You likely know that the NCAA regulates how, and when, college coaches can contact high school student-athletes.
Even though the specific rules can change over time, the principle of having them has remained the same for decades: How can college coaches and student-athletes connect with each other without disrupting the student-athlete’s current school and life schedule?
And recently, a change that went into effect starting August 1 will impact the way you see coaches interacting on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
Here’s the rule in the legal language of the NCAA regulations:
An athletics department staff member may take actions (e.g., “like,” “favorite,” republish, etc.) 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.
What this new social media rule means for college coaches
This is an exemption for the staff of DI institutions, which means that DII and DIII schools operate under different rules.
So say that you’re a freshman wide receiver, which means that the type of contact coaches have with you would still be limited by the NCAA. If you were to tweet that you love Clemson’s program, the Tigers could favorite or retweet your post — but they can’t write back to say “thank you.”
That’s why some coaches are calling it “Click, Don’t Type.” As long as coaches are only clicking on a button to like or share your post, they’re in the clear.
Will this dramatically impact the way that student-athletes are recruited?
Perhaps not. Remember: for Division I programs, the earliest a formal commitment to a program can come is in the fall of your senior year, no matter how long a student-athlete or their family has been talking to coaching staff on social media.
But, as Bud Elliott and Alex Kirshner wrote on SB Nation, Division I programs typically have the most stringent rules and regulations to follow, and another way to say this exemption is that it’s become too hard for the NCAA to keep track.
So this rule might change what college athletics programs need to remember, but shouldn’t add to your stress.
— UMass Athletics (@UMassAthletics) July 29, 2016
Coaches may be bound by “click, don’t type” on social media, but you can use an NCSA account to search for, learn more about and connect directly with college coaches all in one place.
The best way to get started is with a recruiting profile.