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Recruiting laws could be altered

Coaches’ group urges the NCAA to loosen some regulations.
Wednesday, July 21, 2004 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 8:41 a.m. CDT, Sunday, July 6, 2008

One organization agrees with Missouri that some NCAA recruiting bylaws are too strict and need changing.

The National Association of Basketball Coaches is urging the NCAA to loosen its laws on the number of permissible telephone calls and meals coaches can have with prospective student-athletes, according to an NCAA press release.

The NABC submitted a “comprehensive plan to reshape the recruiting process” to the NCAA Division I Management Council, according to the release dated Monday.

If the plan holds weight among NCAA officials, the Division I Board of Directors will give it final consideration in April.

“The management council has decided to include (the proposals) in the formal legislative cycle,” NCAA spokesman Erik Christianson said. “But there hasn’t been a vote on those measures.”

Christianson said it’s too early to determine whether the proposals, if passed, would affect current NCAA investigations.

In May, the NCAA accused several MU basketball staff members of making impermissible telephone contacts to recruits. Coach Quin Snyder was also accused of hosting several impermissible meals in his home for current and prospective student-athletes.

MU complained in its response to NCAA allegations that bylaws concerning the number of permissible meals were too strict.

Now, the NABC is proposing that coaches be allowed to provide more meals to current and prospective student-athletes. Under the proposal, coaches would be allowed to provide occasional snacks or meals “related to mentoring activity,” the release said.

NCAA laws categorize such “snacks” as “impermissible extra benefits.” It permits coaches to offer meals to athletes only on “special occasions.”

The NCAA said Snyder offered former player Ricky Clemons snacks more frequently than could be considered “occasional” and that they were not provided on special occasions. MU fought back, saying Snyder was trying to maintain a level of hospitality with the snacks because it was common for Clemons to be at Snyder’s home.

The NABC is also advocating for coaches to be allowed more telephone calls to recruits; one per month between June 15 before the prospect’s junior year and July 31 after the prospect’s junior year, and two per week beginning Aug. 1 before the prospect’s senior year.

NCAA bylaws allow one telephone call to be made to a prospect in March of the prospect’s junior year in high school. After that, coaches can make three calls (no more than one per week) to prospects in July.

The NCAA alleged that Snyder and former assistants Lane Odom and Tony Harvey, on several occasions, made more than one call to a prospect in one week.

In one allegation, the NCAA stated that Odom called a prospect four times in one week. MU supported the allegations but said the potential violations resulted from a “lack of communication” among the coaches about who was contacting the prospect.

One on-campus tryout would also be permitted for prospects under NABC proposals. NCAA bylaws do not allow participation of prospects in on-campus athletic events.

The NCAA has accused Harvey of allowing an impermissible tryout at Hearnes Center.


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