On June 15, the recruiting game changes.
From this point on, colleges are allowed to call and text recruits under the new principle of unlimited contact. I look at unlimited contact like blind loyalty -- neither is a good idea.
My take on this situation is simple: the new rule does not benefit the players. In many cases, recruits are about to get inundated with extraneous calls and texts. Let me know the first time a kid commits to a school based on the relationship he formed with a coach from texting. Maybe it’ll happen but I’m among the crowd of naysayers who thinks the kid’s privacy will be invaded and the stress of keeping up with the recruitment takes away from novel concepts such as say, homework or even practice (that’s a topic for another day).
Kids are already busy. Most high-level Divison I prospect spend their summers in gyms, not working jobs for spending money. They travel, they text friends. Now they’ll have unlimited communication with college coaches and are going to need to decide whether to hit the ignore button or take the call.
“I’m going to try and answer every call,” ESPN 100 guard Keith Frazier (Dallas/Kimball) said. “I don’t know how long I’ll be able to keep it up, but I’m going to give it a try.”
However, some say the solution is to not answer the calls and texts. While that’s certainly a valid way to deal with the communication, we are after all, asking teenagers to tell, in some cases, adults in positions of power to leave them alone.
There are three things I would do if my kids were in this situation:
1. Designate one day of the week as the selected time to talk on the phone. Let it be known that the player will take calls from 6-9 p.m. and if coaches want to schedule a time, that’s even better.
2. Select a time of day for texting. It could be as easy as 6-8 p.m. at night, anytime after 8 p.m. or even weekends only.
3. Designate the voices. By this, I mean let the college recruiter know who to speak with regarding the recruit's situation. That way, the prospect is able to control what’s being said on his behalf and conversely, the school knows which person to reach out to if he's not available.
Communication is a great thing, if handled properly. The key here is establishing parameters and imposing structure in this situation. Otherwise, there’s a good chance chaos will ensue.
Don’t think for a minute the college coaches will be offended by this. On the contrary, if they know there are rules that are being followed by everyone, they’ll conform. The wise ones will heed the warning and operate within the constraints of the parameters set by the prospect and his family. They’ll actually enjoy it more because the college coach can then plan his schedule accordingly. It’s a win-win.
There are of course a rash of prospects that will answer every text, return every call and bask in the glory of being recruited and their newfound popularity. Some of them may never run from the spotlight. However, in the end, no one can manage 10 schools calling and texting as much as possible.
Like it or not, unlimited communication is on the way.