Significant NCAA rule change goes into effect Friday

The times, they are a-changing.

Beginning Friday, coaches will be able to call or text message with recruits who have completed or are finishing up their sophomore year of high school. The rule change, according to the NCAA, is part of a new model for men’s basketball recruiting that emphasizes relationship building between college coaches and prospects and hopes to limit the influence of third parties on the recruiting process.

Coaches will be permitted to make unlimited calls and send unlimited text messages with recruits after June 15 following their sophomore year. The deregulation extends to social media, where private messages will be allowed. Public messages continue to be prohibited because of the rule preventing institutions from publicizing their recruiting efforts.

The changes to the recruiting model were adopted by the Board of Directors in October 2011 after a year of study by the Division I Leadership Council.

Several other changes will go into effect this year, but some of them won’t be fully in place until Aug. 1. The other changes include:

  • A start date for official visits beginning Jan. 1 of the junior year, with schools able to pay travel expenses for the prospect and a parent/guardian.
  • Permitting some contact at a prospect’s educational institution during the junior year in conjunction with an evaluation, with some restrictions and requirements.
  • The July period will be limited to three four-day periods beginning Wednesday at 5 p.m. and ending Sunday at 5 p.m.
  • The April period will be limited to certified events that begin after 6 p.m. on Friday and end before 4 p.m. on Sunday.