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SoCalHoops Recruiting News

Beware: Yet More Mis-Info About Summer Coaching
"Certification" Requirements--(May 23, 2002)

Last week, we posted the new, corrected information about what it takes to become an "approved" summer event coach, i.e., what you need to do to be allowed to participate as a bench coach at NCAA "certified" summer events. 

In particular, we posted some information demonstrating the ease and simplicity of the SECA (Summer Event Coach's Approval) program, which is being jointly administered by the National Federation of High Schools and the American Sport Education Program.  We won't bother to detail the steps you'll need to follow under that program to become an "approved" coach, but suffice it to say, they are extremely simple, and relatively painless.  And they don't involve any unwarranted or personally intrusive background checks.  Simple, painless (relatively) and not very expensive ($50.00).  

But we've found something even easier, and it's from the AAU.   What do they require?  That you give them your name, address, phone number and $12.  Don't believe us?  Here's the AAU's take on the NCAA Amended Bylaws, and what it takes under the AAU's program for "certification."   (For the benefit of those who don't have Adobe Reader installed, we've reproduced below the material you'll find at the link above):  

2002 Instructions for AAU Boys’ Basketball
Coaches Credentialing Program
for NCAA Men’s Basketball summer certified events

New legislation passed by the NCAA requires all coaches sitting on the team bench during NCAA men’s basketball summer certified events to have a coach’s credential (NCAA Bylaw 30.16 (k) Summer Basketball Event Certification -- Men's Basketball).

An AAU individual membership will satisfy this requirement and may be obtained on the Internet at

Please be prepared to present a copy of your AAU individual membership and a driver’s license or identification issued by the state of your legal residence.

If you have any questions regarding this requirement please contact Joe Crawford at 407-828-3197 or or James Parker at 407-828-4741 or

Honestly, that's all the AAU is requiring.   Buy a card, pay $12 and you're in.  Couldn't be any easier.   The link to register as an AAU Member (as a coach) is here.   You will be asked to fill out a form (online) giving your name, telephone number, address and category of program you are joining (select "Youth" for program, "Coach" without added benefits, and "Basketball" for the type of program).  You will then be asked to agree to the "Coaches Code of Honor" (which requires you to certify that you've never been convicted of a sex crime or felony), and then you'll be asked to pay $12.00.  Twelve dollars.  That's it.  You can pay by credit card online.  Your card will be sent out by mail.  

Now, in contrast to the two programs listed above, there's a third option which is being touted by the NCAA as one of the three "approved" certification entities (in addition to the NFHS-ASEP and the AAU), and that that's a group called the United States Specialty Sports Association.  

The USSSA has a website, and they also have a coaching "certification" program, but it's incredibly cumbersome, complex and, in our opinion, exactly what the NCAA wanted....Which is precisely why no one will (or in our opinion, should) use this program.   

From what we've seen of the USSSA program, we can't frankly imagine why anyone would bother.....And we don't imagine many people have or will.   If you don't believe us, check out what the USSSA requires, and what even that organization says about the length of time it takes to get "certified" under their guidelines.  And it's the most expensive too, costing $60, and that doesn't include the price of what you'd have to pay to get your own "criminal background check" from your own local law enforcement agency....assuming you could even get that (which is why both the AAU and the ASEP dropped this kind of thing).... Truly unbelievable......

Lastly, and apparently feeding off the misinformation contained at the USSSA's website and within that process, it's come to our attention that there are some well-respected organizations which are passing out a lot of equally bad information, ostensibly in reliance on the USSSA about what it takes to become "certified" or "approved" to act as a summer event coach. 

One such group is the BCI (Basketball Congress International), which has one of the most inaccurate and wildly incorrect informational brochures (you'll need Adobe again here) we've ever seen....We can't tell if this is what the BCI is requiring for its own events, or whether they really believe this is the process, or whether they think they're just being helpful in passing along what they believe the NCAA requires.  Either way you slice it though, there are better and more reasonable alternatives out there, and they don't have to scare the crap out of you in the process....

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