Coaches Express Angst Over Text-Message Ban

FAYETTEVILLE — After Tuesday, college coaches can no longer send text messages to prospective recruits. A rare consensus was reached this week at the Southeastern Conference's football media days in Hoover, Ala.

Not one coach thought the ban instituted by the NCAA was a good idea. In recent years, coaches have gotten used to the technology and formed relationships through texting.

"Everybody's thumbs will heal, I guess. "Kentucky coach Rich Brooks joked. "There will be more e-mailing. The young people will still text us, but we can't text them back. It will complicate the process."

Most coaches answered with a twinge of anger in their voices. Auburn coach Tommy Tuberville spent three minutes discussing the text-message ban.

South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier seemed exasperated when asked about the ban, and answered only, "We'll quit text-messaging on August 1."

Arkansas coach Houston Nutt tried to accentuate the positive part of the text ban in his mind: More collaboration between coaches on the day phone calls can be made.

"I'm kind of excited about (the ban)," Nutt said. "We'll really gang up in multiples of two or three coaches ... and we'll start getting on that phone with prospects.

"We'll try to really get involved with the family, and we always write cards and letters. We'll continue to do that, try to keep that relationship going. It will be more by phone."

Florida coach Urban Meyer suggested a simple compromise. He hoped the NCAA would eventually let coaches text during a restricted period, similar to the portions of the calendar that phone calls are allowed.

"I think text messaging helps with getting to know someone," Meyer said. "In my opinion, (the ban) is wrong. I mean, that's how you communicate nowadays."

Job Security Not On Croom's Mind

Mississippi State coach Sylvester Croom has led the Bulldogs to just seven wins in two seasons. But he doesn't think of himself as on the hot seat.

And even if he was, Crrom didn't seem worried this week, even as defensive end Titus Brown told The Jackson Clarion-Ledger he thought the Bulldogs were playing to save Croom's job.

"Yeah, I do feel a great deal of pressure," Croom said. "The same pressure I felt when I was in the ninth grade when Tuscaloosa Junior High played Eastwood Junior High.

"But if you're asking me whether I'm worried about whether I'm going to get fired, (the answer is) no."

And The Winner Is ...

The award for silliest question of football media days went to the reporter who asked Arkansas running back Darren McFadden how much thought he gave to turning pro after last season.

One problem, though. McFadden was a true sophomore, ineligible to declare for the NFL Draft.

McFadden played nice, stating, "I didn't think about it, because I couldn't," and he didn't ridicule the reporter.

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