This July marks the second year of the NCAA’s new schedule regarding the summer’s live-recruiting period.
In the past, there have two two ten-day evaluation periods in July, with a week and a half in between them. The new rules lessen the number of days that coaches can be on the road recruiting, but they are now broken up into three five-day live periods in consecutive weeks. Starting at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, coaches are allowed in the gym at summer events evaluating, getting a full 96 hours of access before they are kicked out at 5 p.m. on Sunday.
Lather, rinse, repeat, for three straight weeks.
On the surface, this seems like a great idea.
The kids spend five straight days on the road instead of ten, and coaches are only allowed to be in the gym for 96 hours.
In reality, however, the new rules have made July that much more grueling. Think about it like this: instead of grinding for 10 days and getting more than a week to get their legs back and recover from any nagging injuries, these athletes travel home on Sunday night or Monday morning just to head back out on the road on Tuesday night or Wednesday morning.
Pretend you are Stanley Johnson, a top ten recruit in the Class of 2014 from California. You just spent the last five days in Georgia playing in the Peach Jam. You have to fly all the way back to California to spend less than two days at home before making the trip to Washington DC to play in the Nike Global Challenge. That’s exhausting. Now, Johnson is talented enough that is doesn’t really matter how tired his legs are; he’s going to be able to go to any school that he wants. What about the players that aren’t known commodities like that? Will they lose out on a chance to earn a scholarship because their legs gave out this month?
Another example? Stephen Zimmermann, who some believe is the top recruit in the Class of 2015, spent the last six days in Indianapolis for the Adidas Invitational and he’ll be spending the next seven days in Milwaukee for the Under Armour Summer Jam. At least he’s lucky enough to be from Las Vegas, so he can spend the last period playing ‘home games’.
There may eventually be enough force behind this opinion to get the rule changed, and it will likely happen sooner or later if more coaches with the name cache of Arizona’s Sean Miller speak out:
Love being able to recruit in July – all parties benefit! I cannot comprehend the rational of 3×5 day periods.
— Sean Miller (@UACoachMiller) July 15, 2013
I’d encourage you to read through all of Miller’s twitter feed, as he spent a couple of hours this morning ranting. It’s one of the beauties or social media; you get a glimpse into issues that bother college coaches in realtime.
Who knows if this rule will eventually be changed and what the new setup will look like, but the one thing that most people seem to agree upon is that this is not the best possible model.
You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.