This happened too late for IU

Don’t know how I missed this earlier in the week, but an NCAA cabinet has supported a proposal to allow unlimited phone calls to recruits during a sport’s contact period.

The reason? Monitoring phone calls has become too burdensome for compliance officials.

So, yeah. All that stuff IU did to get in trouble with the NCAA? All that pain and suffering you went through? That black mark of “failure to monitor” forever etched upon the vaunted IU logo?

In a few years there’s a chance that all those calls made by former assistant coach Rob Senderoff would be completely within the rules. Because — get this — the rules that prohibited them made it too difficult to monitor them.

Let’s go to the pertinent part of the report:

Recruiting cabinet supports unlimited phone calls

Sep 29, 2009 9:04:19 AM

The NCAA News

The Division I Recruiting and Athletics Personnel Issues Cabinet threw its support behind several proposals that could change the recruiting landscape for both prospective student-athletes and coaches, including one that would allow unlimited phone calls during contact periods.

Proposal No. 2009-32, sponsored by the Pacific-10 Conference, would permit unlimited calls to prospective student-athletes during a sport’s contact period. It is intended to alleviate the burden on compliance personnel and coaches to monitor the calls and keep up with changing rules.

While the current phone-call restrictions were originally put in place at least in part to limit the intrusion on the lives of prospective student-athletes, the cabinet members agreed with the Pac-10 that monitoring telephone calls is an increasingly difficult burden on compliance personnel. Coaches also have often found that prospective student-athletes prefer to communicate electronically (through e-mail). Though the cabinet acknowledged some concern about intrusion into the lives of prospects, the group agreed that coaches, prospects and their families could share the responsibility of setting parameters on contacts.

Long-time readers of this blog have probably sensed that I would be in favor of this move. To me, the NCAA rules create problems by being too down-the-middle. You either have to really open recruiting up and have a more laissez-faire approach, or you have to totally clamp down. I’m in favor of this, but I’d also be in favor of a rule that prohibited colleges from ever calling a recruit (so that it would be incumbent on the recruit to make contact.)

Here’s another interesting decision made by the group:

The cabinet also decided to support Proposal No. 2009-42, a Southeastern Conference proposal that would prohibit distribution of media guides to recruits. The cabinet had a discussion about media guides at the group’s June 2009 meeting, including a presentation from College Sports Information Directors Association Executive Director John Humenik.

The cabinet took no position on a competing proposal from the Pac-10, No. 2009-41, which would prohibit the production of printed media guides. The group decided that the elimination of media guides altogether was a decision that was outside its purview.

Sponsors have described both proposals as cost-containment proposals.

One of the first things you do when arriving at Big Ten football media days is collect all of your media guides and lug them back to your room. This year, Hugh and I were doing just that when we came to a stack of publications with the title “2009 Indiana Hoosiers Football” along the top. But at the bottom, it read “Spring Guide.” Naturally, we did not pick this up. We’d covered spring practice. We didn’t need old info.

Only, it wasn’t old info. It was actually the proper media guide. It had been titled “spring guide” to take advantage of a loophole. Doing that allowed IU to also print a “fall guide,” (though it is not labeled as such) that in actuality served as a recruiting guide. That is, it had snazzier photos and emphasized IU’s facilities and equipment at the expense of including the hard data that we, the media, need.

To me, this whole discussion will soon be moot. All of this info will — and already is — be distributed electronically. This year at media day, we also received a thumb drive that contains a PDF of every media guide in the Big Ten. As a member of the Football Writers Association of America, I received a DVD with a PDF of every single media guide in the country.

And I’m sure kids these days or more apt to log onto a school’s web site to check it out, rather than hope for a publication to arrive at home.

Finally, the cabinet also made one other interesting decision:

The cabinet also opposed:

· 2009-45, which would move the first opportunity for an official visit in football to June prior to the prospective student-athlete’s senior year in high school because the cabinet believes there is adequate time for visits to occur during the prospect’s senior year in high school and prior to the signing date.

Bill Lynch has been a proponent of moving up the start date for official visits. As it stands, official visits (which are paid for by the school), can’t start until the season does. So players come for weekends when a team has a home game. Coaches, of course, are fairly busy. There’s not much time for interaction. Lynch, and others, would prefer a summer visitation period that would allow the coaches to concentrate on actually getting to the know the prospects, and vice versa.


  1. What an evil man Kelvin Sampson was..Almost as evil as the NCAA’s agenda that stole away a season from a bunch of kids that did no wrong.

  2. The NCAA condemns IU for “failing to monitor” the phone records, and then promptly declares that phone calls have become too difficult to monitor. Interesting.

    No use dwelling on this. I’m still happier with Crean as our coach instead of Sampson. I can’t help but shake my head, though. It just shows how much of a joke the NCAA has become.

  3. This is a bunch of crap!!! So the NCAA need to take IU off probation. I’m with you on this on Casey.

  4. Sampson broke the rules while at IU. He did so knowingly. Even if the NCAA says it is “too difficult to monitor”, Sampson broke the rules on purpose. In essence, the NCAA is saying it is difficult for the schools to enforce and alot of coaches are getting away with murder. Sampson still committed murder while it was illegal. The sad part is, the honest institutions (i.e. IU) got penalized under the old rule and the dishonest ones didn’t. For IU to be penalized while USC doesn’t and Calipari and many others do not, is a joke.

  5. Oh, I think Coach Cal’s doings go way beyond phone calls. Of course, he’s at UK now where they bundle cash to videos and mail them to players.

  6. It was my opinion during the Sampson “doings” that the NCAA should worry about real rules being broken, tests being taken by others, money being given through middle men, I am glad they will give up the chase on what amounts to j-walking and worry about real recruiting violations. The NCAA is like the U S Customs agency; they only go after people trying to perform within the rules ie documented workers, students etc. All the people here with out paper work are to hard to chase after, and the NCAA chases after fairly minor things because for the same reason, it [poor enforcement] justifies both of their exsistance and improves NOTHING.

  7. This abolition of this rule was an ingenious way for the NCAA to escape legalities in the future… They discriminated against Indiana and Kelvin Sampson by using a rule that was never given such heavy weight in the world of recruiting in the past…Yes, it was a “rule”, but rules need to be equally enforced..The NCAA made a choice to go after one coach and one program with a bogus and obscure rule..a rule that they knew from inception could never be equally enforced…Such rules are always made for one purpose-they are used to discriminate. The NCAA used a blade of straw as an ax to assault our basketball program..Used it in the final months of a season to bring the crowd of hungry media to thelittle town with big basketball castle…the hungry media printed the ugly details…then the straw changed from ax to flame..transformed into bundles of hate ignited, the angry citizens of Hoosier Nation grabbed their torches and chased the terrible monster, Kelvin Sampson, out of town….Now blades of straw are merely straw, the castle was burned, and an ax be not a phone call.

    In the country I live in you don’t put rule-breaking jaywalkers in the same cell with murderers.

  8. Talking about total hypocracy. I mean they nail IU as an institution for failure to monitor, and now they admit it’s too hard to monitor. Barf! As you will recall the NCAA put IU basketball on probation for @ 4 years (the last years of McCracken) for what the football team did. No NCAA tournament bids were permitted. Then, they changed the rule.
    But the USC’s and Memphis’s of the world get away with murder. Who needs the NCAA?

  9. The NCAA did not fire(torch?) Kelvin Sampson. Indiana fired Kelvin Sampson. Indiana should have recognized that the unfair application of an obscure rule was being used in a heinously discriminatory fashion. We should have had the fortitude to fight…then get rid of the horrible jaywalker if so choose.

  10. yeah, the NCAA is full of crap. this could be one of the single most ridiculous things they’ve ever done, especially based on the NCAA’s tormenting of IU (because it’s a lot cheaper for investigators to drive an hour than to fly four hours on a plane to LA).

    By the way, you notice the bill is sponsored by the Pac-10. That’s a preemmptive strike by that conference to keep their banner football school (USC) from getting in trouble for, no doubt, doing exactly this.

  11. Coming soon to a NCAA enforcement village near you…..Twitter Rule 17-646..Subsection C…paragraph 3a……

    …A potential recruit may only be tweeted once per week within the recruiting time frame as outlined by NCAA rule 14-957, Subsection 8 of Section B-6t, paragraph 14c. The recruit may tweet back to the coach an unlimited number of times..if any individual serving within the scope of the athletic program and its coaches shall respond to such tweets beyond the allotted singular twit, then this will be considered a Twitter violation and a failure to monitor tweets..

  12. yes the hoosiers got hosed by the ncaa who has failed 2 keep up with hi tech communication. all the comments above r soooo tru-o the hypocrapsy(sic) of the ncaa!!

  13. This is not abolishing limits on phone calls. Just during contact periods. And contact periods in men’s basketball run about two months total out of the year. It’s not a major change in basketball. It will be a major change in a sport like soccer which doesn’t have a full recruiting calendar, so more often than not you’re in a contact period.

  14. So the other 10 months of the year the NCAA can try to monitor the phone records of hundreds of basketball programs? Give me a break…They don’t give a damn about those 10 months…and they didn’t give a damn about the other 2 months until they wanted to bring a particular program and coach down. They have modified the rule in an attempt to escape litigation from Indiana University/Kelvin Sampson…They obviously were spending much of their 8-hour day only concerned with what one institution was doing on the phone during the recruiting window…There were other suspected major violators that they willingly ignored. Now they are in essence admitting to such by conveniently changing the rule….Slither how they may, it’s still a snake at the end of the day.

  15. The only way that rule ever gave the NCAA teeth was if it was self reported because they could never audit every school’s athletic departments phone bills. Also makes me wonder how much Miles Brand was personally involved with the investigation of IU and the subsequent punishment after the reporting by IU.
    Maybe Sampson appeals again and is allowed to return before the end of the 5 year ban.
    What has gotten into the NCAA”s head or heart?

  16. NCAA has always meant to me National Commercialization Applied to Athletics. It has little if anything to do with promoting student athletes and everything to do with TV and other revenue sources. The NCAA needs to be abolished or totally reformed. And, before that happens, it should be sued.

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