Reaction: NCAA Council discusses new model

Over the weekend the NCAA sent out a release following meetings about possible reform. What do we think?

Big changes appear to be on the way.

The past few months college coaches, scouts and fans have debated the upcoming reforms by the NCAA. This week the NCAA released a preview of what's to come.

According to the release the NCAA Council split into a pair of subcommittees – the Men's Basketball Recruiting subcommittee and the Focus on Access and Success Working Group -- to go over the issues.

Among the topics that the Council came to decisions on were:

• A start date for official visits beginning after the men's basketball championship in April of the junior year.
• Deregulating the type of communication between coaches and prospects (including text messaging and other forms of electronic communication).
• Allowing unlimited communication after Aug. 1 before the junior year in high school.
• Permitting evaluations at certified nonscholastic events on two weekends in April, with some restrictions.
• Permitting some contact at a prospect's educational institution in conjunction with an evaluation, with some restrictions and requirements.

Lets dig a little further into each topic presented.

• A start date for official visits beginning after the men's basketball championship in April of the junior year.

This is a terrific idea and one many have pushed for. Prospects are making their decisions earlier and having the possibility of taking official visits in the spring will allow prospects to look more into their process before their senior seasons are set to begin.

•Deregulating the type of communication between coaches and prospects (including text messaging and other forms of electronic communication).

In this age there aren't many prospects that don't have unlimited text messages. To top it off, texting is how most prospects want to communicate. A simple message on their phone is much less intruding than phone call after phone call. The truth is with the way Facebook and Twitter have become the coaches are getting to the kids instantly anyways.

• Allowing unlimited communication after Aug. 1 before the junior year in high school.

This will speed up the recruiting process. Rather than the one phone call a month, this will allow college coaches to call prospective athletics as many times as they want. Now that can be both good and bad. I think more contact will allow the coaches and athletes to get to know each other better, but it could also be a burden trying to handle as many phone calls as these prospects will receive.

• Permitting evaluations at certified nonscholastic events on two weekends in April, with some restrictions.

This new rule, in my opinion, is one that absolutely had to happen. College coaches need to be evaluating prospects in April. Originally April was eliminated because the NCAA didn't want prospects to miss school on Fridays. Well taking away April didn't stop the kids from playing AAU basketball. The kids were still playing, just in front of scouts rather than college coaches.

Having April is important for new head coaches. College programs make hires in March and early April and a lot of times those coaches need those evaluation periods to get a jump on who they need to be recruiting, as they've likely changed levels and are recruiting a different type of kid. On top of that, it's important for the coaches to get a grasp of the prospects they are recruiting and are able to see them develop from the spring into the summer.

• Permitting some contact at a prospect's educational institution in conjunction with an evaluation, with some restrictions and requirements.

Lets be honest, for the most part this was happening anyways. In gyms across the country, workouts consisted of high schools coaches and usually a few college coaches. For the most part the conversations were probably brief, but if there's only one coach in the gym a good majority of the time they likely had conversations with the prospective student athlete.

Overall I think these topics are important and I think the NCAA is making a move in the right direction, which is certainly a good sign. But there is still an important piece to the recruiting calendar that will be addressed. Next up is the discussion of what to do with the July evaluation periods and this is one that has varying opinions from parties involved.


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