OMG!... Text messaging dies

ATHENS - On August 1st the NCAA no longer allows college coaches to text message prospects – a landmark decision which will affect the way recruiting is conducted from here on out.

"We had better start writing letters – personal, handwritten notes during this time frame," said Richt at SEC Media Days last week in Birmingham. "There's 30 days (in August) where we don't want to get whipped and lose momentum in this recruiting."

August is a so-called "dead period" in recruiting, but on September 1st, when the Bulldogs host Oklahoma State, they can start calling recruits again. However, text messaging had become the chosen way for college staffs to keep up with recruits.

"They can call us all they want still. So hopefully we've built enough of a relationship with these guys where they will stay in contact by phone or visiting your campus, if they have time during their camp," Richt said.

SEC coaches, including Urban Meyer, who has gained the reputation of being one of the top users of the text messaging tool, are disappointed with the NCAA's decision. Privately, coaches question why the Ivy League sponsored the ban on texting, and wonder about that conference's motives to do so.

"I disagree with it," Meyer said. "In my opinion, (the ban) is wrong. I mean, that's how you communicate nowadays. If you want to go back and use the rotary phone, too, say coaches can only use a rotary phone. Okay. I don't understand that at all."

The coaches are not the only ones upset with the ban. While recruits are able to call or text coaches at will, Georgia commit Brandon Boykin says he's not happy about the change.

"I don't think it's good," the Fayette County star said. "Texting was the quickest and best way of communication between coaches and prospects."

Still, the rule is what it is, and all parties involved are going to have to figure out away around the problem – at least for now. The NCAA reportedly has said that it will revisit the ban on August 9th, and that the organization could allow texting once more, but on a restricted basis.

"At this point it's just going to be the letters and phone calls in September," said a disgruntled Myer. "That's what you're limited to."

Georgia may have another plan, however. The Bulldogs are thinking of another way to get their message to recruits with "smart phones" like Blackberries, which receive e-mails as well as text messages.

"I think now they are trying to get e-mail addresses," Boykin said.

Richt confirmed that plan.

"We had better get e-mailing," he said. "The main thing we are going to try to do is not lose a guy in this 30-day period because you got outworked with the change. It's a new technology you have to deal with."

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