Tom Crean’s Twitter Mistake Reflects Poorly on New Digital Recruiting Freedoms

Posted by Chris Johnson on August 6th, 2012

Christopher Johnson is an RTC columnist. He can be reached @ChrisDJohnsonn

In response to an increasing number of maddeningly trivial secondary NCAA violations and a widespread rise in the use of smartphone-friendly forms of communication, the NCAA officially removed the coach-recruit digital contact barrier this June when its new cell phone-related recruiting rules went into effect. The new guidelines allow coaches to bombard players who have completed their sophomore year of high school with instantaneous messaging services such as texting, emailing and Twitter direct messaging. Coaches and assistants long rued the seemingly inane restrictions limiting today’s most efficient and instant forms of communication. Fewer contact controls will facilitate more frequent communication while eliminating the ever-present fear of committing a menial rule-break. Coaches can now rest easy knowing their digitized messages will safely reach a recruit’s inbox without having to regret pressing send. The result: A distinctly modernized recruiting world with streamlined communication and a newfound safeguard from the constant threat of an unsuspecting NCAA bylaw wreaking its retributive justice. The new rules makes life easier on the NCAA, too, as the organization no longer has to spend countless hours monitoring the flow of cell phone communication between coaches and recruits.

The NCAA’s new regulations allow coaches to reach recruits instantly with smartphone communication (Photo courtesy Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images).

For the players, the long-term implications of the new contact protocol aren’t quite as rosy. Coaches that for years had wielded a restricted range of communication devices — and restricted usage on those devices — can now reach their desired prospects with the simple push of a button. The means and power to reach recruits now lies in the palm of their hands. Eliminating letters and unofficial visits in favor of texts and emails seems like a pretty fair deal for both sides, provided coaches don’t abuse their expanded degrees of communicative freedom. And therein lies the problem. In a hyper-competitive recruiting market, where coaches work tirelessly to land top high school talents, recruits can be overwhelmed by a barrage of texts and emails. Building a strong bond between player and coach is an integral aspect to any successful recruiting pitch. Now that coaches can make those connections with a few clicks on their handheld device, excessive contact is inevitable.

On Friday, Indiana coach Tom Crean provided a glimpse of what goes into the Division I college hoops recruiting pitch and brought to light another potential downside to the new guidelines. Here’s the tweet that appeared on Crean’s public feed:

“I am doing great. I have been thinking about you alot since last weekend. A whole lot. How are you doing?”

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Morning Five: 07.21.11 Edition

Posted by jstevrtc on July 21st, 2011

  1. “My account was hacked!” goes the common cry of players and sometimes even coaches who tweet something they soon end up regretting, right? Well, you wont hear anything like that coming from any of the University of New Mexico’s players. In fact, you won’t hear anything at all in the way of tweets from them, because Steve Alford has mandated a Twitter gag order for everyone on his squad. As of this writing, Facebook is still allowed. So, what do you think? Overprotective, or sound judgment by Coach Alford?
  2. And now, your daily Salinas: most of the talk in this area on Wednesday centered around the NCAA investigation into the matter. As in…does one exist? First, the revered Andy Katz stepped up with an article announcing that the NCAA had no intention of investigating the possibility of what would amount to a player-for-investment money scam (not to mention the simultaneous alleged Ponzi scheme being examined by the Feds). The only problem is that for the rest of the day people came forward with evidence that such an investigation had already begun. Was Katz lied to or did the NCAA change their mind extremely quickly on the matter? Or is this the difference between a formal vs. informal probe?
  3. Louisville will not be getting lei’d in 2012. They’ve pulled out of the Maui Invitational that year and will be replaced by Marquette. But don’t put the floral shirts, sunscreen and swimming trunks away just yet, Cardinal fans. Instead of Maui that year, you’ll have to settle for the Battle 4 Atlantis in the Bahamas. Card Chronicle has a pretty persuasive list of reasons as to why this is a better move for the team, not the least of which is that the Bahamas is emerging as fertile ground for basketball talent.
  4. There was a Sweet 16 ten years ago, but in the last 40 years that’s all that Penn State basketball has had to get happy about as far as NCAA Tournament achievements. We had to stop and consider that before immediately writing off the notion that, as Black Shoe Diaries asserts, the best days ever for Penn State basketball are now underway with the hiring of Pat Chambers. Obviously we’ll have to wait and see if they’re proven correct, but after reading the piece and the comments section we’ll at least give everyone involved full marks for how they’ve used Chambers’ arrival as an opportunity to renew their emotional investment.
  5. Andy Staples sure knows how to get your attention. Sports Illustrated is doing a series called “The Best Team I Ever Covered” in which it asks each of its writers over several sports about…well, you get it. For his submission, Staples chose the 2005-06 Florida Gators and included the words “Miss Sweden” in the title. We didn’t consider ourselves suckered, however, since his story was a nice insight into his coverage of that squad and the odd yet enjoyable journey it must have been. For the few of you who weren’t aware, Joakim Noah’s mother was a Miss Sweden. Yes, that Joakim Noah.
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Morning Five: 07.15.11 Edition

Posted by rtmsf on July 15th, 2011

  1. As a website victim to a similar infringement of trademark, RTC has a particular compassion for other sites and entities subject to cybersquatters and other bottom-feeders around the web.  But this example involving Arizona State University is a wee bit funny regardless.  It turns out that if you type in thesundevils.com into your browser, you’ll end up where you expected, at the official athletics website of the Pac-12 school located in Tempe.  But if you leave off the pronoun “the” and enter (warning: NSFW) sundevils.com, you’ll find something entirely different.  Like, as different as Brian Wilson’s leotux at the ESPYs Wednesday night, although equally titillating.  ASU has filed suit against the owner for infringement even though the owner claims that he doesn’t know why it is redirecting to his unrelated site and that he’s never heard from anyone at the university about this problem.
  2. Apparently Georgia Tech was under an NCAA investigation in both football and basketball — who knew?  On Thursday the NCAA released its report finding GT guilty of several violations, resulting in the football team losing its 2009 ACC football title and the school having to pay $100,000 in penalties. The bulk of the violations involved the football program, but new head coach Brian Gregory on the basketball side will have to endure a slightly lower amount of official recruiting visits (10) for each of the next two seasons as well.  The hoops violations related to a handful of impermissible tickets given to recruits, but the bigger issue for the program is that its second major NCAA probation in the last six years.  Since Tech found itself in the NCAA’s crosshairs twice in such a short period of time, it was subject to harsher penalties than normal despite the relatively minor initial violation that got the school in trouble in the first place (a football player received some clothing).   A cautionary tale, indeed.  To read the entire NCAA report, click here.
  3. ACC Sports Journal asks the question: What’s the succession plan for Duke basketball?  Everyone knows that Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski is still probably several years, a couple hundred more wins, and perhaps even a fifth national championship away from retiring, but as he turns 65 next season, it’s a fair question.  The national pundits believe that Butler’s Brad Stevens is tailor made for the job, and we agree for the most part.  But we also think that Stevens, as a Hoosier born and bred, will settle at one or the other destination job — Duke or Indiana — at some point in the next five to seven years.  For fans of either school, it may become a bit of Faustian bargain — IU fans rooting for Tom Crean to ultimately fail (hoping the job opens prior to Duke), and Duke fans rooting for Crean’s success (hoping the IU job won’t open until after K retires).
  4. Louisville head coach Rick Pitino blogged for the first time in over seven months yesterday, and he found time between complaints about playing at West Virginia for the third year in a row to lay out his idea for how to divide the 17-team Big East into an East and a West division.  The only thing is, though, is that we’re having a little trouble following the geography of Pitino, as his suggested layout has DePaul, Marquette and Notre Dame in the East, while Syracuse, Rutgers and Connecticut reside in the West.  Not sure what’s going on with that.  Anyone?  Perhaps we’ll have to wait another half-year to find out.
  5. Finally, we’d be remiss if we didn’t again express our gratitude for SI.com placing us (well, our Twitter feed) on its list of the Top 100 must-reads for “news, information and entertainment from the sports world.”  Considering the talent on its staff and its ongoing reputation as the home of the best sports writers in the world, we are honored.  Let’s just hope that the extra attention doesn’t make us all self-conscious the next time we fire up the old TweetDeck apparatus…
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Who’s Got Next? Pangos All-American Camp, UNC Spotlight, Twitter Trouble and More…

Posted by Josh Paunil on June 3rd, 2011

Who’s Got Next? is a bi-weekly column by Josh Paunil, the RTC recruiting guru. We encourage you to check out his website dedicated solely to college basketball recruiting, National Recruiting Spotlight, for more detailed recruiting information. Twice a week he will bring you an overview of what’s going on in the complex world of recruiting, from who is signing where among the seniors to who the hot prospects are in the lower levels of the sport. If you have any suggestions as to areas we’re missing, please let us know at rushthecourt@yahoo.com.

Introduction

Last week it was the Nike EYBL, this week it’s the Pangos All-American Camp. Last week Class of 2012 small forward Shabazz Muhammad (#3) got his own section and this week Class of 2013 power forward Julius Randle (Watch List) gets his own section. Last week Class of 2012 point guard L.J. Rose (#20) named UCLA as a favorite and this week he elaborated on that. As you can tell, there are a lot of parallels between last week’s column and this week’s column but there are some things (or should I say people) that weren’t mentioned in the previous Who’s Got Next? column: Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Wilt Chamberlain, Moses Malone, Kareem Abdul-Jabar, Candace Parker and ‘The Jewish Jordan”… not to mention a Twitter recruiting scandal.

What They’re Saying

Junior Brandon Ashley (#4) looks to cut his list in the next couple of weeks.

  • Junior Brandon Ashley (#4) on when he will make his decision: “I’m hoping to cut everything down in the next two or three weeks, maybe to a top ten, make my decision probably in the early signing period.”
  • Junior Rodney Purvis (#7) on his list of schools: “Duke, Kentucky, Louisville, North Carolina State and Memphis.” On what position he’ll play in college: “Most of the coaches I’ve talked to feel I’ll be most successful as a combo guard.”
  • Junior L.J. Rose (#20) on why he took a visit to UCLA this past weekend: “I’ve built a great relationship with [UCLA] head coach Ben Howland.”
  • Junior Elijah Macon on the schools recruiting him the hardest: “Miami, Maryland, West Virginia and South Florida are on me hard.”
  • Sophomore standout Solomon Poole on what he’s looking for in a college: “First, academics. You can’t get anywhere without that. And a coach that makes you better. I want him to tell me what I’m doing wrong.”
  • Fantastic Freshman Trey Gundy on his favorite school: “I’m a Kentucky fan, I want to go to UK for college. I am going to keep my options open and see what’s best for me, but I bleed blue.”
  • IMG Academy head coach Andy Borman on when senior DeAndre Daniels will commit: “There is no timetable.”

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Who’s Got Next? Updated Class of 2012 Rankings…

Posted by Josh Paunil on May 3rd, 2011

Who’s Got Next? is a weekly column by Josh Paunil, the RTC recruiting guru. We encourage you to check out his website dedicated solely to college basketball recruiting, National Recruiting Spotlight, for more detailed recruiting information. Each week he will bring you an overview of what’s going on in the complex world of recruiting, from who is signing where among the seniors to who the hot prospects are in the lower levels of the sport. If you have any suggestions as to areas we’re missing, please let us know at rushthecourt@yahoo.com. 

Introduction

With another passing week, there is plenty of recruiting news including standout performances at AAU events, commitments and de-commitments, and the latest news on where high-profile prospects are likely to go to college. However, the biggest revelation by far in this past week was a recruiting scandal at a mid-major D1 school that has yet to win an NCAA Tournament game but somehow managed to land two elite prospects. Read on to see how a young man from Chicago, a head coach at a mid-major basketball program and a high-profile former felon created the biggest recruiting scandal in the past few years.

What We Learned

Kevin Ware's recruitment exposed ties between UCF head coach Donnie Jones and convicted felon Kenneth Caldwell.

Kevin Ware’s Recruitment and Central Florida’s Recruiting Scandal. After class of 2011 shooting guard Kevin Ware committed to the Knights two weeks ago, he backed out of the agreement Thursday when he learned of Kenneth Caldwell’s background, a Chicago man with a substantial criminal record and apparent ties to a prominent sports agency. Ware claims that Caldwell repeatedly called him to encourage him to attend Central Florida, traveled to meet with his family and even set up conversations between Ware, himself and head coach Donnie Jones and Jones’ staff – contact which is prohibited by the NCAA. Caldwell formally denied recruiting players for UCF and claimed he was simply impressed by UCF… a school that has never won an NCAA Tournament game.

When Ware and his family were asked about what coaches said their relationship with Caldwell was, they said the coaches claimed they had no direct affiliation with him but that they had known him for a year. This left the Ware family wondering exactly who Caldwell was and how he tied in with UCF.  On his LinkedIn page, Caldwell claimed to be a recruiter of potential NBA players for ASM Sports, which the company later confirmed. What was even more frightening about Caldwell’s background were his two felony convictions in 1991 and again in 1998. He also owes the IRS close to $250,000. After looking at his history and claims, Caldwell could fairly be labeled as a “runner,” someone who acts as a middle man to deliver players to universities and agents.

How current UCF commit Michael Chandler Ties In. Caldwell’s ties to the UCF program started a few years ago when a high school student whom he refers to as his “son” committed to the Knights. Then, two more players whom Caldwell likes to call his “nephews” also chose UCF for their collegiate careers, including one of the best class of 2011 centers in the country, Michael Chandler. Before becoming a Knight, Chandler had previously committed to Louisville and Xavier before he shocked many people by settling on Central Florida. Chandler’s high school coach said he’d never even heard of Central Florida before Chandler committed there. However, Chandler’s uncle said the prospect chose UCF on its merits. In Pat Forde’s column this week analyzing the odd recruitment, he said a source with knowledge of the situation claimed that Caldwell bragged about having inside information of where Chandler would be attending college well before he made his decision public.

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Tweeting the Preview: #20 – #1

Posted by rtmsf on November 8th, 2010

We’re back with the second consecutive year of officially losing our minds, but they say the first step toward healing is recognizing the problem.  As of 11 am EDT last Monday, there were 345 hours until tipoff of four games of actual, it-counts college basketball on Opening Night, Nov. 8.  So… beginning that morning, we started releasing our rankings of every Division I team from worst to first as tweets on the social networking platform known as Twitter (you may have heard of it).  We’ll release one team preview every single hour from now until Opening Night, and in case you’re not following us over there, we’ll put the updated list here each night for your review in aggregate.  The key to tweeting, of course, is conciseness, so we’ll try our best to relay some relevant information on each and every team in the requisite 140 characters or less, and hopefully some of you will be paying attention along the way.  Here are Monday’s entries (#20-#1).

For all previous TTP posts, click here.

(major h/t to Matt Patton for his assistance researching and writing these Tweets)

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Tweeting the Preview: #44 – #21

Posted by rtmsf on November 8th, 2010

We’re back with the second consecutive year of officially losing our minds, but they say the first step toward healing is recognizing the problem.  As of 11 am EDT last Monday, there were 345 hours until tipoff of four games of actual, it-counts college basketball on Opening Night, Nov. 8.  So… beginning that morning, we started releasing our rankings of every Division I team from worst to first as tweets on the social networking platform known as Twitter (you may have heard of it).  We’ll release one team preview every single hour from now until Opening Night, and in case you’re not following us over there, we’ll put the updated list here each night for your review in aggregate.  The key to tweeting, of course, is conciseness, so we’ll try our best to relay some relevant information on each and every team in the requisite 140 characters or less, and hopefully some of you will be paying attention along the way.  Here are Sunday’s entries (#44-#21).

For all previous TTP posts, click here.

(major h/t to Matt Patton for his assistance researching and writing these Tweets)

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Tweeting the Preview: #68 – #45

Posted by rtmsf on November 7th, 2010

We’re back with the second consecutive year of officially losing our minds, but they say the first step toward healing is recognizing the problem.  As of 11 am EDT last Monday, there were 345 hours until tipoff of four games of actual, it-counts college basketball on Opening Night, Nov. 8.  So… beginning that morning, we started releasing our rankings of every Division I team from worst to first as tweets on the social networking platform known as Twitter (you may have heard of it).  We’ll release one team preview every single hour from now until Opening Night, and in case you’re not following us over there, we’ll put the updated list here each night for your review in aggregate.  The key to tweeting, of course, is conciseness, so we’ll try our best to relay some relevant information on each and every team in the requisite 140 characters or less, and hopefully some of you will be paying attention along the way.  Here are Saturday’s entries (#68-#45).

For all previous TTP posts, click here.

(major h/t to Matt Patton for his assistance researching and writing these Tweets)

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Tweeting the Preview: #92 – #69

Posted by rtmsf on November 6th, 2010

We’re back with the second consecutive year of officially losing our minds, but they say the first step toward healing is recognizing the problem.  As of 11 am EDT last Monday, there were 345 hours until tipoff of four games of actual, it-counts college basketball on Opening Night, Nov. 8.  So… beginning that morning, we started releasing our rankings of every Division I team from worst to first as tweets on the social networking platform known as Twitter (you may have heard of it).  We’ll release one team preview every single hour from now until Opening Night, and in case you’re not following us over there, we’ll put the updated list here each night for your review in aggregate.  The key to tweeting, of course, is conciseness, so we’ll try our best to relay some relevant information on each and every team in the requisite 140 characters or less, and hopefully some of you will be paying attention along the way.  Here are Friday’s entries (#92-#69).

For all previous TTP posts, click here.

(major h/t to Matt Patton for his assistance researching and writing these Tweets)

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Tweeting the Preview: #116 – #93

Posted by rtmsf on November 5th, 2010

We’re back with the second consecutive year of officially losing our minds, but they say the first step toward healing is recognizing the problem.  As of 11 am EDT last Monday, there were 345 hours until tipoff of four games of actual, it-counts college basketball on Opening Night, Nov. 8.  So… beginning that morning, we started releasing our rankings of every Division I team from worst to first as tweets on the social networking platform known as Twitter (you may have heard of it).  We’ll release one team preview every single hour from now until Opening Night, and in case you’re not following us over there, we’ll put the updated list here each night for your review in aggregate.  The key to tweeting, of course, is conciseness, so we’ll try our best to relay some relevant information on each and every team in the requisite 140 characters or less, and hopefully some of you will be paying attention along the way.  Here are Thursday’s entries (#116-#93).

For all previous TTP posts, click here.

(major h/t to Matt Patton for his assistance researching and writing these Tweets)

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Tweeting the Preview: #140 – #117

Posted by rtmsf on November 4th, 2010

We’re back with the second consecutive year of officially losing our minds, but they say the first step toward healing is recognizing the problem.  As of 11 am EDT last Monday, there were 345 hours until tipoff of four games of actual, it-counts college basketball on Opening Night, Nov. 8.  So… beginning that morning, we started releasing our rankings of every Division I team from worst to first as tweets on the social networking platform known as Twitter (you may have heard of it).  We’ll release one team preview every single hour from now until Opening Night, and in case you’re not following us over there, we’ll put the updated list here each night for your review in aggregate.  The key to tweeting, of course, is conciseness, so we’ll try our best to relay some relevant information on each and every team in the requisite 140 characters or less, and hopefully some of you will be paying attention along the way.  Here are Wednesday’s entries (#140-#117).

For all previous TTP posts, click here.

(major h/t to Matt Patton for his assistance researching and writing these Tweets)

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Tweeting the Preview: #164 – #141

Posted by rtmsf on November 3rd, 2010

We’re back with the second consecutive year of officially losing our minds, but they say the first step toward healing is recognizing the problem.  As of 11 am EDT last Monday, there were 345 hours until tipoff of four games of actual, it-counts college basketball on Opening Night, Nov. 8.  So… beginning that morning, we started releasing our rankings of every Division I team from worst to first as tweets on the social networking platform known as Twitter (you may have heard of it).  We’ll release one team preview every single hour from now until Opening Night, and in case you’re not following us over there, we’ll put the updated list here each night for your review in aggregate.  The key to tweeting, of course, is conciseness, so we’ll try our best to relay some relevant information on each and every team in the requisite 140 characters or less, and hopefully some of you will be paying attention along the way.  Here are Tuesday’s entries (#164-#141).

For all previous TTP posts, click here.

(major h/t to Matt Patton for his assistance researching and writing these Tweets)

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