If you've got game, you also probably have a phone bill. Starting this off-season, specifically on June 15, NCAA Division I basketball coaches can make unlimited phone calls and texts to recruits who have completed their sophomore years of high school.
"We can find out who's more interested," said rising Pulaski senior Cody Wichmann.
Wichmann is being recruited by several Division I schools, including Green Bay. He says Phoenix head coach Brian Wardle is in touch, not just talking about the perks of joining him in college.
"We were talking about the (Miami) Heat game (in the NBA Finals)," said Wichmann. "It's not all about the school, but who really cares about you."
Coaches can also send private messages via social media, though public messages, like Facebook wall posts, are still now allowed.
The new rule changes the game for coaches as well. Wardle says one challenge is standing out among all the college coaches fighting for the attention of certain prospects.
"You just want to catch their attention," said Wardle. "June 15th, they get bombarded with texts and phone calls on that day, you want that little something they might remember."
The NCAA allows unlimited contact to encourage coaches and players to build relationships, according to a release on NCAA.com. They also hope to minimize the influences of third parties in recruiting.
The problem could be that the texting and calls become a distraction.
"Some of the players that get a lot of attention, the high-profile players, they're getting a lot of mail, a lot of calls; there's a lot of contact," said Kaukauna coach Mike Schalow. "That may be overwhelming and overbearing at times for them."
Schalow says, with a good support network, the contact is certainly manageable in an important time in an athlete's life.
For the players being contacted, they feel it's their responsibility to let coaches know when enough is enough.
"If you don't like a school, it makes you grow up a lot, you have to tell the coaches, you know, I don't want to go here," said Wichmann.
Wardle likes that approach, because it lets he and his staff move on to other prospects.
"That's what we're hoping for, that these recruits will just say, 'I'm not interested,'" said Wardle. "And we respect that. We appreciate that, any school, any level."
According to NCAA.com, the National Association of Basketball Coaches supported the decision to allow unlimited text messages and calls.
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