I’m going to have to go ahead and stand up for Utah head coach Larry Krystkowiak.
I don’t think he committed an NCAA violation.
Let me explain.
Last night, as I was trying to wrap my head around the latest episode of Homeland, this tweet from, Jay Drew of the Salt Lake Tribune, popped up on my feed:
KSL Ch. 5 in SLC just showed a clip with Utah coach Larry Krystkowiak talking about Jabari Parker. Um, that’s against NCAA rules.
— Jay Drew (@drewjay) October 8, 2012
Before the signing of a prospective student-athlete to a National Letter of Intent or an institution’s written offer of admission and/or financial aid, a member institution may comment publicly only to the extent of confirming its recruitment of the prospective student-athlete. The institution may not comment generally about the prospective student-athlete’s ability or the contribution that the prospective student-athlete might make to the institution’s team; further, the institution is precluded from commenting in any manner as to the likelihood of the prospective student-athlete’s signing with that institution.
By the letter of the law, yes, Krystkowiak committed a relatively minor violation. He should have known better, and the television station that aired the clip should have known better as well.
But, frankly, Krystkowiak may as well be talking about Kobe Bryant, because he has absolutely no chance of landing this nation’s No. 1 recruit in the Class of 2013. Let’s forget, for a second, that the Utes are coming off a season where they weren’t even an afterthought in a Pac-12 that was barely able to get their regular season champ an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament. Utah isn’t on Parker’s final list of five schools, and he wasn’t on the list of 11 schools that he was considering prior to that.
You know who is on that list, though? One of Utah’s biggest rivals, BYU. BYU also happens to be the flagship university for Mormons. Parker is Mormon. If he decides to spend his one season in college in the state of Utah, he’ll be doing so at BYU. I have a better chance of getting him to play for me men’s league team than Krystkowiak does of getting him to become a Ute.
With that in mind, you cannot honestly consider that Parker to be a “prospective student-athlete” for Utah.