Letter from NABC to Division I coaches

October 18, 2010

NABC Division I Coaching Staff Members

Tom Izzo, NABC President (Head Coach, Michigan State University)
Jim Haney, NABC Executive Director
Reggie Minton, NABC Deputy Executive Director

RE: Elimination of July Evaluation Period in Men's Basketball

As many of you may know, a recommendation has been made to the NCAA Division I Board of Directors to eliminate the July evaluation period in men's college basketball.

We want to underscore to our member coaches that the NABC does NOT support elimination of the July evaluation period and believes it would lead to increased transfers and lower APR scores for men's basketball.

Among the reasons we oppose the elimination of the July evaluation period are the following:

• If there is no summer evaluation period, college coaches would be forced to make decisions on what prospects to invite for official visits in the fall and whom to offer athletic scholarships blindly. The last time college coaches would have evaluated their pool of prospects' play was seven months earlier in February of the prospects' junior year. The college coach would be offering scholarships to prospective student-athletes who they have not seen in game competition in nine months. Evaluation of prospects is not a science. It is subjective. It is not only about talent but evaluating the competitiveness, toughness and other character qualities that show up in a player's on court performance.

In light of the fact that 40% of our incoming freshmen leave the institution they signed to attend by the end of their sophomore year, an action, such as the elimination of July evaluation, would add to the problem of retaining student-athletes. Lower APR scores for men's basketball is sure to follow.

• The vast majority of Division I institutions depend on July evaluation to observe hundreds of prospects in the most cost-efficient manner. Schools do not have the budgets or time to support making countless individual trips to see individual prospects.

• There is no other effective time of the year to drop 60 man-days of recruiting. The concept of just moving evaluations into the academic year is flawed.

• July evaluation is the best monitored recruiting period we have with NCAA Enforcement staff attending camps and tournaments along with college coaches overseeing one another. The elimination of the July evaluation period is not going to eliminate third parties including agents, advisors and runners. It will empower these people to have greater influence with the prospect. They will make the case to the prospect that the prospect needs an advocate to promote the prospect to college coaches during the critical time when the college coaches are deciding who to offer official visits and offer scholarships.

This empowerment of third parties would occur during a time when administrators are beginning to understand that we need to provide greater access for college coaches, who must communicate with prospective student-athletes to combat third party influences that discourage the value of education and promote becoming a pro.

We urge all coaches, as soon as possible, to engage in discussions on your own campuses to let your athletics directors, faculty representatives and presidents know your position on the elimination of the July evaluation period.