Nutt Supports Ban On Text Messaging

FAYETTEVILLE -- If the NCAA gets its way, college football coaches would no longer be allowed to send text messages to recruits.

Arkansas coach Houston Nutt said Wednesday that he's in favor of the ban, though it would drastically change the way he and his coaching staff currently recruit players.

The NCAA Division I management council recommended a ban on all electronically transmitted correspondence Wednesday after complaints arose that recruits receive an excessive amount of text messages from college coaches.

"I just think it's so much as far as these young men (are concerned). They're just getting hit (with text messages) all day long, and they run out of minutes on their phone and stuff like that," Nutt said. "It makes it awfully tough, especially for an 18- and 19-year-old to be able to handle all that."

The NCAA has rules in place that limit how often coaches can call recruits or visit them in-person. But there are no restrictions on the number of text messages that can be exchanged between them.

Nutt said it's not uncommon for him to go into Arkansas recruiting coordinator Chris Vaughn's office and send two text messages from Vaughn's phone to a recruit they had just spoken with. Nutt said he'll then do the same from another assistant coaches' phone.

"It's year-round. I mean, you're starting with (high school) juniors right now. That's what most of our time is right now, is texting juniors," Nutt said. "We're texting them, and they're texting us back.

"And when someone texts you, you feel like you need to text them back."

The ban on text messages must be approved by the Board of Directors during its April 26 meeting to take effect in August. If the ban passes, it would change the way college coaches approach recruiting.

Some coaches at big-time schools have phone plans that allow them to send text messages to dozens of recruits at the same time. Sometimes, coaches will send a text message just to tell a recruit to have a good day at school.

Text messaging has become an integral part of recruiting over the past few years, and a ban on it would force coaches to take different approaches when contacting a recruit.

"You'll be very creative with the phone. You'll do a lot of 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 people on a phone at once. You're handing it off to another coach, and then getting into that living room with 2, 3, 4 coaches," Nutt said.

"I just think people will be creative and go that way, the way that we used to do it. I think it will take some pressure off a lot of coaches and the 18-year-old who is getting bombarded with text messages."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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