College basketball coaches have August 1, 2011 written in red magic marker on their recruiting calendars. That is the day that the NCAA Division I Board of Directors designated as the starting date for unlimited calls and unlimited text messages to high school recruits after June 15 following their sophomore year. The coaches will also be allowed four evaluation days in April, previously a dead period. But the July recruiting days will be pared from 20 to 12.

By allowing unlimited telephone calls and text messages and deregulating private messages on social networks after a prospect's sophomore year in high school, the NCAA is encouraging coaches to get to know recruits and their families on a more personal level. The hope is that this will lessen the influence of third parties, such as runners and street agents.

Jim Haney, Executive Director of the National Association of Basketball Coaches, said, "We know there are lots of third-party people involved in the recruiting process, and some are not as interested in the college degree as the NBA contract."

Haney also sees greater interaction - coaches and athletes getting to know one another better during the recruiting process - as a catalyst for reducing transfers.

"We don't have an eligibility problem as much as we have a retention problem," Haney said. "Kids aren't flunking out of school. And the one-and-dones are a small percentage. I think this helps address the program-attrition problem."

Some additional recommendations by the Division I Board of Directors include:

* Official visits can begin on January 1 of the prospect's junior year, with schools paying the travel expenses for the student and parent.
* Some contact will be allowed at a prospect's school during the prospect's junior year in conjunction with an evaluation.
* Staged, on-campus evaluations will be permitted on a recruiting visit.

The unlimited calls, unlimited text messages, and unlimited access to recruit social media sites is an absolute boon for college basketball coaches. And every school compliance official who had the responsibility of monitoring phone calls is breathing better today as well. I wouldn't be surprised if all compliance officers in the country didn't pass the hat to buy themselves a lobbyist just for this piece of legislation.

I'm thrilled that the Division I Board of Directors is making these recruiting changes. In the past, coaches could place one call a week. How in the world can you get to know someone when you're only talking one time a week? College basketball coaches are going to have to bone up on the social media scene. Get those Twitter accounts active, men. Put that Facebook page to work for you. Oh, yeah, make sure you hire your third-grade daughter to put all this technology together for you.

Author's Bio: 

Steve Brennan, a former educator and college basketball coach, has Masters degrees in Educational Administration and Sport Psychology, and a Doctorate in Performance and Health Psychology. He is the author of several books, including Six Psychological Factors for Success and The Recruiters Bible (3rd Edition). He is President of Peak Performance Consultants, and the President and CEO of the Center for Performance Enhancement Research and Education (CPERE). Steve is the developer of the Success Factors Scales, both Corporate and Athletics Editions. and