Coaches message recruits: C U later

NCAA ban on texting takes effect but faces review after outcry

August 02, 2007|By Heather A. Dinich | Heather A. Dinich,Sun Reporter

On Tuesday night - the eve of the NCAA's ban on text messaging - St. Frances standout guard Sean Mosley received what is supposed to be his last digital devotion from a college coach. It was Florida State's final attempt 2 B his BFF via text message.

Mosley's former teammate, Naji Hibbert, who transferred to DeMatha last month, got a similar note from Clemson.

And Baltimore native Isaiah Armwood, a power forward at Montrose Christian, received one from Villanova.

"They were basically telling me we have to stay in contact because they can't text anymore," said Mosley, who is rated the No. 14 shooting guard in the class of 2008 by rivals.com. "He just said call if I needed to talk to them."

Or, as Maryland football coach Ralph Friedgen predicted will happen, coaches could invest in the latest technology to skirt the new rule and e-mail recruits their electronic love letters.

"Here's what's going to happen," Friedgen said. "They're going to buy - what's the new phone, the Apple phone? The iPhone? - and they're going to e-mail it. So they're going to pass a rule where you have to spend more money to do the same thing. Which is typical NCAA."

LOL.

Actually, Friedgen might want to wait another week before splurging on any new gizmos.

The NCAA board of directors might overturn the legislation as early as Aug. 9. Enough Division I schools requested an override to trigger an automatic review by the board, which already had a meeting scheduled next Thursday.

Erik Christianson, a spokesman for the NCAA, said at least 30 institutions must request a review in order for the board to reconsider. None of the schools in the Atlantic Coast Conference requested the review. The board has several options for its meeting:

The board could uphold its original decision. If it does, then it goes to a vote by NCAA members at the association's annual convention, to be held in January in Nashville, Tenn. It would require a five-eighths majority to overturn the legislation.

The board could vote to overturn it.

Or the board could propose different legislation (such as setting a time frame during which text messaging is allowed). If that happens, there would be another period for discussion.

"My only concern is, if you're going to ban it, how are you going to govern it?" Friedgen said. "How are you going to find out if somebody else is texting a kid when they're not supposed to be?"

Christianson said the coaches are supposed to police themselves and report any violations.

"As a self-governing organization, the expectation is that our members are going to comply with the rules," he said.

Armwood, the No. 20 prospect in the class of 2009 according to rivals.com, said there was no need to ban text messaging - just to limit it.

"We have lives, too," he said.

Just ask his father.

"My father gets more than me," he said. "Sometimes it's a nuisance to him."

Armwood's teammate at Montrose Christian, Terrell Vinson, is equally coveted by major programs, but he might be the only prized recruit in the country who hasn't received any text messages.

His stepfather, James Gilyard, won't allow it.

Instead, the coaches text him.

"And I don't text them back, either," he said. "Personally, I think it's a bad thing," Gilyard said of coaches contacting 16-year-old players such as Vinson. "You should go to the parents. The coaches who won't go to the parents, we won't look at it at all."

"I will text them next year," he said.

C U then.

heather.dinich@baltsun.com

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