Women's Hoops Blog

Inane commentary on a game that deserves far better

Thursday, January 14, 2010

On Jan 11, Chris Hansen at Hoopgurlz wrote about how a current NCAA proposal could cap club recruiting
Club teams wanting to play in NCAA-certified viewing events will need to watch their rosters more carefully if proposal 2009-94 is adopted at the NCAA annual legislative meetings this week. No more than three players from outside the team's home state would be allowed on club teams and those players must reside in an adjoining state, according to the proposal.

The NCAA will vote this week on three proposals that will impact grassroots basketball, but only one, 2009-94, will impact girls' grassroots basketball.
Hansen has a follow up: Will NCAA proposals set precedents? An overview of key legislation under review and its potential effects

Williams said the adjacent-state rule, adopted by the NCAA for the boys in 2003, changed things "a little," but for the most part the good teams were still good, with or without the rule, because there are more impact players to go around in the boys' game.

If implemented this week on the girls' side, many expect a bigger impact, with more teams having only one or two good players and fewer having a concentration of elite athletes. Some say the new rule will water down the summer circuit while others believe the geographic boundaries are a natural part of youth sports.

Talk to any high school coach with a recruitable athlete about AAU/club/summer ball, and you'll probably get a lot of love/hate tales about undue influence, wonderful opportunities, over-stated possibilities and pro-active/honest support. Simply put, it ain't a simple conversation.

So, it's with interest that I point out a side note that I know only a little about -- a Final Four ago (I believe), some AAU/club/summer organizers were very concerned about a new project that, some said, was a way to "clean up" (boys) summer ball: iHoops -- "the official youth basketball initiative of the NCAA and NBA."

One of the burning questions that remain regarding iHoops is, what is their real goal? Hart believes their goal is transparent saying, "They are a FOR-PROFIT company and they have to be profitable after three years. Doesn't sound like they are there to clean things up. It's hard to be about the kids and for-profit at the same time."

Looks like iHoops is moving forward and making friends: On Jan 11th, SalmOnline published an official release: iHoops Announces Partnership with the AAU

As part of the partnership, AAU will play a prominent role in promoting the iHoops coach education program and will encourage its member basketball coaches to participate in the online education program through www.iHoops.com. The partnership also includes cross-promotional opportunities through each organization’s websites and opportunities for exposure at select AAU basketball events.

“We’re pleased that the AAU has chosen to work with us to develop educational and basketball programming for iHoops.com,” iHoops CEO Kevin Weiberg said. “The AAU Board of Directors is very serious about improving the quality of non-scholastic basketball and in showing leadership in making a positive difference for coaches and student-athletes.”

For those interested in the ins and outs, pros and cons of the recruiting game, this could really impact the landscape....or not.