Five years ago the recruiting landscape for college athletics looked completely different. Athletes would talk to their high school coaches who would reach out to college athletic departments. Videotapes would be shared and “official” recruiting trips would be taken. Now it is a whole nother world.
Starting August 1, 2016, the NCAA ruled that college coaches and athletic could retweet, like and favorite recruits posts. Before this, there was not allowed to be any public contact between a recruit and athletic staff before a singing day. This rule changed the game. In an article written for SB Nation, the rules and reasons are broken down. According to the NCAA, this rule change was because the previous rule was difficult to monitor. The coaches are, however, still somewhat limited in what they can do. While they are allowed to like, retweet and favorite they cannot directly tweet at a recruit. #ClickDontType was trending directly after the rule was changed.
Besides coaches being able to like recruits posts, how is this really going to affect recruiting? The answer is simple. Access. An article by Ray Ramati for Spreadfast explains that if done right social media can help build the one-on-one connection between player and coach. For the players, having coaches being able to interact in a public way can give them an insight on who is interested in who. For example, if an athlete is being recruited by Oregon, Oregon State and Washington but only the Oregon coaches are liking and retweeting his posts that informs the player who is the most interested. This concept goes both ways. Coaches and athletic staff can now see what other schools are interested in a certain recruit.
As talked about in my previous post, social media can be tricky. With the new rule and athletic staff having more access to recruits social media, there is even more pressure to maintain a clean profile. Coaches have been known to drop recruits because of what they find on the social media profiles.
Some tips for recruits regarding social media are…
- Connect with coaches
- Actually tweet or post on Instagram
- Engage with other players
- Watch your mouth
- Use hashtags
Some tips for coaches and athletic staff…
- Create hashtags for recruits to use (ex: UO’s head coach @CoachTaggart #DoSomething)
- Check slang before retweeting
- Show behind the scenes of your facilities
- Make it personal
- Stay up to date