NEW YORK — "It's a shot across the bow of summer basketball, of college coaches."
That's what St. Joseph's head coach Phil Martelli said about the Conference Commissioner's Association's decision to attempt to implement the elimination of July recruiting.
The news of a potential nixing of July recruiting was all the talk at the Atlantic 10 media day Thursday, as it was in many cities across America. But Martelli isn't quite worried yet. He wants a few more answers from the higher-ups before he finds a reason for concern.
"We need to be engaged in a conversation [with the conference commissioners]," Martelli said. "So, whether it's going to happen, I don't have any idea. But at the same time, I'm not trembling in my boots. Because, if no [July recruiting], then what? What are you going to give us?"
Martelli's sticking point is this: He's waiting for a response from the Conference Commissioner's Association about the intended consequences behind such a vote. He wants to know if the group of 31 can foresee drastic changes that still need to be made within men's college basketball, and if eliminating in-person recruiting in July addresses those problems.
"How does it impact the transfer rate, which is a concern?" Martelli said. "How does it help the overall APR in men's basketball? It's a shot across the bow of college coaches, about the way we talk about our game and our profession."
With the improvement in compliance on behalf of many college coaches, according to Martelli, this news was merely a strategic move to pull the ear of coaches everywhere. The St. Joe's coach asked his colleagues to try and not overreact.
"[Communication] so healthy now with the NCAA and coaches that, this to me, was a grab by some — not all the — commissioners," Martelli said. "What really happened was the conference commissioners got what they wanted. They got a splash. They got the attention, and I think we have to be really careful not having coaches running in the streets saying, 'College basketball is ending as I know it; recruiting has ended as I know it.' That's not the case."
There will be a vote in Indianapolis a week from today on whether or not to move legislation forward that bans or strongly prohibits college coaches from contacting recruits in July.