Cremins: 'Honor' to serve on NCAA committee

Former Georgia Tech basketball coach Bobby Cremins spoke Tuesday on the news that he will serve as a member of the NCAA committee on infractions. His motivation, he said, is to stay involved in college basketball and offer a coach’s insight on the cases that come before the committee.

Said Cremins, “A lot of people on these committees, they’ve never coached and they just sometimes don’t understand all the rules and how everything works from the inside.”

Cremins said he was approached by an official with the National Association of Basketball Coaches, who said the association was trying to place former coaches on various NCAA committees. News came forth Monday that Cremins was added to the infractions committee, which judges potential violations and determines penalties.

“I just said, ‘Wherever I’m needed, I’d be glad to help,” Cremins said. “It’d be an honor to serve.”

Infractions committee members are either representatives of member institutions or come from the general public. Institution representatives rarely, if ever, are coaches. The current 10-person committee includes three attorneys, two conference officials, two athletic department administrators and three law professors, two of whom are faculty athletic representatives for their schools.

Of the seven added with Cremins, one is former Michigan football coach Lloyd Carr and another is Georgia president Michael Adams. The additions are part of changes to the NCAA’s compliance efforts. The committee, now 10, can expand to 24 to enable cases to be reviewed more quickly. The new structure also includes a four-tier violation hierarchy, replacing the current two-tier format of major and secondary violations. It also emphasizes accountability for head coaches, compliance directors, school leadership and conferences.  The new format begins Aug. 1 of this year.

“I’m going to do all I can to give them the coach’s perspective,” Cremins said. “That’s what I’m going to do. Now, if somebody broke serious rules, they have no choice but to suffer the consequences, but whenever I talk to young coaches out there, I do everything I can to tell them to do it the right way.”

Cremins has kept up to date on NCAA rules changes and spoke against a recent rule change that will permit coaches to use text messages and social media on an unlimited basis to contact recruits. Previously, coaches were not allowed to text players, a rule that resulted in the dismissal of former Tech football assistant Todd Spencer last year. Only e-mail-like functions were allowed on social media.

Cremins, while saying he’ll support coaches’ desire to free up communication with prospects, didn’t like the idea of permitting coaches to send an unlimited amount of texts.

“I think sometimes the (coaching) staffs, especially assistant coaches, they can drive recruits crazy,” he said.

Naturally, Cremins had a story about his own NCAA rules malfeasance.

When he was coaching at Tech, Cremins said, he attended an ACC coaches meeting and told his colleagues upon arrival that he had flown in from New York where he had been recruiting.

“They said yesterday was a dead (recruiting) day,” Cremins said. “You weren’t supposed to be recruiting. And I said, ‘You’re kidding me.’”

The other coaches at the meeting, he said, “got a big kick out of it.” Cremins got off with a warning.