Significant changes are coming to the way college basketball coaches are allowed to recruit.
The NCAA Division I Board of Directors on Thursday approved several new rules, including regulations that will once again allow coaches to send text messages to recruits and will permit college-paid campus visits for recruits and their parents/legal guardians beginning during a prospect’s junior year.
Also, the summer evaluation period will be limited to three 4 1/2-day periods and an April evaluation period will be created.
Initial academic eligibility standards also are being raised and the partial qualifier status is being revived, where recruits who do not meet all of the eligibility requirements can be on scholarship and practice with their teams but will not be allowed to play in games. The NCAA will consider this a player’s redshirt year.
The changes are intended to allow coaches to begin building relationships directly with recruits at an earlier stage so that the players are able to make more informed choices.
“I like having April back,” one ACC assistant coach said. “Mistakes get made when all your recruiting is in July. … I like texting. I don’t know about being on the phone every day. January 1 sounds good.”
* Prospects will be able to take official visits (paid for by colleges) beginning Jan. 1 of their junior year, moved up from the start of their senior year of high school. This was done because more and more players are making college choices well before their senior year. Schools can also pay travel expenses for two parents/legal guardians, which they previously could not do.
* During official visits, college coaches will be allowed to conduct on-court evaluations, which they previously could not do.
* The July recruiting period will be shortened from two 10-day periods to three four-day periods. Beginning this spring, college coaches also will be allowed to evaluate players during two weekends in April, which they previously could not do.
* There will be no restrictions on phone calls, text messaging or contacting recruits via social media messengers following June 15 of a prospect’s sophomore year. Contacting recruits via a public social media outler (Twitter or Facebook, for instance) will still be barred.