NCAA may ban text messaging with recruits
Appeal Sports Writer
Text messaging has become an important tool for college coaches in recruiting student-athletes.
However, that form of communication may be banned if the NCAA Division I Management Council has its way, according to a recent story on the Rivals.com Web-site.
The story, which broke last week, said that the Ivy League put forth a proposal that would just limit text and instant messaging to certain days of the week and particular hours.
However, the NCAA Division I Management Council, has opted for an outright ban. If the school presidents and chancellors approves the outright ban, it will go into effect Aug. 1.
According to the Rivals.com, the Women’s Basketball Issues Committee, Men’s Basketball Issues Committee, Football Issues Committee and Academics/Eligibiity/Compliance Cabinet all are opposed to the ban.
Coaches are alowed one phone call a week to a student-athlete, but they have unlimited text messaging and letters.
Jo Potuto, the faculty rep at the University of Nebraska and a member of the NCAA Divsion I council, told Rivals.com that cutting back wasn’t an option. Obviously, it would be difficult for compliance people to regulate.
“It is hard to enforce,” said Jean Perry, the faculty rep at Nevada. “Every student-athlete is inundated with text messages. Coaches, in an effort to stay in touch, find themselves having to compete with other coaches (at other schools).
“The original idea was to contain it; try it between 4 and 8 p.m, or on the weekends. You can’t enforce that.”
Perry also pointed out that student-athletes of their parents, especially if they don’t have unlimited texting on their cell phones. According to Rivals.com, Delashaun Dean from Fairfield, Calif., once racked up an $800 phone bill in part because of coaches text messaging all the time.
“I’ve talked to some of our athletes (on campus), and they told me that they have no problem having it eliminated,” Perry said. “The Student Advisory Council supports the legislation. Students are telling us they feel bothered by it.”
When questioned, several Nevada coaches said that they use text messages. When asked if banning text messgages would bother them, they didn’t think it would.
‘We use it a ton,” said Jim Mastro, Nevada’s football recruiting coordinator said. “As long as the ban is for everybody, I’m for it. As long as it’s a level playing field.
“During the dead period, it’s an easy way to communicate. They can communicate with you. It could be (expensive). You have to know who you are dealing with. Some kids want to tell a coach something, and they find it easier to text them instead of calling them. It’s the way many kids communicate nowadays.”
Stan Stolte, Nevada’s pitching coach and recruiting coordinator, said that he also uses text messaging quite a bit. He also felt that it would be better to cut it back than eliminate it altogeter.
“Kids like to text,” Stolte said. “It’s a way to build a relationship with the student-athletes you are recruiting. I certainly think it’s something that needed to be looked at; you can’t do it until 6 p.m. and not doing it during school hours.
“They (student-athletes) can control how much they are getting bothered by it. Some coaches will do it (text) students several times a day. They should leave the kids alone.”
Grahme Abel, assistant coach for Nevada’s women’s soccer team, isn’t wild about the use of text messaging in recruiting.
“We like the more personal touch,” Abel said, referring to phone calls and personal, hand-written letters. “The text-messaging is good when you need a quick answer to something or want to ask a quick question.”
Amanda Levens, the lead assistant on Kim Gervasoni’s women’s basketball team, appeared glad about the ban.
“It makes them too accessible,” said Levens, who played for Gervasoni at Arizona State. “I personally don’t like it. For coaches, it disrupts their lives.”
POPE STORY UNFOLDS
Herb Pope, the top recruit for WAC tournament champion New Mexico State, had surgery three weeks ago after being shot four times, according to Dave Telep of Scouts.com.
Pope, a five-star recruit, was shot at a party. He was shot twice in the abdomen and once in the thigh. He also was shot in the arm.
Two suspects have been arrested for the shooting.
Tremayne Foster, 21, has been arraigned on simple assault and harrassment. He is free on bail. According to a story in the Las Cruces Sun-News, Foster and Pope got into a fight. Marcus C. Longmire, 19, hit Pope and later shot him. Longmire was charged with attempted homicide, aggravated assault, simple assault and a firearms violation. Longmire was in jail as of late last week.
WAC HONORS FSU PAIR
Fresno State outfielder Steve Susdorf and pitcher Clayton Allison were named the WAC Hitter and Pitcher of the Week, respectively.
Susdorf hit .545 with a homer and seven RBI in a sweep of New Mexico State, which moved the Bulldogs into first place.
Allison threw seven innings to lead the Bulldogs to a 7-0 win in the series opener on Friday. He struck out eight and allowed five hits.