Bob Hurley talks Boston, new NCAA rules

WEST ROXBURY, Mass. -- Legendary St. Anthony (N.J.) boys basketball coach Bob Hurley is in Boston this week conducting a youth clinic at Roxbury Latin School. Hurley was here thanks to Shooting Touch, Inc., a Boston-based nonprofit of which he serves on the Board of Directors.

It was also announced yesterday that Hurley's Friars will face local powerhouse Central Catholic on Dec. 28 in the second annual Shooting Touch Shootout, at Emmanuel College.

With over 1,000 career wins under his belt, five mythical national championships and one of only three high school coaches in the Basketball Hall of Fame, a chat with Hurley is always one of the year's highlights for me personally as a basketball writer. I racked his brain on a few more subjects.

On the new NCAA regulations allowing unlimited contact between coaches and players: “For us, I don’t see it as much of a problem. We do mention to the families about, as soon as anything seems to be unreasonable in the recruiting, which is usually after 9 o’clock at night, call me and I’ll have it stopped. We don’t let people call after 9.The burden of these coaches thinking that they have to keep nonstop contact with the kids because they’re going to lose some advantage, we try to blow that up so the kid can just go visit the schools, write some stuff down that’s important, and not turn it into, you know, not going to school becomes a social ejection.

“I think being able to maintain contact with the person is important, but who’s in contact with them – I guess now if we’re going to make it the colleges, the players, and if we’re cutting out some of the handlers. If the handlers don’t have as much influence, that’d be good. It’d be nice if the families

On the new NCAA eligibility guidelines for the Class of 2016: “I think the kids in big, urban schools that don’t get identified as players early enough are going to have trouble, because they’re trying to do catch-up. If you have a kid in school who’s taking a normal load of classes, it’s not an issue. It’s certainly not an issue in my school. But I think it can bother a kid who’s a late bloomer, or a kid that transfers from one school to another, and all of a sudden you study the transcript and…

“We were just talking in Jersey City the other day, talking about a charter school where a kid was going into senior year, and he began his senior year at this charter school which is now closed, Create Charter, and he went to Snyder High School, the public high school in the area where I’m from. When they got his transcript, he was a senior in high school and he hadn’t taken a math class yet. He hadn’t taken a math class yet. I have no idea how that could slip.”

On Boston: “We love coming up. My wife absolutely loves to come to Boston. They’re wandering around as we speak. I am always in very good shape when I get home after this week, because they’re bouncing around the whole week. When we come up, we get a chance to play two very good games. It’s a short trip, so when you travel you don’t have to leave some place and fly, you have to leave a lot earlier during the holiday and disrupt the family’s holiday together. What Shooting Touch is trying to do, by us coming we help them a little bit, we benefit far more than they do by coming up here because it’s a great opportunity to play a couple of games.”

On the classic series with New Bedford in the early 90’s, the program's first matchup against an MIAA school: “1993 was the big one, because we beat New Bedford up there, and they beat Durfee in the [state] tournament that year. And that was kind of the ‘Fall River Dreams’ storyline, I think came from that. The shot clock was interesting, the halves were interesting. We came up overnight, played the next day. We like to play teams at a good pace, and they played a fast pace, so it made for a good game for us.”