{FSMETA} College Football: Rivals.com - College Football

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April 18, 2007

New measure would limit messaging

Respect, privacy and convenience.

In short, those three words are how most coaches would describe the competitive game of recruiting prospective student-athletes.

Throughout the past few years, technological advances in computers and cell phones have allowed coaches to reach prospective athletes in different ways.

Some choose to contact prospects via text messages instead of the more traditional phone call. According to current recruiting regulations, coaches are limited in the amount of calls they are allowed to initiate with recruits. There is no regulation of text messages yet.

If a recent measure approved by the Division I Management Council passes in an April 26 meeting between the Division I Board of Directors, text messages to recruits would be outlawed.

If passed, the changes would take effect August 1.

This isn't the first time the issue has arisen.

In January, the NCAA discussed the possibility of merely limiting the practice of text messaging. But in the end, the measure was soundly defeated.

The new and more stringent changes would have wide-ranging ramifications for the college baseball community specifically coaches and prospective student-athletes.

While some in the college arena are for the changes, several baseball coaches are not in favor of the new proposal.

"In a way, I'd hate to see them (NCAA) do that, because it makes it easier to contact and receive correspondence from a recruit without having to call or bother them in less convenient fashion," Oklahoma State head coach Frank Anderson told Rivals.com. "If you only have so much time as a senior in high school, it's important to be able to receive text messages from coaches."

Unlike most coaches, Anderson knows how it feels to be on the receiving end of text messages. His son Brett is a former star recruit and is now playing professional baseball for the South Bend Silver Hawks.

During Brett's recruitment, Anderson found text messaging convenient.

"Having to deal with this issue in my own house, I think it will make it tougher for both coaches and players to keep in contact," he said. "To me, this issue is all about respect and privacy. And instead of bugging a kid with constant phone calls, text messages allow a recruit to contact you at his convenience."

It's a good idea to have it available, but it can also be abused.
UCLA head coach John Savage

UCLA head coach John Savage doesn't believe text messaging should be outlawed altogether, but does believe it should be regulated.

"Being in Los Angeles and stuck in traffic half the time, I think it's important to have the ability to text message prospect student-athletes. It's a big deal out here," he said. "It's a great and convenient way for people to contact you and for you to contact them."

Savage also admits there are problems with text messaging.

"I've heard of situations where a prospective student-athlete ends up with a ridiculous phone bill because coaches are text messaging him so much," he said. "I think it's a good idea to have it available. But in many instances it's abused. I'm for regulation, but I'm not for outlawing the ability to use it as a means for communication."

In addition, Savage suggested possibly having two text messages a week to use.

If the measure is passed, Anderson, Savage and others will have resort to old means to contact recruits.