Tuesday, August 25, 2009

WaPo: Fans Cannot Be Involved in Recruiting, but the Line Blurs

As more and more fan-based, school-specific blogs are being granted similar access and credentialling as members of the traditional media, they are radically changing the role fan-publishers are taking in the college recruiting process, and, in turn, creating headaches for NCAA and school compliance officers.

NCAA rules explicitly state that fans of teams cannot be involved in recruiting, but those regulations blur when the fan wears a media credential. Such credentials, which are issued by whatever entity is running a particular event, designate the bearers as media members, giving them access to prospects that even college coaches don’t have during the all-important summer evaluation period. College coaches are not permitted to interact with prospects during the period.

NCAA officials and prominent figures on the summer basketball circuit are alarmed at an increasing number of fans who are creating Web sites, obtaining media credentials and becoming amateur recruiters. Rachel Newman-Baker, the NCAA’s agent, gambling and amateurism director, said one of the organization’s biggest concerns this summer was who was obtaining media credentials and for what purpose.

Click here for the full story.

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