INDIANAPOLIS - College coaches will have to recruit the old-fashioned way next year.
By a 13-3 vote, the NCAA's board of directors approved a ban yesterday to eliminate all text messages from coaches to recruits beginning in August, then left open the possibility of revisiting that legislation as early as 2008.
"One of the abuses that was described to us were text messages from a coach to a player saying, 'Call me,' " Division I vice president David Berst said on a conference call.
As a result, coaches will no longer be allowed to send text messages to recruits.
High-school athletes face far fewer restrictions. A recruit, for instance, could still message a college coach although the coach could not respond under the new rule.
The move comes a week after the NCAA's management council recommended passage of the ban, which also eliminates communications through other electronic means such as video phones, video conferencing and message boards on social networking Web sites.
E-mails and faxes would still be permissible and subject to current NCAA guidelines, which include some time periods that prohibit coaches from contacting recruits in any form.
What it means to coaches is fewer opportunities to attract players through today's high-tech tools, and rely more on the post office, e-mails and phone calls.
The Student-Athlete Advisory Council had complained that text messaging was too costly and so intrusive that it sometimes bordered on harassment. *