OMG! Three months later, Cuonzo Martin enjoying benefits of texting rule change

Martin taking full advantage of new NCAA text rule

Tennessee men's basketball coach Cuonzo Martin, right, and his staff pose with UT fans in San Marino during the team's trip to Europe in August. (Tom Satkowiak/University of Tennessee)

Tennessee men's basketball coach Cuonzo Martin, right, and his staff pose with UT fans in San Marino during the team's trip to Europe in August. (Tom Satkowiak/University of Tennessee)

Tennessee men's basketball coach Cuonzo Martin uses his cell phone to take a picture of some of the children on the team's trip to Europe in August. (Tom Satkowiak/University of Tennessee)

Tennessee men's basketball coach Cuonzo Martin uses his cell phone to take a picture of some of the children on the team's trip to Europe in August. (Tom Satkowiak/University of Tennessee)

The ties binding the lines of communication in college basketball recruiting were snipped back on June 15.

Thanks to a decision in October 2011, the NCAA lifted its restrictions on text messaging between college coaches and high school players. When the ruling went into effect this summer, the college basketball world waited to learn its impact.

Three months have passed.

Discussing the effects of unlimited text messaging, Tennessee men's coach Cuonzo Martin pointed out an unexpected benefit.

The gray area is suddenly black and white.

Prior to the rule, "dead periods," long stretches when any communication between coaches and recruits was forbidden, left Martin and his fellow coaches wondering where they stood with coveted recruits. Sure, recruiting news outlets would report players' "lists," but concrete confirmation from a recruit himself couldn't be obtained. Unless, of course, one was willing to risk improper contact with a recruit — an NCAA no-no.

Now, Martin said, he doesn't have to spend time chasing his own tail on the recruiting trail. The ambiguity of players' interest was eliminated soon after the clock stuck midnight on June 15.

"For recruits, it got everyone excited, but then after a while, like anything else in recruiting, the recruits start narrowing down their lists," Martin said. "With (the rule change), they can do it even without saying it. If they don't return a text, that means it's been narrowed down. … Then you're able to hone in on guys and go from there."

It's like dating. If she doesn't call you back, it's time to move on.

Martin said it has been "a fine balance" in adjusting to the new policy. Is the staff texting a particular recruit too much? Too little? The past three months have offered a lesson in tact.

"What we try to do with kids and their parents is tell them, 'If there are certain dates or certain times when you don't want calls or texts coming

in, just let us know,' " Martin said.

During the Vols' 10-day Italian tour in July, Martin could often be seen thumbing his smart phone and snapping pictures. He said his goal was to use the trip to his advantage in the recruiting process. Texts flew back stateside.

"I was texting constantly — texting pictures all night long," Martin said. "Because of the time difference, it was hard to sleep. So when it was midnight or 1 o'clock in Italy, it was 6 or 7 o'clock in the States. So I was sending texts and making calls."

Recruits received pictures of Martin and his family smiling at Italy's countless landmarks, he said. Shots of the Vols posing as a team soon followed.

Martin hopes the work pays off this fall. Today will bring 6-foot-8 combo forward A.J. Davis to campus, as the News Sentinel reported last weekend.

Kevon Looney, a 2014 recruit, took an unofficial visit on Friday.

High-profile recruits Jonathan Williams III and Robert Hubbs from West Tennessee are scheduled for official visits in conjunction with Tennessee's highly anticipated meeting with Florida at Neyland Stadium next weekend.

Davis, a Class of 2013 recruit from Buford (Ga.) High School, is the son of 13-year NBA veteran Antonio Davis. He'll be on hand for today's football home opener against Georgia State.

Martin is unable to comment on specific recruits per NCAA rules, but when asked if spending 10 days abroad had any negative impact on recruiting, he said, "I don't think we lost anything there."

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

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Comments » 20

underthehill writes:

What parent would not want their son to play for Coach Martin..look at his background..look at his character..look at the way he gets along with his players and has their respect..look at the message to parents and players that he will contact them at their convenience..Martin is going to do just fine with recruiting...

laraccoon writes:

in response to underthehill:

What parent would not want their son to play for Coach Martin..look at his background..look at his character..look at the way he gets along with his players and has their respect..look at the message to parents and players that he will contact them at their convenience..Martin is going to do just fine with recruiting...

i totally agree with you ,think we are lucky to have Martin . how could anyone not be looking forward to Basketball season . Hamilton gets alot of grief but if Dooley and Martin pan out,and Serrano delivers Hamilton will look alot brighter ,plus Pearl how scary is that .

laraccoon writes:

hammy didnt hire Serrano , dont know what i was thinking .

mocsandvolsfan writes:

I never met Hammy and don't really pay a lot of attention honestly to the articles of the money people I guess. BUT I KNOW Martin was a great hire. I still feel that Pearl in the beginning was a good hire. I'm convinced that the Hamster believed Kiffin was a great hire and probably wasn't sabotaging UT as some have offered.

golly how did I get into that stuff?hehe

Good texting Martin. GBO GO VOLS! AND before some "troll" shows up and says this for me..."see if you can show Dooley how to use his "telephone!?lol

SouthPaVol writes:

Martin made a massive under-statement in saying "I don't think we lost anything' by going on a basketball trip to Europe. Any HS kid would give his eye teeth to play a tour in Europe.

My left handed comment: think it's time to check into season tickets ;-)

Tennfan4075 writes:

in response to mocsandvolsfan:

I never met Hammy and don't really pay a lot of attention honestly to the articles of the money people I guess. BUT I KNOW Martin was a great hire. I still feel that Pearl in the beginning was a good hire. I'm convinced that the Hamster believed Kiffin was a great hire and probably wasn't sabotaging UT as some have offered.

golly how did I get into that stuff?hehe

Good texting Martin. GBO GO VOLS! AND before some "troll" shows up and says this for me..."see if you can show Dooley how to use his "telephone!?lol

Kiffin was a great hire from the Vol perspective at the time of the hire, (young, exciting and well connected) the only problem was Kiffin had bigger and better things on his agenda and moved on, (hard to over look what he is doing at USC even with probation) this happens a lot when you hire coaches with little or no prior connections with the school and that school does not have the constant glitter associated with being in the spotlight of the sports world. We should also keep in mind with success brings interest and if Coach Martin continues on his current path (as we as Vol fans hope) then interest may come from big name BB schools (or even lesser known schools located in media capitols of the US) and the process may begin all over again.

John_10065 writes:

in response to Tennfan4075:

Kiffin was a great hire from the Vol perspective at the time of the hire, (young, exciting and well connected) the only problem was Kiffin had bigger and better things on his agenda and moved on, (hard to over look what he is doing at USC even with probation) this happens a lot when you hire coaches with little or no prior connections with the school and that school does not have the constant glitter associated with being in the spotlight of the sports world. We should also keep in mind with success brings interest and if Coach Martin continues on his current path (as we as Vol fans hope) then interest may come from big name BB schools (or even lesser known schools located in media capitols of the US) and the process may begin all over again.

Meanwhile back in Mordor, Lord Sauron realizes that all is still not well in the dark empire:

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow...

Given the baggage and the continuing saga of malfeasance on the west coast, I have to say Kiffin was a terrible hire even if he could coach like Bear Bryant and General Neyland combined.

mocsandvolsfan writes:

in response to John_10065:

Meanwhile back in Mordor, Lord Sauron realizes that all is still not well in the dark empire:

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow...

Given the baggage and the continuing saga of malfeasance on the west coast, I have to say Kiffin was a terrible hire even if he could coach like Bear Bryant and General Neyland combined.

Sauron was doomed to failure. Just as Morgoth his predecessor and master was doomed from the beginning.
His music always clashed with the other Airnur (Someone can tie this in somehow I'm sure).

mocsandvolsfan writes:

Reading the link all the way down to me almost sounds like this "donor" is a fraud and is TRYING to get USC in trouble? I don't know as I read very slowly and skimmed this one quickly.

mocsandvolsfan writes:

in response to Tennfan4075:

Kiffin was a great hire from the Vol perspective at the time of the hire, (young, exciting and well connected) the only problem was Kiffin had bigger and better things on his agenda and moved on, (hard to over look what he is doing at USC even with probation) this happens a lot when you hire coaches with little or no prior connections with the school and that school does not have the constant glitter associated with being in the spotlight of the sports world. We should also keep in mind with success brings interest and if Coach Martin continues on his current path (as we as Vol fans hope) then interest may come from big name BB schools (or even lesser known schools located in media capitols of the US) and the process may begin all over again.

I'm sorry to have to respond but every one at UT KNOWS that USC is not a move up. OVER maybe but not up. The only reason Kiffin went to USC is because IT'S HOME! Ok I'll give you that this one year it may be a move up. But UT's history is a fine one. UT's salry for head coach is comparable to top schools. We have the largest seating(prob the highest ticket prices also?)
Martin made a huge move up at UT from Missouri something(state?, valley),kingdom??). Martin KNOWS this is a great place to recruit(or will be again) and so do all the "trolls" who try to insinuate otherwise. fyi I ain't talkin' about you tennfan as you prob are a real fan that misstated our position in the world.hehe

murrayvol writes:

The only concern I had with CCM was recruiting. It's still a work in progress but I'm encouraged.

I hope he's our coach for a very long time.

BRUCEpart2 writes:

Maybe CCM will want to be texting memphis Briarcrests Austin Nichols later today....he and his folks are on an official visit to University of Virginia this weekend......Would LOVE to have Austin (Hooptie) Nichols in a Vols uni next year!

mocsandvolsfan writes:

in response to murrayvol:

The only concern I had with CCM was recruiting. It's still a work in progress but I'm encouraged.

I hope he's our coach for a very long time.

like.

John_10065 writes:

in response to mocsandvolsfan:

Sauron was doomed to failure. Just as Morgoth his predecessor and master was doomed from the beginning.
His music always clashed with the other Airnur (Someone can tie this in somehow I'm sure).

OMG! Are we really going to go this deep into The Silmarillion or just let the allusion lie?

And if I read the article differently, I would take it as a guy trying to use USC players affiliating with his lot as a way to boost his marginal business. When one of them wrecked a loaned car, he got POed and wants to shake the tree.

It's probably going no where but it's fun to bring up in a conspiracy circle kind of way.

Tennfan4075 writes:

in response to mocsandvolsfan:

I'm sorry to have to respond but every one at UT KNOWS that USC is not a move up. OVER maybe but not up. The only reason Kiffin went to USC is because IT'S HOME! Ok I'll give you that this one year it may be a move up. But UT's history is a fine one. UT's salry for head coach is comparable to top schools. We have the largest seating(prob the highest ticket prices also?)
Martin made a huge move up at UT from Missouri something(state?, valley),kingdom??). Martin KNOWS this is a great place to recruit(or will be again) and so do all the "trolls" who try to insinuate otherwise. fyi I ain't talkin' about you tennfan as you prob are a real fan that misstated our position in the world.hehe

Not wanting to be involved in a "he said, I said" but USC does have 7 NC and 7 Heisman winners. You are right I am a Vol fan but even a Vol fan can not define Kiffin's move to USC as a move over.The only school in college football with more tradition than USC is ND. My original premise was CM may turn out to be in great demand and while I wish CM and the BB Vols well sometimes wishes coming true bring consequences.

OwensboroVol writes:

in response to Tennfan4075:

Kiffin was a great hire from the Vol perspective at the time of the hire, (young, exciting and well connected) the only problem was Kiffin had bigger and better things on his agenda and moved on, (hard to over look what he is doing at USC even with probation) this happens a lot when you hire coaches with little or no prior connections with the school and that school does not have the constant glitter associated with being in the spotlight of the sports world. We should also keep in mind with success brings interest and if Coach Martin continues on his current path (as we as Vol fans hope) then interest may come from big name BB schools (or even lesser known schools located in media capitols of the US) and the process may begin all over again.

Interesting post with several valid points. Thank you. A lot of folks don't remember that Bruce Pearl would not even listen to offers to leave UT when he was still a hot property in the coaching ranks. This texting thing is also one of the things that got Bruce in trouble with the NCAA. Now, they agree the rule was not needed and changed it! I believe the more which comes to the attention of the public, the more they will see that someone with power in the College Basketball World had an agenda against Bruce Pearl.

mocsandvolsfan writes:

in response to Tennfan4075:

Not wanting to be involved in a "he said, I said" but USC does have 7 NC and 7 Heisman winners. You are right I am a Vol fan but even a Vol fan can not define Kiffin's move to USC as a move over.The only school in college football with more tradition than USC is ND. My original premise was CM may turn out to be in great demand and while I wish CM and the BB Vols well sometimes wishes coming true bring consequences.

I actually agree with you on USC's tradition and history can't be argued with but I DID say "everyone at UT" and my point was that UT is a coveted job for a lot of people. Maybe not the current elite coaches but very possibly some future elite. Whether you think Fulmer was an elite coach or not you do have to say he's a "hall of fame" coach. I grew up watching OJ so I no exactly what you are saying and meant most of what I said as a UT fan perspective and not necessarily a historical view. Remember that history can be made to fit our view when necessary.hehe

mocsandvolsfan writes:

PS I understoood you and I could see Martin leaving for a purdue or mizzou. Or some dream of his. But I think he's happy here for a few more years at least. I also think he'll get some huge recruits next season. fingers crossed.

mocsandvolsfan writes:

in response to John_10065:

OMG! Are we really going to go this deep into The Silmarillion or just let the allusion lie?

And if I read the article differently, I would take it as a guy trying to use USC players affiliating with his lot as a way to boost his marginal business. When one of them wrecked a loaned car, he got POed and wants to shake the tree.

It's probably going no where but it's fun to bring up in a conspiracy circle kind of way.

I agree totally but you're getting away from the story. Remember Manwe with the help of all the Airnur had to kick Morgoth's hiny! Meanwhile Eru helps the Airnur create paradise. A lovely magical place called Tennessee. But Sauron slipped in and built fortresses in Minus Nashville and Minus Memphis. Two dark and evil places full of orcs and dragons and evils slippery things.

Ok I'm through before everyone demands I get kicked off. Heck after I read this I may suggest removal on myself.

fittrvssixty writes:

any idea what former Vol BB player Tony White got arrested for last night??

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