Amidst all the commotion about governance reform and football recruiting changes, basketball has been left out of most of the talk during the series of fall meetings the various Division I leadership groups have held over the past week. But one small but still potentially significant change for both men’s and women’s basketball was slipped in a week ago.
Proposals 2013–37 and 2013–38 were introduced for men’s and women’s basketball respectively and deal with the April evaluation periods, the only time during the academic year when coaches can evaluate at AAU tournaments. Normally, coaches get two weekends to evaluate at AAU events: Friday-Saturday following the start of the spring signing period and one other weekend that must avoid Easter and the SAT, ACT, PSAT, or PLAN tests. If a second weekend in April cannot be found, a weekend in May is allowed.
The two proposals would eliminate the ability to move a second evaluation weekend to May. Under the proposal if there are too many conflicts, the second weekend is simply lost. This is coming to a head now because the schedule does not work in April 2014. Right now, both men’s and women’s basketball coaches are scheduled to have an evaluation period at AAU events from April 25–27, followed by another from May 9–11 for women’s basketball and May 16–18 for men’s basketball.
The proposal comes from the two coaching associations, the NABC and the WBCA. The reason? May is simply too busy:
May is [a] busy month for basketball coaches, with graduations, conference meetings, institutional outreach to alumni and other activities that require their participation. Because of the numerous commitments coaches have in May and a desire to avoid conflicts with Mother’s Day, it is best to limit evaluations at nonscholastic events to one weekend in April, if necessary, rather than to allow evaluations to occur during a weekend in May.
While it may save coaches some tough choices in May, it will make for a frantic weekend in April. Many coaches use the April periods to narrow down a list of prospects to focus on in July. Now some of that work will have to be done the first evaluation period in July, especially for programs without the resources to shuffle coaches all over the country. On the plus side though, all four coaches will be able to be out recruiting at once this year.