It is too ridiculous, right? Social media these days is incredibly accessible for a reason (probably too much so) and made for the purpose of mass communication in a condensed and quick amount of time. Like, for example, congratulations on a decision to play sports for a specific school, or just general conversation to get to know someone. That may be all fine and dandy when tweeting/facebooking etc. acquaintances in a general sense, but not when it comes to kids who haven’t even graduated high school yet and are looking for a suitable place to earn an education and co-star in sports apparently. The recent litany of high profile violations committed by Colleges and Universities in conjunction with recruits by boosters and other school affiliated persons has the NCAA on edge.
I don’t know when this became a thing, that you can’t tweet @someone a shout-out or congratulations. It seems on surface to be a very nit-picky, one in fact that you could accumulate as power-hungry and semi-pathetic gesture of monitoring by the NCAA. But then again, it makes sense when you consider that those congratulations are not what most of these young student-athletes hear and see from us on a daily basis, the everyday supporters of the Universities and Colleges of America. Individual views and overall perceptions might change a little, when perspective is used.
In particular this reminds me of a situation this past offseason that I’m sure is still in play. There was/is a fan of so-and-so University (no, not the school we write for and not named to keep anyone out of trouble) who is hell-bent on helping his school recruit, so he will tweet these poor kids who are trying to make a decision on their college careers all sorts of things. He tweets at all times of the night and uses coaches and the program as a tool to drive his conversations on how much they want him and need him in the fold. Many people call him on it but he refuses to listen and continues his personal pursuit of whatever athletes are interested in this schools’ sports program.
Needless to say, this is the type of thing that the NCAA is trying to avoid, along with countless other issues that come up when a recruit is being courted by 10+ different schools, and by association their fan bases, which a good portion of these kids are. Think of it as a way to break the mold of excessive and invasive pursuit and/or communication, a way of protecting the young men and women that are coming to be a part of something special, wherever they are going. This is a GOOD thing, even though it will be initially perceived as overly trivial.
Because of the popularity of recruiting in football, it is more prevalent there, but basketball and really any sport is in play here. I do not know the extent to which the NCAA will penalize, but WSU said this just this past week:
Boosters: Please DO NOT @mention/@reply recruits, whether they’ve signed or not. Doing so will result in an NCAA violation. Thank you!!!
— WSU Compliance (@WSUCompliance)
Whenever the NCAA goes into their investigations it is bad for the school and bad for the sport, so please help your school avoid this by doing your part. Kyle Rancourt of CougCenter put it this way and I think it’s terrific advice for EVERYONE:
I understand that most people think twitter is harmless. Just do everyone a favor and stop retweeting recruits, though. If you know people who are still having twitter conversations with recruits, tell them to stop. If you’re mentioning a recruit’s twitter handle in your tweet in hopes that he’ll retweet you, stop. Just pretend like recruits don’t exist on twitter. It’d be better for everyone.