As the holiday dead period ended this week, college football coaches started their final push towards national signing day. Nowadays, that means not only hitting the road but also hitting the phones. Not just visiting recruits but also calling and texting them.
And now, coaches are even tweeting (albeit indirectly) at recruits. NCAA regulations still prevent coaches from discussing recruits by name before they sign a letter of commitment. So coaches don't use the players name or Twitter handle...but it's hard to not know who they are referring to
Take Oklahoma graduate assistant Corey Callens, who welcomed Omaha Central defensive end Daishon Neal to Norman on Friday.
Or Nebraska defensive coordinator Mark Banker, who tweeted about firming up the commitments of Carlos and Khalil Davis Friday night.
Secondary coach Charleton Warren joined in as well.
Great trip to Missouri tonight! Feels great to lock down future #BLACKSHIRTS...got better in the trenches tonight!— Charlton Warren (@CoachCwarren) January 17, 2015
No names, but anybody who follows recruiting (and even many of us who try to avoid recruiting coverage like it's the plague) knows who they were talking about.
So, all those past warnings about not tweeting at recruits are for naught, right?
The Maryland Compliance department took a clever approach to illustrate the point this week, using a meme from Liam Neeson and the movie "Taken." Certainly the increasing use of Twitter by college coaches makes the job of compliance teams everywhere more difficult as coaches flirt with the distinction between what's permissible and illegal under NCAA rules. As the coaches go public with who they are pursuing, it's only inevitable that fans will try to "help."
And that's where the problem lies. Now, more than ever, do as they say (don't tweet at recruits), not what they do.