Limiting texts long overdue

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When Florida football coach Urban Meyer declared last July he text messaged recruits “as often as possible” he was lauded as an innovative and relentless recruiter.

My thoughts turned to the families receiving those messages.

At the Florida end, the cost of the text was simply written off in its vast athletic budget. It wasn’t the same for a 17-year-old kid bombarded with hundreds of electronic messages per day on his cell phone.

Financial considerations alone make the NCAA’s decision to ban text messaging starting Aug. 1 a smart move. Tywanna Patterson, the mother of heralded 2007 basketball recruit Patrick Patterson, recently bemoaned a $500-plus wireless bill for the month of April.

But there are other reasons. Consider Indiana coach Kevlin Sampson, who was penalized by the NCAA for calling recruits during non-contact periods. Sampson was banned from calling recruits last season, but got around the loophole by texting recruits and asking them to call back.

College coaches will pound away at their sidekicks before turning to e-mail and a more old fashioned, financially sensible mode of communication – the stamp and envelope.