If you follow coaches from your favorite college football team on Twitter, your timelines are about to get a lot more congested.
As of 12:01 a.m. Monday morning, coaches can like, favorite, retweet or otherwise publicly “click” social media posts sent by recruits. They can’t comment on them or contact recruits directly, but the allowance of that sort of indirect communication does loosen things up for coaches on Twitter and other social media platforms.
The NCAA’s rationale for the rule change, via an SB Nation post from April:
Intent: To establish exceptions to the prohibitions on endorsements of events that primarily involve prospective student-athletes, or endorsements of a prospective student-athlete’s team or coach, or an athletics facility that is primarily used by prospective student-athletes, and an exception to the restrictions on publicity before commitment that permits actions (e.g., “like,” “favorite,” republish, “tag,” etc.) by an institutional staff member on social media platforms that indicate approval of content on social media platforms that was generated by users of the platforms other than institutional staff members or representatives of an institution’s athletics interests.
Rationale: Under the current legislation, it is difficult to monitor all coaches and their social media activities (e.g., “likes,” “favorites,” republishing, “tags,” etc.). This proposal would create exceptions to the restrictions related to endorsement activities and publicity related to recruiting on social media platforms and attempt to maintain pace with the frequent creation and/or enhancement of social media applications.
As of Monday morning, Georgia coach Mark Richt had already retweeted 11 tweets from recruits, as an example of how the rule change affects things. Other coaches haven’t got into the fun (I guess?) yet — like Texas A&M’s Kevin Sumlin, who has yet to RT a recruit.
We’ll see how the impact of this plays out over the next recruiting cycle, but recruits almost certainly will like the ego boost from retweet from a guy with tens of thousands of followers on Twitter.
There is good news for us non-recruit/coach users, though:
Pro tip: For all those coaches you follow, go ahead and shut off their retweets now. pic.twitter.com/LAt0x15Uqf
— Alex Scarborough (@AlexS_ESPN) August 1, 2016
And, remember, as was rapped on Chance the Rapper’s song Wanna Be Cool: “If you don’t get re-tweets, it don’t mean you say less, okay?”