Last week, Nate Parham posted an excellent article from Sports Illustrated on the life of college basketball assistants and their roles in recruiting. But while it was a fantastic read, there were so many things wrong with the article, it was hard for me to get past them. It was factually correct, of course, but these assistants engaged in what amounted to one long NCAA violation, at least to my untrained eye.
We have a few examples of what appear to be secondary violations.
Washington's Raphael Chillous gets the action started right off the bat when speaking about Justin Jackson
The ninth-grader misses his first few shots. "You want to see how he handles adversity," Chillious says
Edit: Referring to the recruit in an effort to provide context like the quote above may not be a violation. But I do encourage reading through the rest of the piece (via Kevin Pelton). Again, recruiting is a very gray area, so I'm not sure exactly what would constitute a violation in some of these cases, but the whole story has an odd feel to it.
Speaking about an unsigned recruit is an NCAA violation. It's a secondary violation, I believe, but it is one, no less.
"There's only a certain kind of kid who's going to Morgantown, West Virginia, to play for Bob Huggins. I could call Shabazz, he'd say, 'Oh, yeah, Coach Harrison, West Virginia, Final Four [in 2010]. I'm interested!' We ain't getting Shabazz. He ain't coming to Morgantown."
Again, this appears to be a violation. He's speaking about Sabazz Muhammed, a class of 2012 recruit.
And finally, this gem about coaches bending the rules for each other during a non-contact period.
Technically it's a violation to have any contact with Jurick, but no matter how often the rules are explained, many players believe that if you don't at least say hello to them, then you didn't like what you saw and aren't interested. So assistants feel each other out. There's an unspoken rule about how it works, an honor among thieves. You each get a brief hello, maybe 30 seconds. "
Are these a big deal? In the grand scheme of recruiting, where the seedy underbelly stays hidden from public view and coaches operate in gray areas, they're not. But they are violations. And they were committed in a very public way. It was almost shocking to see them show up in print, especially as the coaches preached their own compliance in one paragraph while committing a violation in the next.