When you're spending a considerable amount of time discussing honest-to-goodness NCAA revolution -- the notion of cost of attendance scholarships and "pay for play" scenarios, as we here at ESPN.com are doing this week -- then silly little things like text messages and emails don't seem quite so important.
Frankly, they aren't. Long term, the NCAA has bigger fish to fry. Still, this is an encouraging bit of news, one the NCAA has probably taken too long to act on, and one that should (hopefully) bring the organization just a bit more up to speed with the Way Things Work Now.
That's right: According to NCAA.org, Division I members will consider a proposal that would "allow all forms of electronic correspondence (such as email and texts) to be sent to recruits starting at the same time that phone contact is allowed in a given sport." That correspondence would have to be sent directly to recruits or their guardians and could not be used in any public forum, and it would coincide with the window of time in which institutions may begin sending recruits various materials.
“Developments in technology have made it easier and less expensive to communicate through mobile communication devices that are multifunctional and often provide options for the user to define his or her communication preferences,” said cabinet chair and Baylor Athletics Director Ian McCaw. “Institutions have been permitted to send an unlimited number of emails to prospects for several years and there have not been any concerns regarding frequency or intrusion.
“Today, most mobile communication devices permit email and text messages to be sent and received in the same manner.”
It seems like a little thing, but the NCAA's response to this issue -- which has included a ban on all text messaging, even in the age of ubiquitous unlimited texting plans, but which has classified Facebook messages and Twitter direct messages under the same umbrella as email -- has been an easy point of ridicule in recent years.
In reality, if anyone knows how to use their smartphones and messaging accounts efficiently, including how to ignore unwanted messages from pesky recruiters, it's the 16-year-olds of this fine nation we call America. If a player doesn't have unlimited texting and is worried about racking up a bill, or if he just wants an easier way to filter through the noise, he can simply tell coaches to message him on Facebook. The kids are all right; they can handle this stuff themselves. Hopefully, the NCAA passes this proposal, the era of the text messaging ban is lifted, and we can all go back to trying to figure out how to use Google+.
By the way, I'm not kidding. Can someone show me how to use Google+? Apparently I'm not good at the Internet anymore.