OXON HILL, Md. — Giving in to the young-and-younger movement in college basketball recruiting, the NCAA has decreed that seventh-graders now officially are classified as prospects.
The organization voted Thursday to change the definition of a prospect from ninth grade to seventh grade — for men's basketball only — to nip a trend in which some college coaches were working at private, elite camps and clinics for seventh- and eighth-graders. The NCAA couldn't regulate those camps because those youngsters fell below the current cutoff.
"It's a little scary only because — we talked about this — where does it stop?" said Joe D'Antonio, chairman of the Division I Legislative Council, which approved the change during a two-day meeting at the NCAA Convention. "The fact that we've got to this point is really just a sign of the times."
Schools had expressed concern that the younger-age elite camps were giving participating coaches a recruiting advantage, pressuring other coaches to start their own camps.