June Live Events: No Go For CIF

College coaches hit the recruiting trail for boys basketball players in June and July, but this summer the non-elite prospects will have far, far fewer opportunities to be seen by them. Photo: BaylorBasketball.com.

New NCAA regulations as a result of the fallout from the NCAA federal bribery and corruption trails led to the creation of two June NCAA live recruiting periods to be sanctioned by the National Federation of State High School Associations. The 2019 June Scholastic events limit opportunities for many student-athletes and as a result of this hastily devised calendar, many state associations have pulled out of sanctioning or hosting these June events, including the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF).

RELATED (from Ballislife.com): NCAA and NFHS Limit June Live Period Opportunities | Coaches Speak on June Live Period (Podcast)  Pros And Cons of June Live Period

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The NCAA federal bribery and corruption scandal rocked college basketball to its core over the past year. Recently, three defendants in the corruption scandal, including former Westchester (Los Angeles) standout and former USC assistant coach Tony Bland, pled guilty to conspiracy to commit bribery. Although the biggest names in college and amateur basketball were not charged, it has caused some significant changes to boys high school and grassroots (i.e. club) basketball.

The NCAA altered its entire recruiting calendar for potential D1 boys basketball scholarship athletes, and as a result there are less live period days for non-elite players to be evaluated in front of college coaches in 2019 compared to 2018. The new boys NCAA recruiting calendar is outlined in the graphic below:

At the request of the NCAA, the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) along with the National High School Basketball Coaches Association (NHSBCA) created two weekend recruiting windows — June 21-23, 2019 and June 28-30, 2019 — for high school coaches employed by state association member schools to develop boys basketball live recruiting events. These NFHS Certified “Scholastic” Events were not created for girls basketball, as the recruiting calendar is different for boys and girls basketball.

The major caveat for state associations around the country is the NFHS is sanctioning one school athletic governing body per state for the 2019 June live period of events. Across the country, however, plenty of states have more than one athletic governing body. In Texas, for example, private and public schools are separate. In California, the approximately 1,5oo high schools across the state belong almost exclusively to the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF).

Five months before the sanctioned June Live Events are supposed to take place, there is major fallout from the hastily devised calendar. The University Interscholastic League (UIL), the one official NFHS member association in the state of Texas which serves public schools, announced its Texas Association of Basketball Coaches would not conduct any June Live Events. With student-athletes from Texas’ private schools governing body (TAPPS) not eligible to participate the June Live Events, UIL pulled out from hosting events altogether, citing the NFHS’ discriminatory sanctioning rules. The state of New York, which also has more than one governing body for athletics, also decided its Basketball Coaches Association of New York (BCANY) would not host or execute any June Events. Under the established NFHS criteria, student-athletes from New York City’s Catholic and Public schools, in addition to the state’s Independent programs, would be excluded from participating.

Big-time prospects like Evan Mobley won’t be negatively affected by the new recruiting calendar, but it’s the borderline D1 prospects that will have a more difficult time. Photo: @HoophallClassic / Twitter.com.

Some states with a single athletic governing body serving both public and private schools, such as Nevada (NIAA) and Oregon (OSAA), have also pulled out of June.

Today, Cal-Hi Sports has learned the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) will join the likes of Texas and New York and will not participate in NFHS-sanctioned June Live Events. The CIF will not host or have any coach’s association in California host these June Live Events.

“The committee decided we will not be involved,” CIF Executive Director Roger Blake told Cal-Hi Sports Associate Editor Harold Abend. “There were two big issues. Number one, it’s only for boys. If the CIF enters this we want to be able to offer this to both boys and girls and the NCAA calendar doesn’t allow that. Number two is that the NCAA is providing an opportunity for 2,400 boys nationwide with our boys part of 600 boys going to Grand Canyon College all expense paid, so we felt there was still an opportunity for our boys to get some D1 college exposure.”

Three of the four most populous states in America (which obviously have huge number of student-athletes) will not participate in six of the NCAA-mandated live period days that a selected amount of student-athletes across the country will have the opportunity to partake in. This fallout doesn’t bode well for countless student-athletes looking to attain a D1 scholarship that need as many opportunities as possible in front of college coaches.

Not only are there potentially discriminatory issues with the new Rice Commission recommendations aimed at cleaning up college basketball recruiting such as denying student-athletes recruiting opportunities based solely on what educationally accredited schools they attend, there is a potential gender discrimination issue. The Certified “Scholastic” Events are not being offered to girls high school basketball players, and for many state governing bodies, gender equality is at the forefront of their agendas and mission statements. No state governing body wants to be involved in any Title IX discrimination lawsuit.

Another potential problem with moving forward with the June Live Events for some state governing bodies was taking on the liability of hosting events. The NFHS and state governing bodies have no experience in running large-scale recruiting events.

There is also the financial element of hosting events. With the NFHS mandated charging caps for teams ($200), individual registrations ($50), spectator entrance ($10) and college coaches packets ($150), some state associations and their coaches association simply felt the financial aspect of running a successful tournament did not make sense with those parameters in place. No state association, school administration, or coaches association wants to run an event (whether scholastic or recruiting-based) that potentially loses money. For many of these organizations, it just doesn’t make sense to take on the risk of something they really didn’t request to be involved with in the first place. 

The corruption uncovered (so far) by the FBI involves elite players whose goal is to reach the NBA as fast as possible and nondescript individuals who most of the general public doesn’t know.  Based on the new NCAA recruiting calendar, the real losers are the large group of kids with NBA dreams whose reality is more along the lines of looking for the best Division I college opportunity and the chance at a free education. 

Boys basketball players in California, New York, Texas, Oregon, and Nevada that don’t attend USA Basketball’s regional camps or aren’t good enough to be NBPA Top 100 level prospects (a vast majority are not) will only get to play in front of coaches 10 days (three in a regional camp setting) in the spring and summer of 2019.

In the summer of 2018, that number was 21 days.

College coaches are not happy with the new recruiting calendar, governing bodies are wary of it and parents are confused and don’t know the details of what it means for their kids. Very few people are going to come out winners in this new boys basketball NCAA recruiting calendar, simply because the organization that couldn’t successfully monitor basketball recruiting of its member schools in the first place (the NCAA) quickly mandated new rules and schedules simply as a public relations ploy to create the appearance that real positive change was made.

RELATED (from Ballislife.com): NCAA and NFHS Limit June Live Period Opportunities | Coaches Speak on June Live Period (Podcast) | Pros And Cons of June Live Period

Ronnie Flores is the Managing Editor of CalHiSports.com. He can be reached at ronlocc1977@gmail.com. Don’t forget to follow him on Twitter: @RonMFlores

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  1. […] were two big issues,” California Interscholastic Federation executive director Roger Blake told Oregonian Live. “Number one, it’s only for boys. If the CIF enters this we want to be able to offer this to […]

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