evaluations during official visits and contact at a recruit’s high school during their junior year are also permitted under the new model.

The changes will affect everyone, from college coaches to AAU coaches to high school coaches, as well as high school players and their parents. All of the changes seem geared towards speeding up the recruiting process and making it more involved at an earlier age. With the number of recruits making early decisions nowadays, it makes sense – too many kids were committing without going on official visits or getting enough evaluation time from coaches.

While the feedback has been generally favorable from all the parties involved – although many said nothing touched on agents and runners – not everyone is happy with each of the rule changes. To get a true feel of what each party thought, we reached out to 10 people – college coaches, AAU coaches, high school recruits and parents – to see what they think. Here are the interviewees:

  • Jamie Dixon, head coach, Pittsburgh
  • Josh Pastner, head coach, Memphis
  • Paul Hewitt, head coach, George Mason
  • Chris Walker, No. 5 prospect in 2013
  • Brannen Greene, No. 16 prospect in 2013
  • Dinos Trigonis, AAU coach, Belmont Shore
  • Matt Ramker, AAU director, Florida Rams
  • Marland Lowe, AAU coach, Texas PRO
  • Arisa Johnson, mother of Jaylon Tate, No. 73 prospect in 2013
  • Kelana Rivera, mother of D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera, No. 38 prospect in 2012 and Georgetown commit

We went rule-by-rule with each person to get a brief response or thought on the rule.

Contact is mostly deregulated starting June 15 after a recruit’s sophomore year. Coaches will be allowed to send unlimited text messages, make unlimited phone calls and send unlimited private messages via social media websites.

Dixon: “We already had unlimited email, so it won’t be that much different. The monitoring of it was the basis for it. The lost time allotted for it was becoming endless. We were having violations where a kid texted you, but you thought it was an email, and you responded with a text.”

Pastner: “95 percent of kids would rather text than talk on the phone. You find out earlier who’s interested in you. I’d rather the kid tell us he’s not interested. It puts some responsibility on the kid. There needs to be honest communication.”

Hewitt: “I think anything you can do to put college personnel in the lives of these kids helps. Not that everyone needs that type of guidance, to explain to them what eligibility means, classes, official visits, rules. Those types of things, if we can have college personnel in the recruiting process, it definitely take some of the mystery out of it.”

Walker: “I think it’s going to be good, plus crazy. I’m going to get blown up everyday – all day now. I don’t care though, I ignore people half the time but it will be alright.”

Greene: “I’m really going to see who wants me, but it might get a little overwhelming.”

Trigonis: “I think it’s a dumb thing. Instead of unlimited contact, should give parents power to decide contact. Form where parent sets up parameters for contact. It’s a recipe for disaster. I don’t mind the more contact, I think they needed to give more. But how can you go from no contact to unlimited contact?”

Lowe: “I think that all the kids and parents better make sure they have an unlimited texting plan. It’s good for the coaches to be able to communicate with the kids, establish an initial relationship. You have to be careful, though, kids have to put their phone down sometimes.”

Johnson: “It’s a bit excessive because it can be overwhelming when you have multiple coaches calling. It’s going to get out of control; it’s going to be too much for the kids to keep up with. It’s going to get to a point where a lot of these coaches are going to be ignored. They’re starting to feel a little annoyed. The attention at the beginning, they welcome it. But after awhile, it gets irritating. The relationship will start to break down.”

Rivera: “I think there has to be some sort of cut-off times or maximum number of calls with the player. Maybe unlimited contact with parents. They would likely tire of the recruiting process quickly, if they are constantly fielding calls. They may become more distracted and consumed with that as opposed to school, practices, family, church, etc.”

Two weekends in April will be opened up to college coaches.

Dixon: “I was a huge proponent of that. Certain coaches prefer to not have April, because they get to see kids during the year that no one else sees.”

Pastner: “I think it’s good, it’s all positives. You can see more prospects at once. Evaluate.”

Hewitt: “I think it’s a very smart move. You look at a guy taking over a job. I think it helps a coach to go out there. It will help on cutting down on transfers. You watch a kid throughout his high school, highest level of competition with their travel team. Now you may have him go against another 3-4-5 division-I players. It’s a more accurate evaluation, and that hopefully leads to fewer transfers, which will help APR.”

Walker: “It’s good because the people without offers and much exposure could get more exposure and offers and opportunities, so that’s a good look.”

Greene: “I really like that addition. I think it’s positive because kids get two extra chances to impress the college coaches.”

Ramker: “I personally like having just July. It was more of the true essence of summer basketball. April will be better for coaches, evaluations heading into July. I don’t think it’s a bad change.”

Lowe: “There won’t be as many transfers as there have been in the past. I think it’s a great opportunity for the schools overall. It’s too easy to make errors when you can watch them in July only.”

Johnson: “When they all have to wait until July, and they all come out at one time, it can be overwhelming. At those tournaments, to see all those coaches lined up against the wall like that, it can be intimidating and uncomfortable. It takes away their concentration and focus. They’re trying to figure out which coaches are there, and who’s there to see me. The kids will be a little more focused and less distracted.”

Rivera: “That way, the players aren’t feeling the need to be in every single event in July. Trying to fit everything into a couple of weeks in July adds stress to families and on the players’ bodies. Not to mention, it would likely be better for coaches and their families as well.”

July will be trimmed to three four-day periods, as opposed to two 10-day periods

Dixon: “I think it’s far better. If people saw how few evaluations we had other than July, people are often times surprised. They’re few and far between, and not to the level of July. A high school game, you’re not always going to see someone playing against someone at his level, and that’s your evaluation. Offers are being made in April, and as head coaches you’re seeing them even more rarely.”

Hewitt: “I think it’s a very positive step for the kids that are playing. When they start playing 10 days in a row, it leads to injuries. Overuse, stress-related injuries.”

Walker: “It causes us to get more rest because last summer I was tired as hell from all the back-to-back tourneys.”

Greene: “I think it’s beneficial to the college coaches and their health and well-being. For us players, I think it’s an OK rule. But I personally like the two-period July better. I just liked continuously playing in front of college coaches.”

Trigonis: “You’re going from 20 to 12 days. How does that help the smaller schools? That’s a big advantage for the bigger schools. Why not just make it four straight days? Ultimately what they’ve done, they’ve killed the smaller, regional events. Why does it have to be, I give so I have to take? It’s childish. It really is.”

Ramker: “A lot of the tournaments we do to keep kids busy. This will give us three tournaments, won’t have to play just for the sake of playing. Teams will be sharper, kids won’t be as tired.”

Johnson: “When you just have those couple of opportunities, it adds more pressure. It creates more pressure. You think, ‘this is my chance, this is my shot.’ You really lose the concept of team ball. It’s not about team anymore; it’s about the individual player, because you’re looking at limited opportunities.”

Official visits can begin January 1 of a recruit’s junior year, with travel expenses for the recruit and his family being paid for by the school

Dixon: “The influence of third-party people was magnified by unofficial visits. From the end of the high school season to visits were a six-month period where it was all the paying for scouting services, paying for exhibition games, paying for campers – all based around trying to get kids to their campus. Now you can bring both parents. We were empowering the middleman. I had hoped the official visits would start in April. We wouldn’t want one of our players to visit NBA teams during our season.”

Pastner: “A lot of that has something to do with strategy. When do you bring him in? Is it too early? You don’t want to bring him in too early, if he’s not ready to commit. And if he does, that’s a long time to keep him committed. Kids change their minds a lot these days.”

Hewitt: “That will benefit the highest-profile programs. I think what will happen is that the highest-level programs will be more able to get a kid to commit early. As for the parents, that’s the best thing they ever could have done. Bringing them into the process, that’s a huge step in the right direction.”

Greene: “I absolutely love that part of the new rule. I was planning on deciding in mid-December, but now I’m going to push it back a month so I can take a few official visits.”

Ramker: “It’s very necessary for parents to go on the visits with their kids. Low socioeconomic backgrounds, parents need to be involved in the decision. Need to sit with the coaches, help their kids make their decisions. That’s the best of all of them. It will cut down on a lot of shadiness. Kids can make decisions earlier; if they know where they want to go, they can get that out of the way.”

Johnson: “I have mixed feelings about that. Kids are being recruited earlier and earlier, and the kids are feeling the pressure that they need to commit early. We’ve had coaches ask us, ‘are you ready to commit today?’ – on an unofficial visit. And we feel it’s still a little early. Kids are committing sooner because they’re afraid another kid is going to commit sooner. It’s part of the whole recruiting process – and we’re kind of getting away from that. Years ago, it wasn’t like that. It wasn’t all this big rush and pressure to commit so early in your high school years and career. You lose out on something, the process where I feel you should be able to be recruited, you should be able to get a chance and visit schools and develop relationships, and get a good sense of what the schools have to offer. You could compare different schools and campuses. You could compare and get a feel, hopefully find a school that’s a good fit. You’re not going off the name or reputation of the coach, that’s all a part of the process. If you have this pressure, you’ll miss out. That will help if you can move it up and do it sooner.”

Rivera: “We had a very short time to get officials in this year before practice and everything started. Had we been given the option, we would have definitely gotten a couple in last winter or spring.”

On-campus evaluations during official visits will be permitted

Dixon: “It takes out another rule that was very hard to monitor. It’s almost ridiculous. My office overlooks the floor, so we had three different types of shades put in. There was a push to have actual tryouts, and I was really against it. I thought that would be bad press.”

Hewitt: “I think it’s good to watch them, and it’s not exactly a tryout. Watching a kid workout against your team, it will help reduce misses and fewer transfers.”

Greene: “Sure, why not? I would love for a college coach to be able to see the hard work I put in.”

Ramker: “I didn’t really see a reason why they couldn’t do that in the first place. They all play pick-up anyway, the coaches just couldn’t watch. The coaches could do everything else with them; I don’t know why they couldn’t watch them play pick-up. The changes cut out a lot of the shadiness.”

Lowe: I think it’s fine if the kid wants to do it. You’ll have kids that want to see how they fit in; other kids don’t want to expose themselves. I think it’s good if they want to do it, but not mandatory.”

Johnson: “I think that helps with being able to assess and evaluate. When coaches come out and see you practice or with the AAU teams, that can pique or develop your interest even more. But to be able to watch them and have them come on campus and play with the team – that adds another perspective on how to evaluate the player. And it gives the player a better feel for it as well. I see benefits and advantages on both ends. You can see where you need to be, ultimately, when you leave high school. This is what you’re preparing for.”

Rivera: “That may help the player with making his decision, by having a good feel for the players they could possible be playing with.”

Some contact at a recruit’s high school will be permitted beginning during a prospect’s junior year

Dixon: “It’s a sign of things, of where they are now. Kids are committing during their junior years often times, and so now you’re going to be starting with contact their junior year. The monitoring of it was a gray area. What one school considered a casual greeting, another considered a 20-minute sit-down.”

Pastner: “It will eliminate some of the gray area.”

Hewitt: “I think that’s very intelligent. That’s a very smart rule. If that rule is in effect, Bruce Pearl is still at Tennessee. What it does is help demystify the recruiting process and what you have to do to get to college. It opens it up for the family to ask questions. The more you can have that conversation, the more you put at the front of a kid’s mind. In the past, you’ve seen a kid gets bad advisement from someone, he comes back and he got the wrong information or took the wrong class.”

Ramker: “I thought that was an awful rule, that college coaches could go to a kid’s high school and pretend like they don’t even know them. It will help build a rapport, coaches get a feel for the players, players get a feel for the coaches and parents get a feel. It will cut down on transfers, lead to better evaluations by the players and the coaches. That’s been needed. I think that’s a great change. Coaches need to talk to the kids; kids need to figure out what they want to do.”

Lowe: “It forms a relationship early on. It helps starting to develop a relationship early, as long as it’s not too much contact.”

Johnson: “I think when you want to start trying to get a good vibe from who this person is, who they are as a coach, as a man. You need to do that through interaction, you need to do that through communication. The sooner you can start that, the better. That way, you are able to start building that relationship. It can only enhance how both parties feel about one another, and it’s not limited to I can call you or I can text you, or tweet you. I can see you and talk to you, face-to-face. I like that. I think that works. I don’t see anything negative unless there are several coaches there and they’re all waiting to talk to specific players. I can see that getting out of control, a little uncomfortable, maybe a little intimidating. If there are seven coaches there and they’re all waiting to talk to this one player, I can see that being a turnoff. They really don’t want to talk to all these people right after playing.”

Rivera: “I don’t see anything wrong with that either. As long as there are limitations, which I’m sure there would be. Maybe how many times they can visit, which is already in place I believe. And how long or private the contact is. For instance, if a coach talked with a recruit 10-15 minutes after a big game in the gym, seems OK to me.”

Photo: Blue Devil Nation, US Presswire, Recruiting Spotlight

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