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By HAL MORRIS
This past April was the first time college coaches were not allowed to evaluate players at spring AAU tournaments.
So SEC coaches were not in favor of having the summer recruiting period eliminated.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“There are a lot of positives to be able to mass evaluate several hundred kids at one location,Ã¢â‚¬ÂÃ¢â‚¬Ë†Georgia coach Mark Fox said. Ã¢â‚¬Å“Just from an economical standpoint, you can evaluate several hundred kids on one location.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Auburn coach Tony Barbee said eliminating summer recruiting will not eliminate the Ã¢â‚¬Å“third-party influencesÃ¢â‚¬Â that Barbee said the NCAAÃ¢â‚¬Ë†is worried about. Limited contact with coaches only enhances the role of those influences, which leads to more transfers because coaches do not have enough time with the player when they first arrive on campus.
Barbee said more contact with a playerÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s coach Ã¢â‚¬â€ and more time to properly evaluate players Ã¢â‚¬â€ may eliminate the third-party presence and eliminate transfers.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“I just don;t think eliminating July, I just donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t think that will benefit anybody,Ã¢â‚¬Â he said.
Especially coaches, Mississippi State coach Stansbury said.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“It seems more and more and more, they keep taking opportunities away from coaches who want to work on recruiting,Ã¢â‚¬ÂÃ¢â‚¬Ë†Stansbury said. Ã¢â‚¬Å“I understand youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve got to limit it to something, but they have taken away all of April from us. ThatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s when a lot of coaches like going out. WeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve got to be able to evaluate players some way. We can cut 10 to 12 days back (in July), but give us a few days back in April.
The loss of recruting chances has led to more transfers because coaches donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t get to see enough of players and cannot have enough time to make sound decisions,Ã¢â‚¬Ë†Stansbury said.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“We coaches are held more accountable, but given less time to recruit and given less time to make decisions, and make the right decisions,Ã¢â‚¬Â he said.
Of course, if the NCAA is going to take away April, then let the coach have more time in July to spend with the incoming freshmen to help get then acclimated to college, Fox said. He suggested maybe meeting with the players for an hour or so a week.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“There has to be a balance there,Ã¢â‚¬Â he said.
New Tennessee coach Cuonzo Martin agreed.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“If you have a new kid on campus and youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re not there, he may just think youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re not around and he may get homesick,Ã¢â‚¬ÂÃ¢â‚¬Ë†he said. Ã¢â‚¬Å“If thereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a way we can be there for July, it will be like babysitting.Ã¢â‚¬Â