Apparently Bob Stoops Wants To Be A Test Case

Tom Pennington

I'm going to try to avoid repeating myself as much as possible, because I know you're all bored with it already.

We've talked before about what the NCAA and Marquette has to say about contacting recruits on various forms of social media, so here's a quick summary: Not allowed and really creepy.

This brings us to today (ok, technically yesterday) when Oklahoma head football coach Bob Stoops decided to address the issue out in public at Big 12 football media days.

"That's something that's becoming a part of it," said Stoops when asked if he had concerns about fans contacting recruits on Twitter. "We may hire you to govern our social media with the fans."

Whoa Stoops! You realize I think all of this is stupid right? Stop messing around.

"I'm not kidding," he said. "I don't see it stopping. Once things get rolling, it's not stopping."

So wait a minute: Stoops is just openly telling fans to contact recruits on Twitter? Something even OU's own compliance department frowns upon?

"I'm pretty sure that's what it means," said Stoops. "You hear that OU fans? We have to get on board."

Look, every single time we've mentioned the fact that tweeting at recruits is an NCAA recruiting violation, the main response has been exactly what SB Nation's very own recruiting guru, Bud Elliott, said in his response to me on the SB Nation story on Stoops' comments:

An unenforceable violation

And a slap on the wrist, at worst. It’s totally worth it for schools to tweet recruits.

There's three parts to that, and the first two are probably true, at least up until this point. But now we have a head coach of a revenue sport openly demanding that his school's boosters take to Twitter to try to influence recruits, something that Stoops himself is not allowed to do. This is one step further than what Vanderbilt head football coach James Franklin and Kentucky wide receivers coach Tommy Mainord did when they merely expressed admiration for their boosters' enthusiasm. There's no way that this doesn't turn the NCAA's head going forward.

The third part, the value of boosters tweeting at recruits, that one makes me scratch my head a bit. I don't deny that seeing a fanbase come alive to talk to a 16 or 17 year old kid might be very influential. But at Marquette, we have a head basketball coach who point blank told Jae Crowder that he was going to bust Jae's balls every single day and that Marquette wasn't the place for him if he wasn't ready for that.

I don't want players coming to Marquette because they think the boosters on Twitter are keen, or because the message boards said nice things about them, or because the blogs spent a lot of time covering where they wanted to go to school. They're getting recruited to do two things: Win basketball games and get a degree, and nothing written on the Internet is going to have any impact on either of those.

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