Monday, February 6, 2012

Social media changing college football recruiting

Twitter is changing the world of college football recruiting.  Coaches are not the only ones who can give their persuasive pitch to potential student athletes; fans can now as well.  A recent example of this is the amount of tweets defensive end high school prospect Arik Armstead received from fans, explaining why he should attend their school.  

This access to athletes can be seen in both a negative and positive light but, to me, it falls more into the negative light.  

There is an old saying that goes: "this isn't my first rodeo." Coaches and recruiters are professionals and know what they are doing.  Most coaches have been recruiting high school athletes for at least ten years.  High school athletes know this and will listen to every coaches recruiting pitch and why their school would be the best fit for them.

Fans are not recruiters.  They have no interest in what's best for the athlete, rather what's best for their school.  

If I were a highly rated recruit and a fan tried to recruit me through Twitter, I would most likely become very annoyed and eventually even look at that school in a different light.  

I recently saw a conversion on Twitter between former Oregon Duck LaMichael James and high school safety recruit Shaq Thompson.  Thompson was asking James about Eugene and how LaMichael's study habits were impacted with the Jacqua student-athlete center.  By NCAA rule, this could be considered as a violation, as ex-athletes of a school are not allowed to talk to potential recruits.  

The NCAA needs to figure out a rule and stick with it in regards to recruiting contact.  Twitter has changed the recruiting world and the NCAA needs to address this promptly, before the situation gets out of hand and recruits begin loosing interest in schools because of fan interaction via Twitter.

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