The NCAA live period for men's basketball recruiting is now officially over. Having gone through it as both a college coach and the parent of a prospect, I can attest that the system is not ideal for anyone involved (except maybe the tournament operators and hotels). Now that college coaches get eight weeks to work out their players in the summer, they are pushed to the max trying to fit in workouts and get out on the road to recruit. They work Monday and Tuesday developing their current players then travel on Wednesday to tournaments to watch recruits. Once the tournament ends on Sunday, they fly or drive back to campus and do it all over again. As for players, they travel all over the country missing class in the Spring and living out of hotels in the July period. The amount of games they play in a short time is grueling and taxing on their bodies. And as for parents of players, they almost have no choice but to send their kids on the road with the coach because they can't get enough time off work or even afford the travel costs and game entry fees.
While I do not claim to have all the answers, I do have a few ideas:
- Make April through August a quiet period which allows coaches to communicate with recruits as well as recruits to visit college campuses. This gives juniors a chance to take some visits prior to their senior year in the summer when they are out of school.
- Have a ten day recruiting period for coaches to go back into homes and high schools in April. Start it the Thursday before signing day and concluding it after a short three day dead period just before the signing period.
- Schedule two evaluation weekends for coaches to watch NCAA certified events (travel teams) in the Spring. One on the last weekend of April and the other in early May. This avoids the situation of this past recruiting calendar where there was only one evaluation weekend. The Spring evaluation weekend would only be three days (Friday through Sunday).
- Have a mandatory three week dead period from the end of May into the middle of June. This gives coaches a break and keeps players off college campuses when they should be studying for exams.
- Add one four day (Thursday through Sunday) recruiting period in late June which allows coaches to go watch prospects with their high school team only. This will help keep the high school coach involved in the recruiting process in the summer.
- Scheduled only two four day (Thursday through Sunday) evaluation periods for coaches to watch NCAA certified events in July with a week off in between them. The other option would be to leave it at the current three weekends but shorten them. Kids need to play less and coaches need to travel less.
With this format, there are only four weekend periods for coaches to watch NCAA certified events but additional dates added are added to watch players with their high school teams in June and it spreads out the Spring recruiting period. It would also remove the dead period restrictions in July so parents could take kids on visits when they are not in school.
I would love to hear what other coaches at all levels as well as parents like or dislike about the current set up for men's college basketball recruiting. Take a minute and comment now!