The Recruiting Rebellion

March 30, 2020

QUOTE OF THE DAY
Rahm Emanuel

“Never let a serious crisis go to waste… It’s an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.”

Think Division I recruiters are wasting an opportunity? Think again…

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NCAA

The Recruiting Rebellion

Photo: Maxx Wolfson / Getty Images

NCAA Warns Programs After Continued Recruiting Despite Coronavirus ‘Dead Period’

Stop recruiting. That was the message the NCAA sent to all member schools two weeks ago when the COVID-19 pandemic brought a swift end to spring sports. The NCAA put a mandatory restriction on all recruiting activities nationwide with the exception of calls and text messages. All visits, workouts, and evaluations must cease until further notice. They haven’t…

The Shadows of the ‘Dead Period’
With uncertain times ahead, high school athletes and college transfers are nervous. Some programs see an opportunity to disregard the mandatory “dead period” and swoop in for top prospects. Meanwhile, those programs following the guidelines are waiting on the sidelines.

Who’s Disobeying?
The NCAA’s Indianapolis office has received numerous complaints about “impermissible contact” during this unprecedented time. Sports Illustrated’s Pat Forde reported that six schools have already received a Notice of Allegation (NOA), including Kansas, USC, NC State, Oklahoma State, TCU, and South Carolina. Another four programs are likely to get NOAs shortly; Louisville, Alabama, Arizona, and LSU. Creighton and Auburn are also listed as potential violators.

Final Thoughts: We all want to push ahead with our lives and careers as if everything is normal. For athletes, that means finding a scholarship commitment for next year. For recruiters, that means signing those student-athletes who can help your team. Continuing to recruit right now is an unfair advantage, and the NCAA just fired warning shots.

SI: NCAA Has Warning for Schools Not Following Coronavirus-Enacted ‘Dead Period’

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NBA

A Solution to the Season?

Photo: Harry How / Getty Images

NBA’s Return Could Rely on Chinese Basketball Format

Sports are on hold, but a blueprint for return seems to be developing in the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA). While the NBA is adamant that it will resume and complete the 2019-20 season in some capacity, details about the “how” continue to unfold while the “when” is anybody’s guess.

The CBA Plan: Build a Bubble
According ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, the CBA has called international players back to China for a 14-day quarantine before play resumes. Sources say China is attempting to “cluster teams in one or two cities” before playing out the remaining 16 regular-season games, plus playoffs.

The Timing
The CBA originally hoped to restart play in mid-April, but they’ll likely see the new plan unfold in May. If it’s successful, whatever it looks like, the NBA and other American sports leagues could replicate it to return to play as early as June or July.

Additional Reads
ESPN: What the NBA Can Learn From China’s Attempt to Restart Basketball
Forbes: China Basketball’s Rush to Restart Season Leaves ‘Irate’ Players in Limbo

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GOLF

A Sport With Social Distance

Photo: Mike Ehrmann / Getty Images

The Debate: Recreational Golf Continues (In Some Places) During Pandemic

To play, or not to play? As of today, March 30, golf courses all over the country are at a crossroads. A number of counties and states with more strict “shelter-in-place” orders have caused many public courses to close shop, but you can still find an open public course in many rural areas of the country.

Why Are Some Golf Courses Open?
Golf certainly doesn’t fall under the umbrella of “essential” business, but it does fit the category of outdoor activity, like parks and hiking trails, which remain open during a time of sedentary overload. Golf might be the one sport that saves the sanity of sports fans this spring, and the PGA could be the first league to make a comeback.

The Rules of Socially Distant Golf
If you’re losing your mind without sports (like me), here are some safe ways to enjoy a round at an open course without putting yourself or others at risk:

– Check in online and avoid entering the clubhouse

– Stay six feet apart from other golfers

– Don’t use carts or caddies; carry your bag

– Don’t share tees, balls, clubs, etc.

– Don’t pull the flag or use bunker rakes

Additional Reads
Yahoo! Sports: Keep the Golf Courses Open (Where Possible)
New York Times: Golf Rounds Surged As Coronavirus Advanced, Now the Game is Retreating

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OTD IN HISTORY

World, Meet Michael Phelps

Photo: Sean Garnsworthy / Getty Images

Michael Phelps Becomes Youngest Man to Set a World Record

March 30, 2001 — On this day in sports history, a 15-year-old Michael Phelps introduced himself to the world. Phelps broke the 200m butterfly world record (1:54:92) at the US World Championship trials in Texas to become the youngest man in any sport to claim an Olympic world record. Over the next eight years (2001-2009), Phelps broke his own mark seven more times. He also eclipsed 39 other swimming world records from 2001 to 2009 on his way to 28 career Olympic medals by 2016. Everyone knows Michael Phelps’ story by now, but we were introduced to the phenom on this day 19 years ago.

Watch: 2001 Interview With 15-Year-Old Michael Phelps (FTW)

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ESPORTS HIGHLIGHTS

NFL Stars Play Fortnite for Charity
Popular NFL wide receivers and Twitch streamers Juju Smith-Schuster (Steelers) and Mike Evans (Bucs) took part in a Fortnite tournament to raise money over the weekend. Other NFL players joined during the 12-hour stream. (Bleacher Report)

iRacing at Virtual Texas
Timmy Hill won NASCAR’s second weekly virtual race in the eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series at Texas Motor Speedway. Hill bumped William Byron down the stretch to win on an exciting overtime restart. (NASCAR)

FIFA 20 Helps MLS Fill Void
Soccer fans across the MLS have migrated toward FIFA to fill the void this spring. Individual clubs have been investing in soccer-related esports teams, and now they’re pushing them to the forefront. (ESPN)

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📰 THE HEADLINES 

Knicks Owner James Dolan Tests Positive for COVID-19
(ESPN)

Jaguars QB Gardner Minshew Creates Tiger King Parody; ‘Jaguar King’
(CBS Sports)

Ex-NBA Star Stephon Marbury Working to Get 10 Million N-95 Masks in New York
(Sports Illustrated)

SoFi Stadium Construction Continues After Worker Tests Positive for Coronavirus
(USA Today)

ESPN Analyst Doris Burke Doing Well After Testing Positive for Coronavirus
(NBC Sports)

Two Cubs Employees Test Positive for Coronavirus; One Hospitalized
(Yahoo! Sports)

Celtics’ Marcus Smart Cleared After Coronavirus Diagnosis
(Bleacher Report)

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