The NCAA Division I legislative council did a good thing Thursday when it voted to prohibit universities from hiring anybody associated with a basketball recruit to a non-coaching role for a 2-year period before or after the athlete enrolls.
They didn’t go far enough. They should have voted against hiring those who fit that profile to any job whatsoever, whether a recruited athlete comes on board or not.
There are several recent examples of that kind of thing in the Big 12.
Former Texas A&M coach Billy Gillispie hired Byron Smith as an assistant, he the AAU coach of former Aggie DeAndre Jordan, whose team was backed by a former student. Kansas hired Dwon Clifton to fill a newly-created post of director of player development. Clifton had no collegiate coaching experience. His main qualification was that he was now-Kentucky guard John Wall’s AAU coach. Baylor was recruiting Wall.
Kansas hired Mario Chalmers’ dad to be director of basketball operations when Chalmers came on board. The senior Chalmers resigned once his son was drafted by the Miami Heat. And Kansas State hired Dalonte Hill--Michael Beasley’s former AAU coach--as an assistant.
None of those hires violated NCAA rules. All those hired may have been qualified All those moves looked either shady or smart, depending on your point of view. But they all smelled in my book. This is a loophole that should have been closed.
The council missed a chance to vote to close another backdoor, however, by not passing a proposal to limit who can be hired as summer basketball camp instructors--instead bowing to complaints programs might not be able to find enough instructors to hold camps. Come on. Are your serious?
Obviously, the council is only half-serious, though I could use another analogy not apropos to a family newspaper.
— Mike Jones.