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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

NCAA eases texts, calls to recruits

By BLAIR KERKHOFF
Kansas City Star

Coaches, start your speed dial.

Basketball prospects, switch cell phone to vibrate.

Beginning today, an NCAA rules change takes effect that will allow coaches to make unlimited phone calls and send unlimited text messages.

Quite a change from the current rule of no text messages and one call per month from June 15 after a prospect’s sophomore year to July 31 after his junior year and two calls per week started Aug. 1 after the junior season.

But at least one Big 12 coach doesn’t think prospects are going to be spending every waking hour on the phone with coaches.

“With Caller ID, if they don’t want to talk to you they won’t,” Baylor’s Scott Drew said Thursday on the Big 12’s summer basketball coaches’ teleconference.

Open lines are better than closed, said Kansas coach Bill Self. “Any time you can put yourself in a situation where there is more communication, where you can get to know the family and recruits better, it’s a positive.”

But coaches were even more enthusiastic about a change that had already taken place.

For the first time, they can work with their players during the summer if they’re enrolled in summer school. Athletes can work with coaches for instruction, conditioning and weight training for two hours a day, up to eight hours a week. No more than two hours a week can be spent on instruction.

Before, coaches couldn’t have contact until school started.

“We were supposed to be responsible for them 24 hours a day but not talk to them,” West Virginia coach Bob Huggins said. “This is very, very positive. I’d like to have a little more than two hours (instruction) access, but it’s a step in the right direction.”

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