Eye of the Hurricane

April 18, 2011

Social Media Recruiting

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dana Hatic @ 9:53 am

College recruiting is changing, but that’s no real news. Schools are revolving doors for athletes and coaches, across all sports. Student-athletes graduate, get drafted, even become coaches themselves, and there are always new people coming in.

The real change is in the process. Even just three years ago, athletes still received letters from coaches in the mail, detailing everything from team policies to recruiting itineraries to that list of “Everything Awesome You Need to Know About…(insert school’s name here).” Imagine the process–highly intricate and emotional–waiting for phone calls on July 1st, opening those letters, finding out who wants you at their school and, more importantly, which school you want.

Now imagine that same thing today, only tack on the social media connection. Athletes, fans, even coaches from those schools requesting you as a friend on Facebook, following you on Twitter, sending a stream of support and charm at all hours of the day to convince you to attend their school. That’s a new kind of pressure, and one that the NCAA hasn’t quite figured out.

Sure, there are rules for how often a coach can call, text messages are off limits, but what should be done about social media? Is it fair for fans to create Facebook groups to try to lure recruits? Is it appropriate for coaches to be friends with athletes? Where do we draw the line?

The New York Times produced an article on the subject, and talked to coaches, athletes and fans about their Facebook connections with recruits: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/18/sports/ncaabasketball/18recruiting.html?ref=sports.

Social media recruiting is somewhat regulated, but nowhere near the extent of other media that have been around longer.

Where do you stand?

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