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The NCAA's Policy on Social Media & Recruiting

by Laura Flynn

Last week I discussed the basic "do's and don'ts" for student-athletes using social media, especially in terms of recruiting. Today, I want to discuss some of the rules that the NCAA has put in place for its' member schools and coaches.

Currently, the NCAA does not "require" its member schools to monitor the social media accounts of student athletes. (Though I think it's only a matter of time before they do.) BUT, the NCAA does have guidelines on how schools should reach out to prospective student-athletes via channels such as Twitter, Facebook and MySpace.

According to the NCAA, “Divisions I and II look at social networking less in terms of the technology being used and more in terms of its recruiting impact.”

As a Division I or II coach/institution, you can:

  • Market and promote your school/program by seting up social networking pages like Facebook, MySpace, Twitter and/or YouTube

  • Send messages to recruits through a "social networking program’s email function." [This prevents coach's from posting on someone's wall, but allows them to send a Facebook message.]

Coach's cannot use the school’s social networking pages to:

  • Feature photos of prospective student-athletes

  • Contact individual prospects publicly

  • Discuss specific recruits on any wall, public forum or chat rooom

  • Contact prospects when it is impermissible as per NCAA recruiting laws

Additionally (since texting isn’t allowed) the NCAA states that “If a coach becomes aware that a recruit has elected to receive direct messages as text messages on a mobile device, the coach must cease communicating with the recruit through the social networking site. All other electronically transmitted correspondence including, but not limited to, text messaging, instant messenger, chat rooms, message boards, or walls within social networking websites remain impermissible.”

Also, of note...The NCAA does have separate guidelines for Division III programs and the use of social media. To view Division III guidelines, click here.

While all of these guidelines are EXTREMELY important for NCAA member schools, it is also important for all recruits and parents to know as well. As technology grows and changes, expect changes in the NCAA rules and regulations, tool. Be sure to check the NCAA website often, in addition to the BeRecruited Resource Center! We'll do our best to keep you up-to-date on everything pertinent to the recruiting world!

If you enjoyed this post, read a similar post HERE!

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