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NCAA Progresses on Recruiting Changes for Men's Basketball

The NCAA Division I Leadership Council reached a consensus last week on several reforms to the men's basketball recruiting model that will end up affecting high school players, including opening the doors for earlier recruitment and deregulating certain types of communication between coaches and prospects (including text messaging).

Also, the NCAA is convening this week to discuss widescale recruiting changes in all sports.

The council met in Indianapolis to hear presentations from the Men's Basketball Recruiting Subcommitee and the Focus on Access and Success Working Group about potential changes to the men's basketball recruiting model.

While the council couldn't reach a consensus on all proposed reforms, it did for these five, according to the NCAA:

• Recruits could start official college visits after the men's basketball championship in April of their junior year;

• Unlimited coach-prospect communication after Aug. 1 before the prospect's junior year in high school would be permitted;

• Communication between coaches and prospects (including text messaging, email, social networking) would be deregulated;

• Evaluations could be made at certified nonscholastic events on two weekends in April each year, with certain restrictions; and

• Coaches could have some contact with prospects at the prospect's school in conjunction with an evaluation, with certain restrictions and requirements (not defined in the press release).

Proposed changes that the council couldn't reach a consensus on include: the summer recruiting period, the possibility of creating "evaluation camps" that allow coaches access to incoming and enrolled student-athletes without making those players enroll in summer school; and the question of whether to allow "on-campus evaluations" (tryouts) during official campus visits.

The council hopes to present a final package of recommendations to the NCAA board of directors in time for the October meeting of the Presidents Council. Before the Presidents Council convenes, the Leadership Council will meet again in October to finalize its package of recommendations, and the board of directors may start implementing some reforms as early as next summer, according to the NCAA.

CBSSports.com's Matt Norlander puts these proposed reforms into perspective:

Think of it like this: if you consider coaches to be completely straight-jacketed when it comes to recruiting kids, now the jacket's off, but they've still got cuffs around their wrists and ankles. But these guys have been inside the walls for so long, this much progress feels like running through a meadow after years of confinement.

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