By Request: A Public Service Announcement About Social Media And Recruiting

Jamie Rhodes-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire

We take a look at how you can go about contacting recruits on Twitter and Facebook. SPOILER ALERT: You can't.

We're about two months away from the fall signing period for basketball recruits who will start playing for their respective colleges in the fall of 2013. Buzz Williams already has three commitments - Deonte Burton, Duane Wilson, and Jameel McKay - who are expected to sign letters of intent at that point. Buzz also has at least one more scholarship to fill for next fall, and that means we might be getting close to recruits - say, Kendrick Nunn, for example - making a decision as to where they want to go for school.

The important thing to remember about this, though, is that recruiting can ONLY be done by university administrators, specifically in this case, Buzz and his staff. Boosters can not participate in recruiting in any fashion. I'm sure you're asking yourself at this point, "Hey, am I a booster?" We've covered this ground before here at AE, but I've seen a rash of weird behavior popping up on the #mubb tag on Twitter, so it's worth going over again. To summarize it quickly, if the following line from page 2 of this handy pamphlet is true about you, then you're a booster:

You have otherwise promoted Marquette's athletics program in ANY manner.

This brings me to my point. Tracking down recruits on Twitter and telling them how great it would be to see them in Marquette blue and gold is a textbook definition of promoting Marquette's athletics program. So, even if you somehow don't qualify in any of the other definitions of being a booster, you automatically qualify by doing that.

That's why page 8 of the handy pamphlet says this (emphasis by the university):

Fans may not initiate or accept "friend" requests of prospects on Facebook, but they can "follow" recruits on Twitter. Fans should NEVER post to a recruit's "wall," reply to a "tweet," send them any type of direct message, or take any other action that would constitute contacting that recruit.

This includes after they sign their letters of intent. We've seen players that Buzz signed to a letter of intent never make it to campus and end up back in the recruiting pool. Heck, we've seen players that Buzz signed that HAVE made it to campus end up back in the murky waters of trying to find somewhere to land with just a month or two before classes start. If it's before Labor Day in the year they start college, they're still recruits in the eyes of the NCAA.

To summarize: It's a violation of NCAA rules to talk to recruits on Twitter or Facebook. No, I don't know of any occurance where the NCAA has actually penalized someone for this, but do you really want Marquette to be the first one? If I still haven't made a solid enough case for you, let me put it to you this way: Do you really want to be going out of your way to talk to 16 and 17 year old boys on the internet?

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