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NCAA to Allow Unlimited Text Messages to Men's Basketball Recruits

High school basketball stars better opt for the "unlimited text messaging" option on their cellphone plans before Friday.

The NCAA's new men's basketball-recruiting model goes into effect that day, my colleague Mike Bock reports, meaning that coaches will have no restrictions on the number of phone calls or text messages they can use to contact prospective recruits after June 15 following the recruits' sophomore year of high school.

Previously, coaches were expressly prohibited from initiating a text-messaging conversation with recruits, although recruits were allowed to be the ones who initiated texts with coaches. Coaches were limited to one phone call per month with a recruit before the rule change.

The rule also extends to social networks that feature a private messaging service, such as Facebook or Twitter. Public messages on social media are still prohibited, according to the NCAA, as coaches aren't allowed under NCAA rules to publicize who they're recruiting.

As Mike reports, some coaches fear that the new rules may open the door for abuses by certain college coaches and sports programs (not naming any names here). What's to stop a desperate coach from barraging a prospect with literally hundreds of text messages on a given day?

As of Friday, nothing.

According to Mike, the NCAA will effectively use men's basketball as a test subject for the rule change. If no major problems arise, there's a chance the organization will later decide to deregulate phone calls and text messages for coaches in other sports, too.

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