Recruit Report: Will proposed rule changes help or hurt?

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Top high school athletes sometimes feel bothered by the number of times they must deal with contact from Division I college coaches.

It might only get worse for the athlete.

At the NCAA convention this week, the organization will consider a number of recommendations that will affect recruiting, but one of the most notable proposals would drastically change when and how many times Division I college coaches in all sports can contact high school athletes.

Under the new proposal, college coaches in all sports would be allowed to contact potential high school recruits July 1 after their sophomore year, although coaches would still have to abide by no-contact periods. Also, the college coaches could make an unlimited amount of phone calls to a recruit and there would be no limitations on the number of contacts to a recruit through social media, such as text messages, Twitter or Facebook.

Last summer, the NCAA removed all contact restrictions on Division I college basketball coaches. They could contact a potential recruit as much as they wanted after June 15 of the athlete's sophomore year. Now it looks like all college coaches might be in the same boat, allowing unlimited contact with high school athletes after their sophomore year.

Currently, college coaches (besides Division I basketball) can't contact a high school athlete until after the junior year and are limited to one phone call per week. There are, however, no restrictions on high school athletes contacting college coaches.

Another proposal allows coaches to have six in-home visits with prospects as a junior and six more as a senior. Currently, college coaches can make home visits only during an athlete's senior year in high school.

The NCAA's Rules Working Group came up with the proposals in December. The group believed having an earlier date for contact with high school athletes would allow the athlete more time to develop relationships and gain information to help them make the best college choice possible.

NCAA president Mark Emmert has said the proposals would help shrink the NCAA rulebook. Emmert has said some of the current rules are simply unenforceable or so narrow that they take up too much time of college administrators and also the NCAA.

But critics of the new proposals say top high school athletes will be bothered even more by college coaches. Also, the workload on assistant coaches will increase even more because they will not want to fall behind a competing school.

The NCAA convention lasts through tomorrow in Grapevine, Texas.

mobilehome - hsbasketball

Mike White: mwhite@post-gazette.com


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