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Cal is not a fan of unofficial visits

With the NCAA and their pet pupil Pete Thamel sniffing around the recruitments of Nerlens Noel and Shabazz Muhammad, John Calipari has one suggestion for cleaning up the corruption in college basketball recruiting: get rid of unofficial visits.

Unofficial visits allow players to visit schools prior to their senior year, in which they are allowed to take five official visits before the signing period in November. With coaches recruiting players earlier and earlier, families who can afford to take their child to visit schools unofficially give their child (and the schools interested) a huge advantage. What if a family can’t afford to travel across the country from campus to campus? Third parties often step in to help make it happen, and that’s where things get shady and how recruits get into trouble with the NCAA.

To their credit, the NCAA has tried to make things easier, passing a rule earlier this summer that will allow high school players to start taking official visits earlier, after January 1st of their junior year, but many think it’s not enough. In an interview with The Sporting News’ Mike DeCourcy, John Calipari suggested banning unofficial visits altogether, arguing they give some recruits an unfair advantage:

“Get rid of all unofficial visits,” Kentucky coach John Calipari told Sporting News on Thursday. “It’s not fair to the kid who doesn’t have the means to make all these trips.”

Eliminating unofficial visits altogether would certainly nip opportunities for violations in the bud, but you can’t exactly forbid a recruit from visiting a public place. The NCAA can, however, regulate how the visits go down. For now, unofficial visits aren’t much different than official visits. Recruits get VIP treatment, including tours of the facilities, visits to practice, and the opportunity to meet the team. DeCourcy suggests that recruits should get the same treatment as any other student: a good ole fashioned tour of campus from a perky upperclassman. No contact with coaches, no fun game of pool with the team, or tours of the new Wildcat Coal Lodge.

DeCourcy’s piece says “Noel never made an unofficial visit to Kentucky but did travel to other campuses,” which is contrary to Pete Thamel’s article last week, which says Noel made unofficial visits to Louisville, Kentucky and Syracuse. The NCAA is also investigating Shabazz Muhammad’s unofficial visits to Duke and North Carolina. The odds of the NCAA eliminating or instituting new policies on unofficial visits are slim right now, but it’s good to know that Cal recognizes the risks involved and is playing the game accordingly.

[DeCourcy: To help clean up sport, NCAA should ban unofficial visits]

Article written by Mrs. Tyler Thompson

No, I will not make you a sandwich, but you can follow me on Twitter @MrsTylerKSR or email me.

18 Comments for Cal is not a fan of unofficial visits

  1. Jim
    12:11 pm August 27, 2012 Permalink

    I am pretty sure that Noel took both an unofficial and official visit to UK. I thought he attended a game on his unofficial.

  2. Dr. Funke
    12:15 pm August 27, 2012 Permalink

    I get Cal’s point, but any other college student gets to visit as many schools as he or she likes, why should athletes be any different?

  3. bpisforuk
    12:22 pm August 27, 2012 Permalink

    According to the Thamel article, Noel did take an unofficial to UK. Since no one jumped on that as in inaccurate statement by him, you may want to recheck.

  4. Mrs. Tyler Thompson
    12:24 pm August 27, 2012 Permalink

    Good catch guys. DeCourcy’s article says Noel never made an unofficial to UK, but Thamel’s does (shocker). I’ll put in a note.

  5. Aaron C Bunch
    12:28 pm August 27, 2012 Permalink

    The system is too clunky. Why does the NCAA care if a kid’s church, community, etc pay for his trip to visit a college?? I simply don’t understand why it is a big deal. I agree with the trend on the show lately that why does it matter at ALL what a high school kid is doing? I think as long as they meet the academic requirements to attend a University, and they maintain said academic eligibility, then what is the issue? What, will wealthy kids have too much of an “advantage”? Well, *shock* – they already do! It’s this social justice mentality that somehow a governing body of some sort can step in and make things “fair”, it never works. Thoughts?

  6. smoke and mirrors
    12:50 pm August 27, 2012 Permalink

    I would put Cal as head of the commitee to clean up College Basketball. Who better than the best at “bending the hell out of the rules” to help stop the cheating. Look in the mirror before throwing any Rocks Cal.

  7. stan
    12:57 pm August 27, 2012 Permalink

    Is it just me or does anyone else get what the hell #6 is talking about? Damn, get a life jerk. If you have proof, post it. If not, move on to some other site.

  8. I Say
    1:07 pm August 27, 2012 Permalink

    #6 We have 8 national championships…

  9. smoke and mirrors
    1:25 pm August 27, 2012 Permalink

    is my jealousy showing?

  10. Han
    1:33 pm August 27, 2012 Permalink

    People should be able to take as many visits as they want. Yes, some families are poorer than others. Tough. That’s life.

  11. Micah
    1:34 pm August 27, 2012 Permalink

    A little #9 , but you’re not the only one. We accept you..

  12. Aaron C Bunch
    1:47 pm August 27, 2012 Permalink

    #10, Han that’s what I’m saying.. I don’t get it. It’s so frustrating that we’re at the mercy of an organization like the NCAA that holds all the power, and wields it in the name of “fairness”.

  13. Rocky
    2:45 pm August 27, 2012 Permalink

    is my jealousy showing?


    ***Yes, but not as much as your ignorance.

  14. Beavis
    4:26 pm August 27, 2012 Permalink

    So,,,if a recruit and their family want to visit a college campus,,,on their own dime,,,is that supposed to be illegal ??? This reminds me of Penn State. The NCAA chose to punish the whole institution for the misdeeds of a few. Come on people,,,Thamel is a dumb ass and he does not have enough pull or proof to make this happen. Sorry Coach Cal,,,,do not agree with you on this one.

  15. Jim
    5:19 pm August 27, 2012 Permalink

    The stupid NCAA needs to allow 10 official visits, then recruits won’t have to take “unofficial” visits. What does the NCAA care, it is schools that are paying for them.

  16. smoke and mirrors
    5:27 pm August 27, 2012 Permalink

    Be careful #14, don’t disagree with Cal the God, how dare you, not on here, he can do no wrong, even at Memphis….wait, we hated him when he was there..not at UMass…..wait,we hated him there also…………..Oh well, you get what I am saying.

  17. Beavis
    5:51 pm August 27, 2012 Permalink

    Nope,,,,,I did not hate him at U Mass or Memphis. Enjoyed watching his teams play. Hell,,,I even enjoyed watching Louisville when they used to get up and down the floor. ( before Wade Houston left for Tennessee ) What I do disagree with is the direction the NCAA has gone under Mark Emerrit. Don’t consider coach Cal a god but he is a damn sight better than Billy G or Tubby.

  18. smoke and mirrors
    8:18 am August 28, 2012 Permalink

    I can respect everything you said #17, you are one of the few who don’t think Cal created Ky Basketball. I just remember many,many on here slamming Cal when he was hired. Matt can go back and repost some of the threads when he was first hired, a lot of fans were upset big time.A banner doesn’t make me trust him completely,only time can earn my trust.There are a lot who feel the same way that I do but won’t post here for fear of being called a troll or Louisville fan. I have been a season basketball ticket holder for 11 years and a football until this year when I gave them up because of Joker. Is Cal all bad? Hell no, he has done a lot of things that I highly agree with. I hope I am wrong about him, I really do. Only time will tell.