The trouble with social media in CFB

March, 19, 2012
3/19/12
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Outside of some politically incorrect or insensitive tweets or Facebook posts that warranted suspensions, the Big 12 has gone relatively unscathed when it comes to major trouble stemming from social media.

Schools like Michigan, Notre Dame and Tennessee haven't been as fortunate.

Facebook and Twitter (unless you use it to publicize bigger violations, ahem, Tar Heels) posts won't bring about major violations, but they still produce NCAA rules violations.

In these changing times, it's up to university compliance officials to keep an eye on those posts.

Colleague Mitch Sherman took a look at these new, 21st century problems within athletic departments.
The problem is this: social media is ever-changing. The rules of recruiting are specific and strict -- often too strict, unless you're in favor of regulations on the color, size and design of recruiting materials mailed by schools to a prospect. In general, according to one senior Division-I administrator who formerly directed compliance, implementation of NCAA bylaws require three to four years to catch up to society.

Nothing that impacts recruiting has changed as fast and dramatically as social media. And while several proposals under consideration this year address electronic correspondence between institutions and prospects, NCAA legislation continues to lag in trying to apply old rules to new venues like Twitter.

As long as the NCAA treats a mention on Twitter or post on a Facebook wall no differently than a quote in the newspaper, headaches will remain. Somewhere in this process -- and there's no easy remedy -- social media needs its own rules. Because it's a different animal.

The Big 12 may never have a big issue with social media. A major scandal may be just around the corner. Either way, it's something to keep an eye on.

Give Sherman's piece a read. You'll be better informed for doing so.

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