Effective starting today, college football coaches my retweet and Like tweets coming from the Twitter profiles of prospective student-athletes under a new NCAA rule. New Penn State offensive coordinator is among many coaches around the country taking full advantage of the new allowance.
As now allowed by the NCAA, coaches may react to Twitter updates from recruits in the form of a retweet or a Like without any punishment from the NCAA for minor violations. Because the NCAA was too worried about upholding and overseeing the social media operations of coaches in the growing field of Twitter, the NCAA decided to open the floodgates instead and allow limited interactions between coaches and recruits in the public eye. Coaches may not, however, send any written comments or mentions to recruits or add on any additional comments to retweets. At the moment, it’s unclear how this new rule will affect online college football odds.
Here’s a good outline of the new social media policy provided by Arizona State’s compliance office last night;
— Sun Devil Compliance (@SunDevilsAsk) July 31, 2016
Since James Franklin was hired by Penn State it quickly became clear Penn State’s coaches were going to be active on Twitter. It did not take long for Penn State coaches to start putting out tweets about the football program and that continues to this day with subtle recruiting news updates and graphics and more. So, as you woke up this morning and started catching up on your Twitter feed, you may have been flooded by retweets from any college football coaches you may follow, including Joe Moorhead. Moorhead has been digging deep into the Twitter archives to retweet posts from recruits receiving offers from Penn State. And I mean deep into the archives, like over 540 days ago.
Like this one, from 541 days ago…
Or this one from 547 days ago…
Moorhead has had some much more recent tweets to share with his followers, in an effort to remind Penn State fans and the specific recruits he has his eyes on them as prospective Nittany Lions. Under the NCAA rule, Moorhead is doing absolutely nothing wrong, and in today’s world of making an impression with recruits, it seems this is the way to go. As pointed out by SB Nation when discussing this rule change in mid-April, teenagers love it.
“I guess now we can see how much love these schools genuinely have for us (laughing emoji),” said Jamyest Williams, an elite Atlanta cornerback recruit.
The overwhelming response was that they will be able to see how much a coach really likes them. Yes, recruits can now use likes and retweets as further evidence of a coach’s interest.
“Sounds good with me, because I really want to see how much interest they have,” said Tyrone Truesdell, a three-star defensive tackle from Georgia.
These quotes expose a new layer of work for staffs. Despite only being able to take average of 20 or so players per class, some staffs give out hundreds of offers. That means hundreds of players might be watching to see which players’ posts a coach likes.
Because of the nature of teenagers, this will absolutely lead to a prospect deciding a school that shares his postings more on Twitter is more interested in him than one who does not. Further, if a staff decides to share tweets from multiple top prospects, the recruit who is really No. 1 on a school’s wishlist might get the idea that he is not so special.
Yes, just like flashy uniforms, high school kids are easy to impress. We’ll see how long the NCAA allows for this to go on, but in the meantime prepare to disable the retweets of coaches or embrace the flooding of retweets in your timeline. It’s not for everybody, but it does give you a bit of an insider’s look at how the coaches are operating.
Again, Moorhead is far from the only coach doing this. In western Pennsylvania, Pitt head coach Pat Narduzzi has been busy this morning tweeting up a storm and also digging into the archives. Western Michigan head coach P.J. Fleck wasted no time in filling up his Twitter timeline with over 20 retweets at the stroke of midnight last night. Miami head coach Mark Richt was among the first coaches to hit the retweet button as well.