It's difficult to get college coaches anywhere to be in full agreement over something, and perhaps even more rare when they come from the same conference. But the new rules changes affecting recruiting and offseason practice sessions has the unfettered support of all of the Big 12 coaches.
Going forward, college basketball coaches will be allowed to send unlimited text messages and make unlimited phone calls to recruits as long as the prospect has completed his sophomore year of high school. This major change became effective June 16.
Additionally, in a rule change that became effective in April, coaches are now being allowed an evaluation period to get a better look at high school recruits. The improvement here is that it will allow coaches to better evaluate high school players during the July evaluation period.
In another positive step, the NCAA basketball rules committee will now allow college coaches to hold summer practice sessions with their teams two hour per week.
For the past five years, big 12 officials say, the NCAA has tried to restrict access between coaches and high school players; however, the wide and pervasive use of cell phones and other personal communication devices has overwhelmed the need for limiting personal contact.
"Anytime you get yourself in a position where there's more communication with a recruit and with families, that's a positive," said Kansas coach Bill Self, "(but) it will be more work for coaches."
"Now we can not only work with them (recruits) regarding basketball, we get the chance to get to know the new guys and work with everybody on academics," Texas coach Rick Barnes said about the offseason practice time.
By modifying the rule on personal contact with high school recruits, it will reduce the large amount of record keeping and paperwork that is required. No longer will it be necessary to log every phone call or text, and you also eliminate the potential for mistakes with keeping track of those contacts.
"There's been a lot of research and time put into it," said Bob Huggins, coach of West Virginia, which joins the Big 12 as a new member beginning July 1. "If you can't keep track of it, you can't enforce it. It's kind of what happened with Prohibition." Huggins also coached at Kansas State for one season (2006-07).
Said Baylor head coach Scott Drew: "It's not typical to get coaches to agree on something, but I think we (Big 12 coaches) all think the rule changes are good."
He's probably not going to get much of an argument.
Other Big 12 basketball news:
- Former Nebraska basketball coach Doc Sadler has joined the Kansas basketball staff as director of basketball operations. Sadler was 101-89 in six years as coach at Nebraska, five of those seasons in the Big 12. He was 12-18 overall in the Cornhuskers' first year in the Big Ten this past season.
- Oklahoma State coach Travis Ford, 42, had knee-replacement surgery in May.
- Baylor and Kentucky have agreed to play each other the next two seasons. The Bears will play the defending national champions in Lexington in the 2012-13 season, and the venue switches to Waco in 2013-14.
- As TCU transitions from the Mountain West Conference into the Big 12 this coming season, the Horned Frogs will do so with a new head basketball coach, Trent Johnson. Johnson was on the men's coaching staff previously at LSU and Stanford.
Follow Big 12 sports and news and developments on all of the teams all year long at SB Nation Kansas City.