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Archive for Thursday, July 8, 2004

Coaches suggest recruiting changes

Five years of eligibility, more access to players in offseason among recommendations at meeting

July 8, 2004

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— The National Association of Basketball Coaches recommended a sweeping new recruiting model Wednesday, which included allowing players to be eligible for five years and giving coaches more access to their players in the offseason.

The NABC discussed the proposal at its annual summer meeting and will submit a revised edition to the NCAA, which must approve it.

The most significant changes would grant men's players five years of eligibility, allow coaches to talk to players outside the traditional player-coach environment and eliminate official visits to high school juniors in favor of increased phone calls.

"This will change the landscape of college basketball," said IUPUI coach Ron Hunter, a member of the committee that wrote the recommendations. "Where now, me as a coach, could have access to my kids and be able to help them become a better basketball player or a better student."

The NCAA asked the NABC nearly three months ago to help develop a new recruiting model that would address the student-athlete experience as a whole, both on and off the court. The NCAA hopes the new rules will attract more players to college, encourage them to stay in school and remain at the university they originally choose.

The NABC held a three-hour meeting Wednesday to get reaction from many of its members. Some recommended subtle changes, which means another committee must examine the revised edition before it is submitted to the NCAA.

Executive director Jim Haney was reluctant to talk about specifics, instead saying the recommendations were geared toward three goals the committee set -- getting players to graduate, keeping them eligible and from transferring schools.

Lawyer: MU's Clemons a liar

Columbia, Mo. -- Replying to NCAA charges, the attorney for former Missouri associate head basketball coach Tony Harvey alleged a "demonstrated record of bias, deceit and manipulation" by ex-player Ricky Clemons, who accused Harvey of giving him money.

Clemons' attorney said Wednesday the athlete stood by his assertion that Harvey paid him $250, adding that Clemons had nothing to gain from lying, especially if he sought to play college basketball again.

Harvey's attorney, Stu Brown, also leveled repeated criticism at the NCAA's enforcement staff, accusing them of breaking the organization's own rules regarding investigations.

Ohio State taps Matta

Columbus, Ohio -- A week after declaring he had no interest in becoming basketball coach at Ohio State, Xavier's Thad Matta accepted the position Wednesday.

Ohio State sports information director Steve Snapp said the school would hold a news conference Friday to introduce Matta formally.

"We have extended an offer, he's accepted it, and we're excited about it," Snapp said.

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