Missouri Valley Conference basketball coaches didn’t take much time to look at the NCAA rules changes announced Saturday. Games dominate their time.
At Wichita State, associate athletic director Korey Torgerson is just beginning to dive into the issues and will soon get information to the coaches. Rules take affect Aug. 1. When coaches do take a look, they will find a thinner rule book and expanded freedom to recruit. The NCAA Board of Directors recently adopted 25 proposals they claim are common sense.
Among the most prominent:
• Coaches can talk, chat, text, email, IM with recruits as much as they want. That means Facebook, Twitter — it is all open. The old ban on texting is done. The old limit of one phone call a week is finished.
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• Staff members other than coaches are now allowed to talk to recruits, likely opening the door for schools to hire recruiting coordinators who can work phones and social networks 24/7.
• All coaches can take to the road for recruiting at the same time. Previously, the number was limited (two in basketball) and was referred to as the “baton” rule. One coach had to come off the road and pass the recruiting baton to another coach.
• Restrictions on printed materials for recruits are lifted.
“Our goal is smarter rules and tougher enforcement,” Clemson president Jim Barker said in an NCAA news release.
Some will see the moves as helpful to the most powerful schools, the ones who can afford to pay big salaries to recruiting coordinators and mail out glossy publications. In fact, the NCAA officially altered its view of fair competition by saying it will no longer try to control advantages such as location, facilities or resources, with legislation.
Jason Belzer of Forbes.com wrote: “With significantly less restrictions on the finances that can be poured into the recruiting of student-athletes, it stands to reason that the rich will get richer and the divide between the top tier of college athletics and everyone else will continue to grow.”
WSU signee Earl Watson lost his spot in the starting lineup after Chipola (Fla.) College lost two games. He fouled out of a 45-42 loss to Pensacola (Fla.) State last week after scoring two points. On Saturday, he played 15 minutes off the bench and scored eight points and grabbed six rebounds in an 87-75 win over Gulf Coast (Fla.) State.
THIS WEEK IN SHOCKER HISTORY
WSU and Xavier McDaniel won a battle with Creighton and star center Benoit Benjamin at sold-out Levitt Arena on Jan. 23, 1985. The Shockers survived poor foul shooting in the final minutes (missing 7 of 8) to win 82-81. McDaniel scored 37 points and grabbed 19 rebounds. WSU devoted two and three defenders to Benjamin, but he scored and made 15 of 19 shots. “He’s an intimidating center, but he’s not going to intimidate me,” McDaniel said. Benjamin and McDaniel went 3-4 in that spring’s NBA Draft; Benjamin to the Clippers and McDaniel to the SuperSonics.