published Tuesday, June 26th, 2012

New Chattanooga Mocs set to get started

John Shulman's golf game is not up to his measure of par.

The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga men's basketball coach has been too busy with Southern Conference meetings, team and individual camps, following new NCAA legislation and getting incoming freshmen prepared to play this summer.

"Our new kids start rolling in and classes start on Wednesday," Shulman said. "There's a good chance that we'll have our whole team here for the second [summer] session. The kids have lots of things to do to get ready."

He expects newcomers Farad Cobb, GerVaughn McGhee, Joshu'a Warren, Eric Robertson and Casey Jones to begin summer classes Wednesday.

Shulman said the Mocs, who went 11-21 overall and 5-13 in the Southern Conference last season, are taking advantage of new NCAA legislation that allows coaches to be in contact with players for eight hours per week, including two hours of teaching on the court.

"We're going four days a week in the weight room and we're going two days on the court," Shulman said. "Our kids are focused on getting better."

He said junior forward Zacchaeus Mason underwent knee surgery in May and had been shooting around in the practice facility and weightlifting before getting clearance Monday for full running activities. Shulman said everybody else is healthy.

More contact allowed

The Mocs have one scholarship available to use for the upcoming season, and they are expected to have two scholarships to offer 2013 high school graduates with Dontay Hampton and Drazen Zlovaric becoming seniors this season.

Shulman has been following new NCAA rules, enacted less than two weeks ago, that allow for unlimited calls, text-messages, Facebook contact and Twitter private messages to prospects who have concluded their 10th-grade years.

The NCAA cited UTC with major violations in the fall of 2010 for failing to monitor texts and calls by coaches to prospects. The basketball program was deemed to have made 61 illegal phone calls and 23 texts in 2008 and 2009.

Such activity now would not lead to any sanctions or reprimands.

"It was in place, and what happened was appropriate," UTC athletic director Rick Hart said. "The rules have changed not just for basketball, but for all sports. It's an evolution of how prospects are communicating."

Said Shulman: "Back in the day, there was no Internet or texting, so the NCAA is trying to keep up with technology. We're not sending texts all day long to kids. Overkill isn't going to help you sign a kid.

"The rule makes the lines of communication during recruiting more open, and they need to be open, so there's not some 465 transfers every year."

Contact David Uchiyama at duchiyama@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6484. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/UchiyamaCTFP.

about David Uchiyama...

David Uchiyama is a sports writer at the Chattanooga Times Free Press who began his tenure here in May 2001. His primary beats are UTC athletics — specifically men’s basketball and athletic department administration — and golf, which includes coverage from the PGA Tour to youth events. He also covers other high school sports, outdoor adventures, and contributes to other sections of the newspaper when necessary. David grew up in Salinas, Calif., and began working ...

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