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NCAA Passes New Basketball Recruiting Regulations

It's no secret that basketball recruiting has turned shady as hell in the past few years: Derrick Rose, O.J. Mayo, Renardo Sidney, and Lance Stephenson, among others, are examples of the increased behind-the-scenes nature of college basketball recruiting.

A bunch of people had been calling for reform from the NCAA, and they had been lax to come through on it, but they've hurried it up a bit with the passage of a few new regulations regarding college coaches' contact with 3rd parties; we might call them handlers. It looks like it includes people who run camps (Bob Gibbons, for example, though he's clean) and people who run "nonprofit organizations with a proprietary or financial stake" in the recruit.

The first thing that came to my mind was Joe Davis, Mychal Parker's family friend, who worked as a staffer at Maryland's Elite Camp and puts on the Scouts Focus camp. He also runs the Scouts Focus website, basically a low grade Rivals/Scout, and a coach who subscribed to that in order to gain an advantage for Parker would likely have violated the new rules. In fact, if these rules were in place before, Maryland's hire of Davis might have been an infraction. Luckily, they aren't retroactive.

The new regs also includes hiring people involved with a recruit - like Brandin Knight's hire at Pitt a few years ago, as he coached the NJ Playaz AAU team - and giving money to "nonprofit" summer league teams, to whom "donations" can be written off as charity.

Okay, so it's not a bunch of full-scale changes, but its a step in the right direction. The real key will lie in enforcing these rules, which have some real punishment behind them: suspensions for the coach.

This can only be good for everyone involved (well, not for some programs or the leeches), but especially Maryland. Gary Williams has refused to go into these gray areas before, and now that they're illegal, a lot fewer coaches will venture into them in the future. The recruiting disadvantage gets smaller, while Gary's Xs-and-Os advantage stays the same.