November 28, 2020

WEB EXCLUSIVE: New rule enables NCAA D-III coaches to text message recruits

Coaches from Webster University and other Division III institutions can now use a new communication tool to communicate with recruits — text messaging. This new rule was enacted on Jan. 14, and it will allow college coaches to start sending unlimited texts to recruits. A mix of institution and conference administrators voted in favor of the rule.

Director of Athletics Tom Hart represented Webster at the convention. Hart, among 418 other voters, agreed to allow text messaging as a recruiting tool.

“Each institution gets to vote and conferences pull members together to cast a vote as a conference,” Hart said. “In our conference (the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference), voting is done by athletic directors.”

Hart said the new rule will not only help Webster coaches in recruiting, but all Division III coaches across the nation.

“Coaches are going to be able text perspective student athletes, (which) provides a seamless, efficient method of communication between coach and perspective athletes,” Hart said. “It will help the student athletes.”

Women’s soccer coach Luigi Scire and baseball coach Bill Kurich said they are in favor of the new communication rule for recruiting.

“Anytime you have additional instruments or additional ways of contacting perspective students, it’s always a plus in the recruitment process,” Scire said. “It’s an asset to have, and I think the coaches will benefit from it as well as the student athletes.”

Even though Scire likes the idea, he’s still going to continue the same method of how he’s recruited prospective student athletes in past years.

“I will use texting as a way to contact, but overall, emails and phone calls have always been the most effective,” Scire said. “In our approach with the soccer program, emails have been very effective and I will continue doing that.”

Since he learned of the new rule, Kurich has not wasted any time, as he’s already started using used the new method.

“Once the rule got passed, I texted a recruit to get caught up with him and to confirm some young men are coming to spend an overnight visit this weekend.”

Scire would like to start using the texting technique for his 2013 recruitment class.

“I’ll just stick to the emails and not change it up for this year’s recruiting class,” Scire said.

Texting a recruit too often could be a negative aspect of the rule, Kurich said. Coaches would like to give the student athletes space for their own privacy.

“If (there is) something specific I want to ask them, I’ll use (texting) in that sense,” Kurich said.

Scire said his biggest recruiting tool is giving recruits campus tours.

“(The) campus visit is extremely important, that’s the No. 1 thing,” Scire said. “Usually, everything I need to say is said at the campus visit. Texting on a limited basics — don’t want to abuse too much in texting — (you) have to be careful.”

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