College Coaches Discuss Recruiting

Tuesday, July 18th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

LAS VEGAS (AP) — About 150 college basketball coaches discussed concerns over the ban on summer recruiting scheduled for 2002 during a meeting at UNLV.

The National Association of Basketball Coaches wants to make sure coaches are heard by the NCAA before the legislation takes effect.

No action was taken Sunday, but the association hopes to have a plan by November when the NCAA's Basketball Issues Committee meets.

The committee would then present a recommendation to the NCAA management council in April. A final vote would come in October 2001.

Many of the coaches are in town for the Big Time basketball tournament, which features 312 teams made up of some of the nation's top high school players.

``Our stance is we're 100 percent entrenched that we need to have summer evaluation,'' NABC executive director Jim Haney told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. ``But ultimately it's the Basketball Issues Committee's job to deal with this.''

Legislation is in place to reduce the number of evaluation days a coach can have in July from 24 to 14 in 2001, with no days in 2002.

Many coaches are willing to compromise, but they say they need time in July to recruit.

``Is cutting back days going to solve the problem?'' Washington State's Paul Graham said. ``We think it'll create more problems. Give us proper access to the student-athletes and you'll eliminate some of the people you're trying to eliminate.''

Texas' Rick Barnes was encouraged by the dialogue at the meeting.

``I think we left here with a sense that we'll have a voice in the process,'' Barnes said. ``We all want as much accessibility as possible to the kids.''

UNLV's Bill Bayno said: ``The powers that be in college basketball have to have a voice with the (NCAA) presidents and get them to listen. We have to have representation at every step of the process. That's the key to all this.''

The coaches think something good will come from the dialogue.

``We all need the summer,'' Wisconsin's Dick Bennett said. ``It's important for all of us. I think there will be some changes for the better.''

Denver's Marty Fletcher is trying to build a Division I program from the ground up. He needs all the days he can get.

``Being a coach for 18 years at the mid-major and low-major level, I appreciate the need for the summer,'' Fletcher said. ``The early signing period(in November) always gives us the best chance to sign a player. Without the summer to evaluate, there's no sense in having an early signing period.

``I don't know if there's a magic number, but you have to have time in July, whether it's 14, 15, 18 or 24 days. But I think you'll see a change. There's too many good people who want what's best for college basketball and for the kids not to have a compromise.''