It seems there are still some questions regarding the NCAA rules and how they apply to Twitter. Who knew NCAA rules could be confusing? In order to eliminate any confusion on a couple of topics, I’ve reached out to a compliance contact and then prepared answers to a couple of questions raised in the comments of Ryan’s post. Details, for those interested, after the jump:
Q. Can a coach correspond with fans via Twitter, Facebook or MySpace?
A. Yes. There are no rules that prevent coaches from communicating with fans. However, from a compliance standpoint, it would be very difficult to monitor who is and who is not a prospect. Therefore, it’s strongly recommended to not make any contact via these services.
Q. I’ve noticed Coach Crean tweeting that he is out recruiting. Why can’t he tell us where he is or who he’s watching?
A. Coaches publicizing recruiting is the issue here. And there is a lot in the NCAA rules up for interpretation. For example, NCAA rules do state that a coach can confirm the recruitment of a particular individual. But there’s really nothing that clarifies if this can only be done if a coach is asked if he is recruiting a certain individual. Therefore, the general rule of thumb is to not mention a recruit by name until they sign a letter of intent.
As far as mentioning the location where a coach may be out recruiting, you will only see general comments regarding location. And this is to keep fans and media away during on campus visits as well off campus visits that may occur.
Q. Does a direct message via Twitter count the same as an email?
A. Yes. Private messages on Twitter, Facebook and similar services are viewed by the NCAA as being the same as a private email.
Q. Are there rules that prevent Coach Crean from following me on Twitter?
A. No. But this goes back to the first question and again, it would be difficult to monitor who is and who is not a prospect and thus, you will continue to see the “following” number remain at zero.
Below is the NCAA bylaw on electronic transmissions:
126.96.36.199 – Electronic Transmissions
Electronically transmitted correspondence that may be sent to a prospect (or the prospect’s parents or legal guardians) is limited to electronic mail and facsimiles. (See also Bylaw 188.8.131.52.) All other forms of electronically transmitted correspondence (e.g., Instant Messenger, text messaging) are prohibited. Color attachments may be included with electronic mail correspondence sent to a prospect, provided the attachment only includes information that is not created for recruiting purposes, except for items that are specifically permitted as printed recruiting materials (e.g., questionnaires). In addition, attachments shall not include any animation, audio or video clips and there shall be no cost (e.g., subscription fee) associated with sending the item attached to the electronic mail correspondence. (After signing of the NLI, all and any kind of electronic communication is permissible, including direct electronic communication with the signed prospect.)
Filed to: Twitter