Cubs

New contact rules for coaches, recruits begin Friday

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New contact rules for coaches, recruits begin Friday

As 11:59 p.m. Thursday night turned into 12:00 a.m. Friday morning,hundreds, perhaps thousands ofFacebook messages, tweets and text messages were sent out to high school basketball recruits around the country.Thanks to a new rule approved by the Division I Board of Directors last October, men's basketball coaches and assistants were allowed to contact recruits through unlimited phone calls and texts, as well as social media websites such as Facebook and Twitter, beginning Friday.Any recruit who is finishing or has finished his sophomore year of high school is eligible to be contacted, meaning the recruiting classes of 2013 and 2014.The change came as a relief to many of the Division I coaches who had hoped the NCAA would understand the advanced, ever-changing technology that allowed contact to recruits at the click of a button.Twitter and Facebook have allowed just about any person, considered a third party in the recruiting process, to reach out and contact a recruit, which is illegal.While not all coaches are on board with the bombardment of messages and phone calls the teenage prospects will be receiving now on an unlimited basis, it is now a matter of keeping up with the times.The importance of the messages many coaches made to recruits late last night can be debated, but as one Division I assistant coach told CBSSports.com's Jeff Borzello:"We're just trying to do our jobs. If we aren't texting them, someone else is."Many of those recruits were able to speak with each other about which coaches texted which players, as many of them are currently attending the National Basketball Players Association Top 100 Camp.The four-day event is taking place in Virginia, and features some of the best players in the nation, including Simeon's Jabari Parker. The top 2013 recruit changed his phone number yesterday in advance of the barrage of texts he would have received.The other Illinois high school players in attendance include:Cliff Alexander, 6-foot-9 forward, Curie (2014)Billy Garrett, 6-foot-4 guard, Morgan Park (2013)Thomas Hamilton Jr., 6-foot-9 center, Whitney Young (2013)Malcolm Hill, 6-foot-5 guard, Belleville East (2013)Kendall Stephens, 6-foot-4 guard, St. Charles East (2013)Jaylon Tate, 6-foot-2 guard, Simeon (2013)

Cubs Talk Podcast: Sitting down with new Cubs coaches Chili Davis and Jim Hickey

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USA TODAY

Cubs Talk Podcast: Sitting down with new Cubs coaches Chili Davis and Jim Hickey

Spring training baseball games are up around the bend, but before the boys of summer get into organized action, two of the team’s new coaches Chili Davis and Jim Hickey sit down with Kelly Crull.

Plus, Vinnie Duber joins Kelly to discuss these baseball conversations including the memorable first words of Kyle Schwarber to Chili Davis, “I don’t suck!"

Listen to the full Cubs Talk Podcast right here:

Bastian Schweinsteiger finally sees the field in Fire preseason

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USA TODAY

Bastian Schweinsteiger finally sees the field in Fire preseason

Coach Veljko Paunovic still went with a second-choice lineup to start the Fire's preseason match against USL expansion team Nashville SC on Wednesday, but the second half featured the first preseason action for Bastian Schweinsteiger.

Schweinsteiger came on for the second half, along with Nemanja Nikolic, Johan Kappelhof and a few other Fire regulars. The German sat out the first four preseason games, but looked sharp in his 45 minutes.

One of the highlights was this smooth move between two defenders:

Schweinsteiger also had an impressive switch pass to set up a shot for second-round pick Diego Campos in the final minutes of the game. Campos drilled the shot on target, but was unable to beat the goalkeeper.

The team did not say Schweinsteiger was injured despite the repeated absences in matches. The Fire have dealt with injuries to Matt Polster, Luis Solignac, Daniel Johnson and rookie Grant Lillard this preseason. None of those four, along with Dax McCarty, played in the 0-0 draw.

The Fire next play Saturday at Orlando in a final match in Florida before returning to Chicago. The Fire also play Tulsa, the team's USL affiliate, at Toyota Park on March 3 before taking on Sporting Kansas City in the season opener on March 10.