No rush at midnight by Cuonzo Martin after recruiting restrictions lifted

As 12 a.m. Friday arrived, phone calls were phoned, text messages were texted, tweets were tweeted and emails were emailed.

The hands doing all that work belonged to Division I men's basketball coaches. The handcuffs were off.

Beginning Friday, the NCAA permanently lifted restrictions determining the number of calls, texts and social media private messages that coaches can send to recruits who have completed their sophomore year of high school.

All across the country, coaches burst into a tizzy.

That is, except Tennessee's Cuonzo Martin.

"I'm usually in bed by midnight," Martin said Friday morning.

Well before bells tolled at 12 a.m., Martin told targeted recruits that he would not, in fact, be calling them at midnight.

"I told those guys I'd call them in the morning," said Martin, who has four available scholarships for the 2012-13 season and one verbal commitment.

Why?

"Parameters," he said plainly. "It was understood. The key guys know what's going on. I'm not looking to wake anyone up at midnight just to give them a call."

The deregulation of calling and messaging was adopted by the Division I Board of Directors last October to help coaches build relationships with recruits and eliminate the countless routes used to snake around the old setup.

What Martin looks forward to the most is the elimination of tediously counting every call and text made to recruits. He said, however, the newfound freedom doesn't mean a free-for-all is imminent.

"With the key guys that we've been recruiting, we talk about setting parameters from the standpoint of saying, 'I'm accepting calls on Wednesday night and Sunday nights,' or whatever the case may be," Martin said. "You've got to set those parameters so everybody is on the same page. That way no one is getting bombarded."

In Martin's opinion, coaches need to tread lightly with the NCAA's restrictions lifted. The flexibility and breathing room is useful, but could lead some to become overbearing.

"How much is too much?" he asked rhetorically. "There are some cases where you're going to turn off a lot of players and then there are others who will like it. It will depend on who you're recruiting. It's a very delicate thing because you don't want to overdo it, but you don't want to not do your job."

Brendan F. Quinn covers Tennessee men's basketball. Follow him at http://twitter.com/BFQuinn

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Comments » 62

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

I don't see CCM as the annoying the cr@p out of recruits kind of guy..GBO!

GreerVol22 writes:

if a tweet needed to happen...it happened. And don't think for one minute otherwise.

iowavol writes:

So the rule that lead to Coach Pearl being fired is now not a rule. Something's wrong with this picture.

Theo writes:

in response to iowavol:

So the rule that lead to Coach Pearl being fired is now not a rule. Something's wrong with this picture.

Loved Bruce but I believe it was the lying to the NCAA that did him in. It's always the coverup - ask Nixon.

WetumpkaThumpa writes:

Coach Martin is going to be one of the best things to happen to the University of Tennessee in a long time. This man is a leader and a genius.

buzz29 writes:

So refreshing. A person, also a coach, who practices situationally dependent thinking. Go Cuonzo!

10seVol85_Part_Deux writes:

in response to Theo:

Loved Bruce but I believe it was the lying to the NCAA that did him in. It's always the coverup - ask Nixon.

True, but if they hadn't been doing an investigation brought on by exceeding the call limits, he wouldn't have even been talking to them. The opportunity for the lie heard round the world would never have presented itself.

AlexAndersonAAradio writes:

I think Pearl would make a good Knox County judge.

SummittsCourt writes:

in response to iowavol:

So the rule that lead to Coach Pearl being fired is now not a rule. Something's wrong with this picture.

The BBQ with recruits at his house, then lying about it to the NCAA which brought the hammer down from them is why he got fired. Milly toast Mike didn't want to deal with the heat.

iowavol writes:

in response to SummittsCourt:

The BBQ with recruits at his house, then lying about it to the NCAA which brought the hammer down from them is why he got fired. Milly toast Mike didn't want to deal with the heat.

Correct, he was fired for lying about where a picture was taken with a recruit on an unofficial visit. The recruit on an unofficial visit being at Pearl's house during a team BBQ was a minor violation. The excessive contacts lead to the investigation. Thad Matta just added the extra juice by sending the picture to the NCAA during this investigation. Hammy further exacerbated the situation by not letting Pearl know the picture had become part of the investigation. A surprised Pearl lied and then tried to cover it up before coming clean. He was ostensibly fired for a bump that occurred later, but I agree with you, he was fired for lying.

RobbieT writes:

in response to iowavol:

So the rule that lead to Coach Pearl being fired is now not a rule. Something's wrong with this picture.

It's all about politics and $$, so what else is new? Anybody got a breakfast burrito?

mocsandvolsfan writes:

Yeah!! The lid is off!!lol

not_guilty writes:

in response to iowavol:

Correct, he was fired for lying about where a picture was taken with a recruit on an unofficial visit. The recruit on an unofficial visit being at Pearl's house during a team BBQ was a minor violation. The excessive contacts lead to the investigation. Thad Matta just added the extra juice by sending the picture to the NCAA during this investigation. Hammy further exacerbated the situation by not letting Pearl know the picture had become part of the investigation. A surprised Pearl lied and then tried to cover it up before coming clean. He was ostensibly fired for a bump that occurred later, but I agree with you, he was fired for lying.

Bruce Pearl's coaching skills are beyond question, but the decision to fire him was correct. Think of what the parents of a blue chip recruit would think about their child being influenced by not just an admitted liar, but by someone who lied when it was remarkably dumb to do so.

born2ride writes:

While other coaches are being the first to call recruits at midnight, Martin was sleeping. No wonder he is not getting anybody good.

tennrich1 writes:

in response to Theo:

Loved Bruce but I believe it was the lying to the NCAA that did him in. It's always the coverup - ask Nixon.

Or fast and furious, our CIA leaks,or well with this administration we could be here all day!!!

VolunteerLifer writes:

in response to DeaconBooze:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I stopped worrying about who and how a coach recruits a while ago. If he doesn't get enough wins and championships, he'll be gone soon no matter who he recruits. Let him recruit who he wants, then we judge the product he puts on the floor. From this guy's body of work, it sounds like he has his act together.

tennrich1 writes:

in response to born2ride:

While other coaches are being the first to call recruits at midnight, Martin was sleeping. No wonder he is not getting anybody good.

born2ride, I know you're being facious but there's actually silly boys who believe that...not us though...

VolFaninNewMexico writes:

in response to iowavol:

So the rule that lead to Coach Pearl being fired is now not a rule. Something's wrong with this picture.

Coach Pearl was fired for being a liar. He would not have been fired if he had not lied to the NCAA and UT adim.

Americano writes:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Slystone writes:

in response to iowavol:

Correct, he was fired for lying about where a picture was taken with a recruit on an unofficial visit. The recruit on an unofficial visit being at Pearl's house during a team BBQ was a minor violation. The excessive contacts lead to the investigation. Thad Matta just added the extra juice by sending the picture to the NCAA during this investigation. Hammy further exacerbated the situation by not letting Pearl know the picture had become part of the investigation. A surprised Pearl lied and then tried to cover it up before coming clean. He was ostensibly fired for a bump that occurred later, but I agree with you, he was fired for lying.

Let us not forget he wanted the parents to lie about them being at the cookout because he knew it was illegal. That didn't sit well with one of the parents. It's water under the bridge now. Nothing to see here. Move along folks.

HATEaBAMA writes:

in response to WetumpkaThumpa:

Coach Martin is going to be one of the best things to happen to the University of Tennessee in a long time. This man is a leader and a genius.

Bingo!

Voltillyafall writes:

in response to not_guilty:

Bruce Pearl's coaching skills are beyond question, but the decision to fire him was correct. Think of what the parents of a blue chip recruit would think about their child being influenced by not just an admitted liar, but by someone who lied when it was remarkably dumb to do so.

Yeah, no parents of a blue chip recruit would think about their child being influenced by an admitted liar like Nick Saban. While coach of the Dolphins, he said he was NOT--under any circumstances--going to be the Alabama football coach.

murrayvol writes:

in response to iowavol:

So the rule that lead to Coach Pearl being fired is now not a rule. Something's wrong with this picture.

Not telling the truth led to Pearl's firing.

civilianvol_formerly_marinevol writes:

Why is no one reporting the new 4* quarterback commitment to UT? According to ESPN, Riley Ferguson picked UT over Alabama, LSU, Auburn, Notre Dame, Michigan, Va Tech and others.

http://espn.go.com/college-sports/foo...

OwensboroVol writes:

I see we have all the saintly souls on this post who have never told a lie or done anything else wrong in their lifes. You guys who condemn Coach Pearl make me sick. You have almost assuredly done much more wrong in your life than Coach Pearl did while Tennessee's Basketball Coach.

Razzle writes:

in response to OwensboroVol:

I see we have all the saintly souls on this post who have never told a lie or done anything else wrong in their lifes. You guys who condemn Coach Pearl make me sick. You have almost assuredly done much more wrong in your life than Coach Pearl did while Tennessee's Basketball Coach.

Yea, most people do lie. But most people aren't Tennessee coaches that lie to the NCAA.

UTistheOLEMISSoftheEAST writes:

in response to Slystone:

Let us not forget he wanted the parents to lie about them being at the cookout because he knew it was illegal. That didn't sit well with one of the parents. It's water under the bridge now. Nothing to see here. Move along folks.

Actually there's plenty to see here. It's the comedy that is ut athletics. Not a chance i'd miss it. Nice try though.

mocsandvolsfan writes:

in response to DeaconBooze:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I suppose you're right. I suppose it doesn't matter that these coaches bring in more money to run actual teaching than any other school program cept' maybe alumnus donations. The alumni donate mainly(I suppose) to sports. Not sayin' that coaches should lie...not at all. But we need to promote the idea of good sporting!? Right? I mean SELL SOME TICKETS BABY!! I may be wrong but I don't think these coaches are selling drugs , prostitution, guns, governments secrets??? But I still agree that telling lies is wrong. I just can't compare "telling lies to the NCAA" to having someone axed(kilt).
I also think that the education they may attain might have a have value if applied properly. Some of our athletes actually go on to successful careers outside of sports. Of course some I suppose go on to work for the la Cosa Nostra.

mocsandvolsfan writes:

in response to UTistheOLEMISSoftheEAST:

Actually there's plenty to see here. It's the comedy that is ut athletics. Not a chance i'd miss it. Nice try though.

You probably still watch Saturday Night Live! I bet Friends is your fave re-runs!

Well me too!! lol

I don't see UT as the joke you're hinting at!!

I see UT as the pride of the South in athletics. really I do. It's all a matter of perspective. Somehow you just have to learn to sit back and enjoy it all. We can't control every paren...uh I mean every coaches actions.

Slystone writes:

So who are the top 4 players on the Vols wish list?

voloffaith writes:

in response to Americano:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Glad to see how highly ewe view the recruits Coach Martin is pursuing.....very Inappropriate comment!!! DEFAMATORY even though a generalization.....

Go Coach I trust you know who to get and do it without looking like an idiot in overdrive calling/tweeting/texting them every 16 seconds...etc

mocsandvolsfan writes:

in response to Slystone:

So who are the top 4 players on the Vols wish list?

The tall athletic kids that can dribble and shoot.

echapin (staff) writes:

in response to civilianvol_formerly_marinevol:

Why is no one reporting the new 4* quarterback commitment to UT? According to ESPN, Riley Ferguson picked UT over Alabama, LSU, Auburn, Notre Dame, Michigan, Va Tech and others.

http://espn.go.com/college-sports/foo...

marinevol - you can find a story on Riley Ferguson on Govols247 or pick up a copy of the News Sentinel today and read it there!

Here's the direct link: http://tennessee.247sports.com/Articl...

VOLet_parking writes:

in response to civilianvol_formerly_marinevol:

Why is no one reporting the new 4* quarterback commitment to UT? According to ESPN, Riley Ferguson picked UT over Alabama, LSU, Auburn, Notre Dame, Michigan, Va Tech and others.

http://espn.go.com/college-sports/foo...

Probably because even with this recruit we are still 12th in the SEC behind Miss St and Ole Miss (rivals) and 10th in the SEC behind Miss St and Ole Miss (ESPN) in recruiting.

LoudMouth writes:

in response to OwensboroVol:

I see we have all the saintly souls on this post who have never told a lie or done anything else wrong in their lifes. You guys who condemn Coach Pearl make me sick. You have almost assuredly done much more wrong in your life than Coach Pearl did while Tennessee's Basketball Coach.

Some sound advise there Owensboro, just wish more posters would consider those issues before they post. We all make mistakes and really have no right to pick up sticks and throw stones...

tovolny writes:

COACH MARTIN IS RIGHT!!!...If you don't like, go root for another team. File this away and check it again on June 15, 2013.

69grad writes:

Coach Martin: the epitomy of class and integrity.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to voloffaith:

Glad to see how highly ewe view the recruits Coach Martin is pursuing.....very Inappropriate comment!!! DEFAMATORY even though a generalization.....

Go Coach I trust you know who to get and do it without looking like an idiot in overdrive calling/tweeting/texting them every 16 seconds...etc

I suppose it is a good thing that coaches won't be penalized by the NCAA for contacting recruits with the full array of today's social media. However, I am also glad that CCM isn't going to use it to make a nuisance of himself. Some of the "eager beaver" coaches who will go all out with this will turn off as many recruits as they actually attract.

More importantly, I think this is a significant clue to the kind of player CCM is recruiting. He doesn't want the kind of kid who NEEDS constant contact and hand-holding to feel wanted. He only wants the kind of recruit who is mature enough to make a decision on a rational basis, i.e., who knows his own mind well enough not to be flattered into making a rash decision, and who is inner-directed enough to do the right things once he gets to UT whether or not someone is prodding him and babying him all the time.

We all hope that his recruits going forward will among the nation's most talented players, but I believe we will all be better off if they are ALSO guys with solid values who know, or are at least willing to learn, how to be mature, responsible young men who want to be solid citizens as well as great players.

Will he have no shot at some well-known, multi-star types with this approach? Probably. However, it is also probable that the ones he DOES get will know what is expected of them and are not likely to be seeking greener pastures as soon as they arrive on campus.

Chris4Vols22 writes:

in response to iowavol:

So the rule that lead to Coach Pearl being fired is now not a rule. Something's wrong with this picture.

No, that's not even close to accurate. Pearl's firing had nothing to do with call or texting violations. It was an ethical issue.

Chris4Vols22 writes:

in response to 10seVol85_Part_Deux:

True, but if they hadn't been doing an investigation brought on by exceeding the call limits, he wouldn't have even been talking to them. The opportunity for the lie heard round the world would never have presented itself.

No, no, no. Pearl lied about recruits being at his house. Has nothing to do with a phone whatsoever.

MikeInTN writes:

I wonder if Cal was in no rush to recruit for U.K.? After all isn't that "the" team you have to be in the SEC?

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to Chris4Vols22:

No, no, no. Pearl lied about recruits being at his house. Has nothing to do with a phone whatsoever.

It really doesn't matter either way Mike Slime and the NCAA were definitely on a witch hunt to get Pearl. All the frustrations about the SEC being dirty were taken out on Bruce, pathetic.

RobbieT writes:

in response to BIVOLAR_BEARE:

It really doesn't matter either way Mike Slime and the NCAA were definitely on a witch hunt to get Pearl. All the frustrations about the SEC being dirty were taken out on Bruce, pathetic.

You know what, you just may be onto something there, CreatureFeature ;)

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to RobbieT:

You know what, you just may be onto something there, CreatureFeature ;)

I know I am, buddy..Jim Calhoun practically ran a professional bb franchise out of UCONNvicts, yet anytime the heat was on he played the cancer card and tugged at the heart strings of the biased NE sportswriters (namely espn) and was able to slide by with minimal punishment from the NCAA. He even had the gall to complain about the slap on the hand he received, despicable.

mocsandvolsfan writes:

coach's NOT coaches... I can't believe I didn't get slammed

mocsandvolsfan writes:

in response to johnlg00:

I suppose it is a good thing that coaches won't be penalized by the NCAA for contacting recruits with the full array of today's social media. However, I am also glad that CCM isn't going to use it to make a nuisance of himself. Some of the "eager beaver" coaches who will go all out with this will turn off as many recruits as they actually attract.

More importantly, I think this is a significant clue to the kind of player CCM is recruiting. He doesn't want the kind of kid who NEEDS constant contact and hand-holding to feel wanted. He only wants the kind of recruit who is mature enough to make a decision on a rational basis, i.e., who knows his own mind well enough not to be flattered into making a rash decision, and who is inner-directed enough to do the right things once he gets to UT whether or not someone is prodding him and babying him all the time.

We all hope that his recruits going forward will among the nation's most talented players, but I believe we will all be better off if they are ALSO guys with solid values who know, or are at least willing to learn, how to be mature, responsible young men who want to be solid citizens as well as great players.

Will he have no shot at some well-known, multi-star types with this approach? Probably. However, it is also probable that the ones he DOES get will know what is expected of them and are not likely to be seeking greener pastures as soon as they arrive on campus.

I think you both have the right idea of what a good coach is...maybe even a great one. I'd much rather win games in the proper manner than to win by cheating. 'Course some of these coachines may not be cheating exactly. But the idea of players sticking around a coupla years doesn't seem to register with them.

BTW "coachines" was a typo that I kept on purpose. I like it and think it'll catch on!!

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to mocsandvolsfan:

coach's NOT coaches... I can't believe I didn't get slammed

I guess we have grown accustomed to you misspelling words..Just sayin'

RobbieT writes:

in response to BIVOLAR_BEARE:

I know I am, buddy..Jim Calhoun practically ran a professional bb franchise out of UCONNvicts, yet anytime the heat was on he played the cancer card and tugged at the heart strings of the biased NE sportswriters (namely espn) and was able to slide by with minimal punishment from the NCAA. He even had the gall to complain about the slap on the hand he received, despicable.

Sitting here watching ‘Saving Private Ryan’ and the German invasion at Normandy during WWII makes some other problems of this world today seem pretty small. But, you know what, BIVOLAR, as far as the sports world is concerned, there's three things that we here in the SEC, regardless of allegiance and fandom, should ALL know with great amounts of certainty.

1. ESPN sports writers/announcers/commentators are all very biased against anything SEC.
2. ESPN sports writers/announcers/commentators are all very biased against anything SEC.
3. ESPN sports writers/announcers/ commentators are all very biased against anything SEC.

And, that includes nearly all the rest of the sports reporting world who runs the gamut of 'little' praise to outright contempt for anything SEC.

mocsandvolsfan writes:

in response to BIVOLAR_BEARE:

I guess we have grown accustomed to you misspelling words..Just sayin'

No really. I should have been slamed!

mocsandvolsfan writes:

in response to RobbieT:

Sitting here watching ‘Saving Private Ryan’ and the German invasion at Normandy during WWII makes some other problems of this world today seem pretty small. But, you know what, BIVOLAR, as far as the sports world is concerned, there's three things that we here in the SEC, regardless of allegiance and fandom, should ALL know with great amounts of certainty.

1. ESPN sports writers/announcers/commentators are all very biased against anything SEC.
2. ESPN sports writers/announcers/commentators are all very biased against anything SEC.
3. ESPN sports writers/announcers/ commentators are all very biased against anything SEC.

And, that includes nearly all the rest of the sports reporting world who runs the gamut of 'little' praise to outright contempt for anything SEC.

"contempt of" anything south of Kentucky, East of Memphis, North of Georgia and Alabama and LSU, and sometimes anything North of Florida. They sometimes have mood swings depending on who they won't to court into a contract of some sort.
Oh and West of Carolina

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