Over the years I've been one of the NCAA's biggest critics. But when it comes to their proposed legislation to "clean up college basketball from within," I am in total agreement. ESPN's Dana O'Neil recently addressed the topic in an article. Especially noteworthy are the suggestions mentioned for the recruiting reform package, which also already have received the endorsement of the conference commissioners and the National Association of Basketball Coaches.
- "Eliminating so-called package deals, making it nearly impossible for a college program to hire any of the myriad of hangers-on associated with prospective student-athletes."
- "Disallowing college coaches to subscribe to receiving services run by people associated with prospects. This would curtail services offered by AAU programs (and others) that charge colleges to subscribe but sometimes offer little to no information on the prospect."
- "Preventing payment to nonprofit organizations benefiting summer-club teams, prospects or people attached to prospects."
- "Preventing coaches from hiring outsiders to work at their camps and clinics."
The article also makes note of the fact that the board of directors has the authority to enact some of the changes immediately, although most would go in effect in May 2010.
"As potentially ground-shaking as the rules are, the punishments comes with equally shared teeth," says O'Neil. "Head or assistant coaches could be suspended from participation from regular-season games as well as the NCAA Tournament, and the penalties would follow him to subsequent jobs. Also, basketball players caught in the web could be rendered permanently ineligible at a school found guilty of one of these infractions."
I also thought it was interesting that we were mentioned in a favorable light under the heading payments to recruiting services run by people associated with prospects.
"These aren't to be confused with the legit services run by people like Dave Telep, Tom Konchalski, and Clark Francis, who work independently of any team," O’Neil wrote.
With the exception of Telep, who has only been in the business a dozen years, Konchalski, Coleman, Oettinger, and myself have really stood the test of time, as the four of us combined have been in the business for well over a 100 years.
Another thing that we all have in common is the fact that none of us run events or have club teams, which not only adds to our legitimacy but also eliminates any conflict of interest, which can be a big problem if you're trying to evaluate and rank the players who come to your event or play for your club team. It also will be interesting to see which way a lot of the people who are doing both will decide to go. And right at the top of the list is Dave Telep, who has a scouting service, is the National Recruiting Director for Scout.com, and is the guy who invites the players for the NBA Players Association Top 100 Camp.