NCAA guidelines don’t give college basketball coaches enough time to evaluate recruits

I had a great conversation with a D1 head college coach yesterday. The topic was about the recruiting calendar and why it must change. The pressure of July is insane not just for players, parents and coaches. It also is affecting people’s lively hoods, hopes and dreams. It’s the reason is there is no loyalty in AAU. This article was written 6 years ago by the great Dick Weiss and not much has changed and in fact the recruiting days have gotten smaller (

Let me start by giving you the number 700. That number represents the number of college basketball transfers this past year. That number is staggering and should send up a red flag to anyone who cares about kids or college basketball. College basketball is beginning to look like AAU Basketball from the stand point of kids jumping from team to team. The main reason we are having so many transfers comes down to one thing…the recruiting calendar in MOST CASES.

Recently the NEC conference, gave a proposal to the NCAA asking that the live summer recruiting period be extended over roughly 56 days starting in April. This would give coaches plenty of time to get out and see kids play and make a real evaluation of players, while still being able to focus on their college team and families. There is zero chance this will pass and let me tell you why. The power 5 schools will never vote for such a rule. Why? Because at U-Conn for example is recruiting 5-7 players every year. How many kids do you really think can play at U-Conn? Not many, this is the reason they don’t need 56 days. Now the other D1 conferences need every day and more to watch and make decisions on kids, yet the NCAA doesn’t allow them this time.

So here is what goes on in July. Coaches watch a kid play for a half, the kid plays well and then they go see them play again. Then a coach has to make a decision, how many times can you really watch one kid play kid with only 12 days to evaluate. Coaches at the mid major level need to create a large data base of talent to choose from. But once they make a decision they need to babysit that kid, watching them play is important in order to show interest and gain  favor. In doing this a college coach is missing other potential players and games that could lead to other talented players.  It’s a catch 20…Their dammed if they do and dammed if I don’t. How many times does a coach watch a kid play poorly and leave after a half? Then that kids has 5 three’s and plays out of their mind in the 2nd half only to notice that coach has moved on. This leads to kids getting over looked or coaches making mistakes, because other coach may be watching that same kid on that day make those 5 three’s and form a wrong opinion of that kids ability as it may be game of that kids life….but if the NCAA gave more days, coaches would slow down and kids would not feel pressure of performing like their life is on the line.

This year I’ve had coaches tell me two kids who I know are not just D1 players but impact kids, can’t dribble. It’s a joke, but it’s because of the recruiting calendar that these two kids are being unfairly labeled. Coaches watched them both maybe 3-4 times and then came to this evaluation. They’ve never saw them in high school or at work out. Now I have known both since 5th grade. I can assure you they will join my list of “I told you so kids”. It’s interesting I asked this coach how you do know they can’t dribble, watching bits and pieces of games this summer. His response was exactly what the problem is…”Tiny I can’t watch her all weekend” Well if the NCAA would extend the recruiting dates he could do just that.

SJV players always go to college and have great careers. Can you think of a SJV kid at any level of college who has not had a great college career? I can’t and do you know why? Because of exposure and picking the right level of play. That’s because college coaches don’t go to high school games unless they are serious about a recruit or at special tournament. They don’t go to high school games like AAU games hoping to run into a talented player. They already know who is playing, but in the case of St. Johns Vianney, it’s different. SJV plays an insane schedule every year. College coaches go to so many of their games over a player’s 4 year period; that coaches learn everything about that kid from A-Z. They watch the SJV players grow from year to year.  This leads to kids picking the right school and college coaches getting it right. But SJV is that rare high school. St. Rose for example plays a weak schedule and coaches rarely go to their games. So for players on this team, the AAU and to a lesser degree the high school playoff season and tournaments mean everything to them. Teams like this also have that pressure of needing to play well during the July. It’s why the Battle of Baltimore is such a great move. But often times it’s a hit or miss for kids on high school teams that either play a weak schedule or play for low profile teams. These teams need more dates to showcase their ability.

The pressure on coaches who have families are a joke. If the NCAA would allow coaches more time to choose when they go on the road. Coaches could take their time, pick and choose when and where to go watch games. Trust me college coaches like players get tired in the summer. It would wise to give players and coaches time to re-charge their bodies and stay fresh. Instead we have everyone rushing around and going to city to city and getting little done in many cases. Think how crazy July is for any parent with more than one kid. Think about the money spent in such a short period of time. If the NCAA would allow coaches more time out, parents would not have to scrape money together to pay for all the hotel and travel expenses. They would have time to spread the money out and more importantly give them a break to catch their breath. If everyone knew there was plenty of time for everyone to be seen…EVERYONE COULD RELAX AND ENJOY THE EXPERIENCE.

Everyone knows the real reason for the shorten dates. The NCAA is trying to limit AAU COACHES access to players, the bottom line it’s not working. The AAU coaches are still controlling kids. Shorting the recruiting days is not stopping them but in fact giving AAU coaches more power. Now the AAU coaches say to the kids, you have to be with us year round. They say we need to get ready because will only have 12 days. There are AAU team’s practicing 4 days a week….repeat 4 days a week in the spring and summer. This is insane and it’s the reason a lot kids are not developing their skills sets and walking around WITHOUT SCHOLARSHIP OFFERS. I spoke to a young lady who hopes to be a Division one player yesterday. She said my AAU team practices 5 days a week. I told her to stop the politics, go play one on one…two on two…3 on 3 and shoot. My guess is that she is going to continue her AAU PRACTICES ….SHE IS SCARED TO PISS OFF HER AAU COACH FOR FEAR OF WHAT HE MAY SAY or worst  DO!….If the NCAA had more days maybe these coaches would not feel the need to practice 4/5 days a week.

Finally we will have between 80-100 coaches at Academic Elite on July 29th. I called a 2018 kid who does not have scholarship to attend the event. She is a great student that would play on a court where coaches are not watching ten other courts; but rather just 2 courts. It will be the most coaches she will play in front of this summer, where the focus is solely on her. It’s a day where coaches like myself will advocate for her all day. Her answer,  “I can’t leave my team”.  I said, “it’s the last day of the recruiting period, after 3 days most coaches leave that event anyway”. 

But she is a first class kid, from a first class family. They are the opposite of most involved in AAU, they have brought plane tickets, reserved hotel rooms…they are loyal and respectful to their coach , teammates and parents, they REPRESENT ALL THAT IS GOOD ABOUT  AAU….she does not have an offer right now. Folks trust me she won’t have one when she get backs either. I know how this recruiting thing works. Knowing where and when to play is almost more important than one’s ability. But think about this, if the live period was longer. She could do both, because the recruiting period ends on July 29th, can anyone explain that? Why doesn’t it end on July 31st…’s another the reason the NCAA MUST MAKE THE CHANGE,  for the kids and families exactly like this. Then their loyalty would then be rewarded, rather than punishing them.

*By the way the reason I don’t make mistakes? Because unlike college coaches, I see them all the time…. it’s why I get to say  “I TOLD YOU SO” …more often than I like!*




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