Wednesday, October 28, 2009

NCAA to possibly change recruiting rules

For college basketball purists, this past summer was one to forget.

It seemed like every week, a new report was published making the college basketball landscape, particularly the recruiting aspect, seem like a cesspool.

But according to's Dana O'Neil, that may all be changing very soon. From the

Fed up and frustrated by the state of their game, coaches have contributed their opinions and feedbacks to a package of legislation that the NCAA Division I board of directors will consider on Thursday.

The recruiting reform package has one aim -- to curb the payola in college basketball -- and already has received the endorsement of the conference commissioners and the National Association of Basketball Coaches.

Among the meatier suggestions in the package:

• Eliminating so-called package deals, making it nearly impossible for a college program to hire any of the myriad of hangers-on associated with prospective student-athletes.

• Disallowing college coaches to subscribe to recruiting services run by people associated with prospects. This would curtail services offered by AAU programs (and others) that charge colleges to subscribe but sometimes offer little to no information on the prospect.

• Preventing payment to nonprofit organizations benefiting summer-club teams, prospects or people attached to prospects.

• Preventing coaches from hiring outsiders to work at their camps and clinics
My initial reaction?


Did anyone not expect this to happen?

With the amount of coverage college hoops recruiting got this past summer (when no one is supposed to care about college basketball), did you really think that a change wasn't going to be made?

I'd even be willing to wager a good amount of money that it was college coaches feeding the reporters the stories this summer. What better way to force a change in the NCAA rulebook than to create a national furor through the media? I know I wasn't the only one disgusted with what I read this summer.

Out of the four changes that the coaches are pushing for, there is only one that I question - limiting the people that can work at your summer camp to students and employees of the university. When you are a young, aspiring coach, working these camps is how you network. You may not land a job because you coached at, say, Florida's summer camp for a couple weeks, but you may meet someone that knows about an opening at an Oklahoma. Or maybe you work at UConn's summer camp and impress a guy like George Blaney enough that he passes your name along to the myriad of former Husky assistants.

You get my point.

Anyway, as excited as I am to hear about this, don't, for a second, think that it will completely clean up college hoops. There are going to be loopholes in every rulebook, and with the what-have-you-done-for-me-lately nature of the college basketball, collegiate coaches are some of the most innovative and intelligent people when it comes to bending, but not breaking, the rules.

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