There's some big news news on the Juco athletics front. The NJCAA voting Monday to lift the ban on in-person recruiting as of midnight Friday night.
Gulf Coast men's basketball coach Phil Gaffney talks about in-person recruiting ban ending this week.
So as of Saturday, coaches will be able to hit the road to meet with recruits. Though coaches still don't know how exactly this will work. Gulf Coast men's basketball head coach telling me Tuesday afternoon he will have to wait to hear from his college administrators before making any plans to hit the road.
"We found out yesterday that they were voting, so we knew it was coming along." coach Gaffney told me. "So it's going to allow schools to go out and seek players. It's going to allow us to have them come here, in theory. So what we have to do is find out each school's policy and each state's policy. You know everybody's opened up differently with the virus so not everybody's going to be in the same boat. We actually have meetings scheduled this coming week so we're actually going to go in and see what the policy is for Gulf Coast and the state of Forida. And then we'll adhere by that policy."
Still regardless of what form this in-person recruiting allows for schools in our area, and other states that have opened up more than others, it will provide some kind of edge for some programs.
"It sure does. because you know the New York schools were against this when they voted. And the New Jersey schools, the northeast. Of course they are going to feel discriminated against, and it's true, they are. The circumstances, you know everybody's opened up differently, so not everybody's going to be in the same boat. You know it also gives us a heads up on the four year colleges. You know the NCAA is through the end of the month. And there's talk they may go through July 1. So that would give us, not that we're recruiting against the four-years, but we are in some situations. And that will help us have some advantage against the four year colleges as well."
Coach Gaffney expounds on the potential for an advantage over the four year programs. It comes down to a "bird in the hand" saying.
"Exactly, exactly, they know they can get a scholarship, go Juco, raise their stock, play well, and maybe even go a higher level D-1. It leaves out that uncertainty. You know there's a lot of uncertainty Division One as they got rid of the test scores, the mandatory, SAT ACT scores are gone now. So a lot of these spots are filled up now. Especially in some of those sports like baseball and softball where they're giving the extra year back. So there's a lot of uncertainty out there. A lot of these kids just want to get their scholarships in hand and know where they're going to school ASAP so they can start planning. So I think in the long run this will help us out!"
Coach Gaffney says it's funny, he had not even been hired at Gulf Coast this time last year, so he's not overly concerned about the current state of recruiting for his program right now. He says he returns a good core group of players, and has commitments from some recruits. He's looking to build a team that can defend the Region 8, or State title the team won back in March.
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