What Unlimited Phone Calls and Texts Mean for Recruits

NCAA Unlimited Text MessagesOn January 19, the NCAA Division I Board of Directors is set to vote on 26 pieces of legislation, some of which will have a direct impact on recruiting.  If passed, Proposal 13-3 will directly impact how coaches communicate with recruits.  Proposal 13-3 seeks to allow school officials and coaches to make unlimited phone calls and send unlimited messages via text message and private electronic communication (including Facebook and Twitter) after July 1, the summer before a prospect’s junior year.

If adopted, Proposal 13-3 will mirror legislation passed in 2012, that allowed Division I basketball coaches to make unlimited calls and send unlimited electronic messages to recruits.  The difference with Proposal 13-3 is that it will apply to all Division I sports.  Furthermore, legislation will also likely be passed to move the date upon which Division I basketball coaches can begin unlimited telephone and electronic message contact with recruits to July 1 of their junior year (currently the date is July 1st of their senior year).

The NCAA has supported Proposal 13-3 as part of NCAA President Mark Emmert’s efforts to reduce the size and complexity of the NCAA bylaws.  However, some coaches have shown dissatisfaction with the proposal.  These coaches fear that allowing unlimited communication will take up too much of their time.  They also feel that those Division I programs with the greatest amount of monetary resources will receive a windfall, as they often employ a larger staff and therefore have more resources at hand to communicate unlimitedly with recruits.  Other coaches have supported the proposal, as it makes complying with communication rules during recruiting much simpler.  Furthermore, some coaches argue that unlimited communication allows them to tell recruits everything they need to know about their program.

How does Proposal 13-3 affect recruits and their families?

This question seems to be one that is not being largely targeted by the mainstream media, NCAA or coaches.  Perhaps the most certain thing to happen if the proposal is passed, is that highly sought after recruits can expect the cost of their telephone bill to increase.

If Proposal 13-3 is passed, recruits and their parents should set limits with coaches and school officials to ensure that too much of their time is not being eaten up by athletic departments utilizing the new unlimited communication opportunity.  Here are some suggestions on how recruits and parents can address unlimited communication from an athletics program:

  1.  A recruit and/or his or her parents should inform a program as to the days of week and times during the day when the recruit is available to accept calls, emails or text messages from the program.  If messages or calls are received outside of these times, the recruit or the parent should reiterate the schedule to the program and ask that they comply.
  2. Parents of recruits should set times when the recruit can use his or her telephone or access the internet to read and respond to messages.  Parents should limit this time, so that a recruit is not spending an excessive amount of time reading and responding to messages.  The recruit’s focus should continue to be school and athletic practice and competition.
  3. If a program’s communication is found to be excessive or unwelcomed, the program should be made aware of this immediately so it can curb further communication.

With the passing of Proposal 13-3, the possibility exists that a Pandora ’s Box may be opened when it comes to how much communication a recruit is receiving from a program.  Given this, parents and recruits must be sure to protect their interests and set clear boundaries.

Do you think coaches should be allowed unlimited phone calls and test messages to recruits? Would you like to be able to text with a college coach? Let us know in the comments below or find us on Facebook.

Author: Alicia Jessop

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