To the surprise of some, it looks like the Coach K possible violation story is being taken seriously. In case you aren’t familiar with the story, Coach K allegedly called recruit Alex Poythress while Alex was still in an AAU tournament to offer him a scholarship. Not a big deal, but against the NCAA rules nevertheless (the rule prohibits coaches from calling while recruits are still playing in tournaments.) Duke released your general statement claiming that they were looking into the incident and that “proper adherence to NCAA bylaws has always been, and will continue to be, a cornerstone of Duke Athletics.”
The issue has been met with a pinch of faux-outrage and a huge heap of ‘meh.’ I’m not going to try to add to either of those – there are plenty of people out there to do it for me. But I will say two things:
1.) Yes, the rule that was allegedly violated is a dumb one. There are lots of dumb rules in the NCAA rule book, this one is no exception. It’s most likely to prevent a kid from having to deal with massive amounts of phone calls while he’s trying to focus on the tournament, but the violation isn’t like Coach K tried to pay him money or anything.
2.) Still, it is a rule. Calling a kid during a tournament isn’t an advantage in itself, but calling a kid and offering a scholarship when no other coaches are allowed to – especially when you’re calling for Duke – is an advantage. If you’re a high schooler, you just finish up a monster of a game and you get a single phone call from Coach K offering you a scholarship, it’s going to weigh more in your mind than if it was followed up by numerous other offers.
It’s a secondary violation at best, so I can’t see this story developing into too much more, but one thing is for certain – if Calipari had done this, you would see the media explode with stories of him being a cheat.