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Press Box: NCAA allows coaches to text, use social media to recruit

The SportsXchange

CBK

The NCAA is advancing with digital social media, and beginning Friday cleared college basketball coaches to send unlimited text messages to recruits entering their junior season.

The change comes as direct recognition of the evolving modes of communication, including Facebook and Twitter. Coaches may also make unlimited recruiting calls to players who have finished their sophomore year in high school.

Students prefer communication via text or email, the NCAA acknowledged, and the limit of one phone call per week was eliminated because it was easily curtailed -- recruits were allowed unlimited calls to coaches.

The no-limits measure is a dramatic change for the NCAA.

In April, Baylor's men's and women's basketball teams announced they were facing sanctions from the NCAA for more than 1,200 calls and messages.

The regulatory body fired former Indiana coach Kelvin Sampson on Feb. 22, 2008, for excessive phone calls and messages to prospective recruits. He was cited for similar violations as head coach at Oklahoma.

--College basketball aboard a sea vessel floated the boat of most fans with the debut of the Carrier Classic last November between North Carolina and Michigan State, and the U.S. Navy has approved another one for 2012.

Florida and Georgetown are scheduled to play off the coast of Jacksonville, Fla., on Friday, Nov. 9, on the same day Marquette-Ohio State and Syracuse-San Diego-State have flight-deck games scheduled.

North Carolina defeated Michigan State on Veteran's Day 2011 near Coronado Island in San Diego.

CFB

Five-star tight end recruit Adam Breneman, the top-ranked player in Penn State's recruiting class for 2013, tore his right ACL during 7-on-7 camp.

Breneman won't play football this season as a senior at Camp Hill (Pa.), just 90 miles from Happy Valley.

He caught 72 passes for 1,039 yards and 12 touchdowns as a junior last season.

Scout.com ranked Breneman as a five-star recruit. Rivals.com listed him as a four-star talent. Both services had him as the No. 1 tight end in the '13 class.

--Former USC defensive back Kevin Ellison was arrested on federal arson charges after he reportedly told investigators he set his bed on fire with a marijuana-filled cigar because "God" told him to, ESPN.com reported.

Ellison reportedly confessed to starting a fire that spread through an apartment early Thursday morning in Liberty Lake, Wash., after he initially told police he had been smoking in bed.

Ellison had been playing linebacker for the Spokane Shock of the Arena Football League.

During the fire, Ellison reportedly jumped from the third-story unit but only sustained smoke inhalation.

While being interviewed by authorities in a hospital, Ellison confessed to the fire, citing that God told him to do it. He later told a federal investigator "that he just wanted to get out of it and for it all to go away," according to The Spokesman-Review.

Spokane Valley Fire Marshal Kevin Miller told the newspaper that federal arson charges were typical for arson cases involving large apartment complexes. Ellison was arrested later Thursday.

Ellison's roommate and Shock teammate Chris Tucker said he was able to escape the fire after smoke detectors woke him.

Ellison was the only resident of the apartment complex who needed to be hospitalized.

Shock owner Brady Nelson said Ellison had sent text messages Thursday night claiming he was Jesus Christ and was part of the Second Coming, KXLY-TV of Spokane reported.

Ellison was suspended by the AFL pending results of the investigation.

"If he truly did this, he's never coming back," Nelson told KXLY-TV.

Ellison was a sixth-round draft pick by the Chargers in 2009 and played 13 games that season. Ellison also played for his former USC coach, Pete Carroll, with the Seattle Seahawks.
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