Due to an NCAA regulation, no members of a Division I basketball coaching staff may attend the Capital Classic high school game Friday night at Capital Centre.
Because many coaches felt some colleagues were recruiting instead of attending the yearly convention held during the NCAA's final four weekend, the NCAA, acting on a recommendation from the National Association of Basketball Coaches, passed a bylaw prohibiting contact with potential prospects beginning the Thursday before the semifinals and ending at noon the Tuesday after the final.
Because the Capital Classic falls within that period, coaches are barred from attending.
Many coaches feel the intent of the rule is good but question its strictness.
"My assistants don't plan to go to Albuquerque (site of the final four) and I think if they want to buy a ticket to see the game, they should be allowed to do so," said George Washington's Gerry Gimelstob.
"The rule is cut and dried and I'll abide by it," James Madison Coach Lou Campanelli said. "We're all members of the coaches organization and should attend the meetings. The rule doesn't bother me . . . Most of the kids in the main game (at Capital Centre) have declared schools, anyway. This rule might hurt the players in the preliminary game."
Maryland Coach Lefty Driesell said the game's date might have to be changed to compensate for the rule.
"Any rule that curtails recruiting is good," Driesell said. "If I had my way, there wouldn't be any recruiting. Let a kid choose his own school. The reason they (coaches) passed the rule is because they thought any coach who wasn't there (the NCAA semifinals) was out recruiting. I've only been to a few of the final fours, anyway, but that doesn't mean I was out recruiting. I was tired of basketball and that was time for me to go to the beach or go fishing.
"This will be the first Capital Classic I've missed (in 10 years). I like to go just to watch the kids play."
Howard Coach A.B. Williamson said such rule makes his job tougher.
"A lot of coaches don't know about the dead period," Williamson said. "The NCAA sort of sneaked it in. This hurts us a lot because this is a great weekend for us to do our recruiting."