NCAA Rules Allow Thomas to Work for FIU and Knicks

The University of Connecticut is facing a Notice of Violations from the NCAA that essentially deals with impermissible phone calls and text messages to recruits.  Contact with recruits is regulated by the NCAA to level the playing field among schools in the recruiting process.

Despite the fact that the NCAA goes so far as to regulate phone calls and text messages, it is apparently permissible for a coach of a Division I basketball team to be simultaneously employed as a consultant for an NBA team.  Such is the case with Isiah Thomas, head coach of Florida International University and now New York Knicks consultant.

The Quad Blog has a good post on this story:

“I just can’t believe that the N.C.A.A. would okay him to be able to have dual roles, or dual positions, that I think would help one in recruiting,” Ronnie Arrow, the men’s basketball coach at the University of Southern Alabama, said in a telephone interview Tuesday…

…Thomas can now “go into a home and say, by the way, I’m also connected with the Knicks and I can guarantee you that you’ll be able to be looked at by the Knicks.”

Click here to read the post in its entirety

Jeff Eisenberg of (which I located by way of Michael McCann and the Sports Law Blog) also has an excellent article on the Thomas situation:

At a time when Boise State coaches can’t even offer condolences to the family of a deceased recruit without facing NCAA punishment, the organization apparently sees no competitive advantage in a coach receiving a paycheck from an NBA team. The NCAA says it won’t step in to prevent Thomas from working for the Knicks even though the franchise admitted in a press release on Friday that one of Thomas’ duties will be “player recruitment.”

Click here to read Eisenberg’s article in its entirety.

Interestingly, although the NCAA has no problem with Thomas’ dual roles, the NBA may say otherwise.

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