NCAA approves plan for basketball players to access coaches

Kansas University coach Bill Self and the Jayhawks gather before practice on Thursday, Oct. 15, 2015, at the KU practice facility.

Kansas University coach Bill Self and the Jayhawks gather before practice on Thursday, Oct. 15, 2015, at the KU practice facility.

Friday, June 19, 2020

The NCAA Division I Council this week approved a plan to allow college basketball players to start working with their coaches for the first time since the pandemic wiped out March Madness.

The summer access period for men’s and women’s players will begin July 20.

Men’s and women’s basketball players at the University of Kansas will be allowed back on campus for voluntary workouts beginning July 6, per the Big 12 Conference return-to-campus guidelines.

Required activities for both men’s and women’s teams can begin July 20 and last up to eight weeks until Sept. 15 or the first day of classes, whichever comes first.

Those activities include weight training, conditioning and skills instruction with coaches supervising for up to eight hours per week. Skills instruction cannot exceed four hours per week and no days off are required.

The original proposal from the basketball oversight committee’s asked for an 18-day period from July 1-19 when basketball players could add “enhanced in-person nonphysical activities” to the already permissible voluntary weight training and conditioning at team facilities. Those enhanced activities included team and individual meetings requested by the athletes and film study.

The council instead extended the current rule, allowing voluntary activities and up to eight hours per week of virtual activities through July 19.

In recruiting news, the council deferred a decision on a proposal to restart off-campus basketball recruiting and altering the calendar.

“The Council worked to balance the desire to get student-athletes training again with the need to repopulate our campuses and athletics facilities gradually and safely, within all campus, local and state mandates,” said council chairwoman Grace Calhoun, who is the athletic director at Penn.

The council needed more time to consider the recruiting recommendations and will vote on the recruiting calendar in a few weeks. It also will consider adding more activities for basketball players during the July 1-19 period.

In men’s basketball, the recruiting proposal called for tournaments and scouting events usually held in April, June and July to be held in August, with coaches permitted to attend. Off-campus and in-person recruiting for coaches would begin in September.

On the women’s side, the recruiting proposal called for an evaluation period to be created from Aug. 15-Sept. 8 and for the fall contact period from Sept. 9-29 to be converted into an evaluation period.

As for the current players, on Sept. 15 or the first day of classes, whichever comes first, teams can transition to out-of-season workouts, similar to summer access but two days off per week are required.

Full preseason practice can start 42 days before a school’s first regular-season game, which, in KU’s case, is Sept. 29, ahead of the Jayhawks’ Nov. 10 opener against Kentucky at the Champions Classic in Chicago.