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Archive for Tuesday, July 6, 1999

RECRUITING BUFFS FIND INFO ON NET

July 6, 1999

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Some recruiting information on the Internet is free.

Much of it is not.

"We are the only major free recruiting service," notes Mike Sullivan, brainchild of insidersreport.com -- a recruiting company that loads its website with free information, making money through advertising and a 1-900 telephone hotline.

"I do not want this to sound like I'm boasting, but we get 250,000 page views a day."

Newspaper websites -- like the Journal-World's ljworld.com -- also publish recruiting stories for free, they but don't have the manpower to phone recruits for updates 365 days a year.

"You develop a relationship early on," Sullivan said. "You go to games, speak to players and develop a friendship of sorts."

Sullivan takes issue with coaches such as Kansas University's Roy Williams who have criticized media members and recruiting services for bombarding recruits and their families with phone calls.

"We are in the information age," Sullivan said. "We try to work through the coach. If the coach doesn't return phone calls or get back to us, we speak to the family. You don't want to bother a kid every day. But we do speak to them every so often.

"Yes, I'd like to think I have a conscience. I couldn't do this without a conscience."

For example "

"A lot of times parents make a request," Sullivan said. "Of course we respect their wishes."

Some recruits set specific guidelines.

"When Shane Battier was recruited, he had a certain time one day a week when media could talk to him," Sullivan said. "Each family is different."

Sullivan built a close working relationship with KU signee Nick Collison of Iowa Falls, Iowa. Sullivan followed Collison's recruitment so closely for two years he gained an interview for his 1-900 number late on the night Collison committed to the Jayhawks.

"The Collison family was great throughout. I can't recall ever having any problems with kids Kansas has recruited," Sullivan said.

Of KU recruiting, Sullivan said: "Kansas is a brand name. Like Kentucky and UCLA, never count out Kansas in this process.

"Roy has had a hard time going east. He has had a lot of success west. In Iowa, Roy now has a target on his back. It's going to be harder to go into Iowa for recruits with (new Iowa coach) Steve Alford there now."

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