Jun 18, 2012Big 12 Coaches Pleased With NCAA Changes
Texas coach Rick Barnes wanted it 15 years ago, but better late than never.
College basketball coaches are now allowed two hours of practice with their players per week during the summer after a rules change in January. Players must be enrolled in summer school and the NCAA limits the total length of the workout period to eight weeks. Big 12 coaches, who took part in a teleconference Thursday, all agreed the rule change is great for the game.
Previously, coaches were not allowed to conduct summer practices. Players now are allowed to participate in eight hours of staff-supervised workouts per week, with six of the hours being limited to strength and conditioning.
“I think it’s one of the great rules we’ve done for basketball, Barnes said. If I was a football coach, I’d be envious of it. It allows us to spend time with our players and get to know them earlier.”
Barnes, like other coaches in the league, said the hands-on nature of a practice not only allows basketball instruction, but allows the coaches to keep tabs on their players’ academics. Seeing them on the court with their teammates also accelerates a team’s cohesion. In the past, coaches could only infer so much from watching players during strength and conditioning and skill exercises in the summer, Barnes said, but those attributes didn’t necessarily translate to how they played on the court.
“How do they transfer that onto the floor, mesh with their teammates? How’s their basketball IQ?” Barnes said. “You can’t see that unless you’re on the floor with them. That’s why I love what we’re allowed to do this time of year.”
Another rule change, which begins today, includes coaches being able to call or text message recruits who have completed or are finishing their sophomore year of high school.
The deregulation allows coaches unlimited calls and text messages with recruits after June 15 following their sophomore year.
Coaches are permitted to send private messages via social media such as Twitter or Facebook, but public messages are still prohibited because of the NCAA rules preventing institutions from publicizing recruiting efforts.
The rule change, adopted by the Division I Leadership Council in October, hopes to emphasize relationship-building between coaches and recruits, while also limiting the influence of third parties on the recruiting process.
“Since Caller ID came into effect, if recruits want to talk to you, they’ll talk to you, Baylor’s Scott Drew said. I don’t think any profession likes paperwork. When all of us can save some trees, I think that makes things easier. It’s very rare that you get coaches to all agree that they like these rules changes.”
Texting is new for some, such as West Virginia coach Bob Huggins, who joked that he just started texting last year.