Duke's NCAA rules compliance office is seeking an interpretation from the NCAA as to whether a recruit can talk to a coach by phone if the recruit is not playing in a tournament but is still on the road, according to a source with knowledge of the situation.
According to the source, forward Alex Poythress, a 6-foot-7 player in the class of 2012 from Clarksville, Tenn., called Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski on Tuesday night after his Georgia Stars AAU team was eliminated from the AAU Super Showcase in Orlando.
Poythress is ranked No. 17 overall among Class of 2012 recruits in the ESPNU 100.
The Georgia Stars were playing in the AAU nationals at the same site but that tournament did not start until Wednesday, so technically he wasn't involved in a tournament at the time the phone call took place. Yet Duke is inquiring with the NCAA to see if it doesn't matter if the recruit is still on the road.
Duke is using the interpretation of NCAA bylaw 126.96.36.199.2; a recruit can call a coach after July 1 following his junior year in high school. Another source explained the interpretation as such that a coach cannot call or receive a call from a recruit until the player is released from the tournament in which he is playing and finishes the road trip.
A school, though, can speak to a prospect's coach if the coach is not present on the trip.
Duke, according to the source, would likely accept any penalty associated with a secondary violation if it were deemed to be one. The university does not know when it will learn about the ruling on the interpretation.
"Proper adherence to NCAA bylaws has always been, and will continue to be, a cornerstone of Duke athletics," Duke spokesman Jon Jackson said in a statement.
Krzyzewski was in Orlando on Sunday and Monday watching games, including the Georgia Stars. He left Monday night to return home to Durham.
According to ESPN.com recruiting analyst Dave Telep, Poythress has not accepted a scholarship offer from Duke. According to Telep, Vanderbilt, Kentucky, Ohio State, Memphis, Florida and Alabama are recruiting Poythress as intensely as Duke is.
According to a source, Vanderbilt offered a scholarship to the in-state recruit in December. The source also said other schools were under the impression that a recruit could not be spoken to while he was on the road in Orlando with the two tournaments running concurrently.
Duke resumes practice Monday at Cameron Indoor Stadium in advance of the Blue Devils' Aug. 14 trip to China and Dubai.
Andy Katz is a senior college basketball writer for ESPN.com.