The NCAA thinks it is just like big time professional sports and has an annual meeting to discuss rules and changes to said rules. If you have ever gone through the NCAA recruiting manual, I am amazed there are not more violations. It is like reading a state report but much more dry and hard to figure out.
The big change this year involves men’s basketball and recruiting. Why men’s basketball was singled out is beyond me but it was. You are now considered a recruit as young as seventh grade in men’s basketball. Why, you may ask? The reasoning stated is that a lot of college coaches run clinics and summer camps aimed at this age level. To give everyone a level playing field, the new rule as to the age of a prospect has been set up.
What is my biggest problem with this new rule? Well, we can start off with it being hard for parents of juniors and seniors in high school to keep up with what is needed for NCAA recruiting and eligibility. It is harder for student-athletes and potential recruits to keep up on what is needed by the NCAA. It is also expensive to keep up on what is needed as there is a filing fee for eligibility clearance for division 1 and division 2 schools. There is no longer a need for this clearinghouse filing for division 3 schools.
Another reason I find this a ridiculous new rule is that it only applies to one sport. Within that sport, it only applies to the male portion of it. That is hugely discriminatory. If I were a men’s basketball coach, I would be screaming. Set the rule and make everyone play by it or do not make the rule at all.
The logic behind it that coaches run clinics and camps is true. It is not just men’s basketball coaches that do this though. It is soccer coaches, hockey coaches, lacrosse coaches, football coaches. You need to apply the rule to male and female sports. You need to apply the rule to all sports, not just basketball.
Heaven help that parent whose son is 12 and in 7th grade and extremely good at basketball. His chances of being seen by a coach who will follow him until he is starting to look at colleges has just decreased. His chances of going to a clinic or camp where a real, live college coach will help improve his skills has just decreased.