ESPN's Andy Katz is reporting that Duke is requesting an "interpretation" from the NCAA, claiming that 2012 prospect Alex Poythress was "between events" when Mike Krzyzewski called his AAU coach with a request that Poythress call him, and that it was in an NCAA "gray area." But it isn't.
The NCAA compliance staff has adjudicated this matter already as recently as April of this year. Courtesy of John Infante of the NCAA's The Bylaw Blog is this NCAA compliance staff interpretation, which reads in relevant part:
The academic and membership affairs staff confirmed that after a prospect reports on call to travel with his team at the beginning of an extended road trip that occurs during the July evaluation period, it is not permissible for an institution's coaching staff member to have any type of communication with the prospect, the prospect's parents or legal guardians, the prospect's coach or any individual associated with the prospect as a result of the prospect's participation in basketball [except for telephone contact with a prospect's high-school coach (or administrator) who is not in attendance at the prospect's events] until the prospect is released by the appropriate authorities after the completion of the team's final competition of the road trip. [My emphasis]
Poythress was on an "extended road trip," and as such was still under the Bylaw 126.96.36.199.2 (b) prohibition. Krzyzewski and Duke cannot wriggle off this hook. Absent an utter abdication by the NCAA of their own rulings, Coach K is now an NCAA bylaw violator.
Duke's request for "interpretation" is a Hail Mary that should be intercepted. I'm betting it will be.