Bye-bye Texts

Hundreds of college coaches woke up this morning with one less thing to do on their agendas - send text messages. Yes, the NCAA's newest recruiting regulation that goes into effect today creates less work for many coaches, but it's work most would rather have back.

Ever since the rule banning text messages was announced in May, college coaches have ripped the NCAA for various reasons, ranging from how it will affect their ability to develop relationships with prospects to how the NCAA is simply behind the times. Urban Meyer has been on of the most outspoken.

"I disagree with it," Meyer said at SEC Media Days. "In my opinion, it's wrong. I mean, that's how you communicate nowadays."

Most of Meyer's colleagues agreed with him during their media sessions last week. LSU's head coach Les Miles thinks it won't be long before texting is back.

"I think there will be an adjusted regulation come back," Miles said. "I think it will end up being maybe banned to start, but eventually they'll come up with some common sense use of a very effective way to communicate."

Miles' premonition could come true next week when the NCAA Board of Directors meets on August 9, but until then the ban is in full effect.

The NCAA justified the ban by saying it's what the recruits wanted. The committee said recruits are constantly bothered with text messages from coaches during class and the alternative form of communication could add up financially over time, but several recruits we talked to agree with the coaches and not the committee.

"The main thing is it will effect relationships that are built through text," Jeremy Brown said.

"It's going to affect everyone," Covaughn Deboskie said. "I think they should have a wavier form for parents to sign giving kids permission to text. Therefore, there won't be any complaints."

"I don't like it because you can't tell which coaches are showing you the love or not," A.J. Jenkins said.

"I think it's ridiculous that they would ban it," Gerell Robinson said. "I don't see why players would feel needed when they look and have a few texts from different schools."

But there are some recruits that agree with the NCAA's decision.

"I think it's needed," Graham Pocic said. "It makes the process easier and faster."

So what can college coaches do? In the meantime, they'll go back to the traditional methods of letter writing and sending emails. But most coaches know that prospects nowadays receive so much mail that most letters find the wastebasket unopened.

Email is more immediate and can be more personal than letters. Plus, coaches have the ability to send email from their phones and many recruits have phones capable of receiving their email. But for recruits that rarely check their email, it's still not as effective as text messages.

Some coaches have gone the extra mile with recruiting a prospect and have developed strong relationships with the recruit's support group. They can still text message those people who can relay the message back to the recruit, so not all text messaging will cease.

The timing of the ban coincides with the new recruiting calendar, which also begins on August 1. It couldn't happen at a worser time, however, for college coaches. Now is the time that they rely on text messages more than any other time of the year. With their time limited due to the start of practice, and their contact with recruits limited to just one phone call per week, this is the time that texting makes the most sense. And with recruits beginning their high school seasons as well, their time becomes limited, making text messages a convenient method of communication for both parties.

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