Share “NCAA can't stop overzealous fans from...”

NCAA can't stop overzealous fans from tweeting to recruits

Some recruits crave the attention and some loathe it, but the fact remains: As long as Twitter exists and college football fans believe their public lobbying might help snag commitments, nothing — not even NCAA bylaws and athletic department pleas — can possibly contain it.
by Jason Kersey Published: January 12, 2014
Advertisement

photo - TULSA UNION / HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL: Broken Arrow's Devon Thomas (center) runs downfield under pressure from Union's Blace Walser (left) and Chase Dahlquists (right) during the high school Class 6A state championship football game in Stillwater, Okla. on Thursday, December 1, 2011. MATT BARNARD/Tulsa World
TULSA UNION / HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL: Broken Arrow's Devon Thomas (center) runs downfield under pressure from Union's Blace Walser (left) and Chase Dahlquists (right) during the high school Class 6A state championship football game in Stillwater, Okla. on Thursday, December 1, 2011. MATT BARNARD/Tulsa World

Broken Arrow running back and Oklahoma State commit Devon Thomas calls it “highly annoying.”

Four-star wide receiver Dallis Todd said “it did and it didn't” have an impact on his decision to commit to Oklahoma last spring.

Some recruits crave the attention and some loathe it, but the fact remains: As long as Twitter exists and college football fans believe their public lobbying might help snag commitments, nothing — not even NCAA bylaws and athletic department pleas — can possibly contain it.

But what tangible impact do the thousands upon thousands of tweets sent to college football recruits every day actually have on their decisions? It's difficult to tell, and mostly depends on the individual prospect.

“I've talked to some players about it, and they say it gets annoying,” Todd said. “Then there are some players who say it's good because it shows the type of atmosphere and the fan base that school has. It works both ways.”

Five-star running back Joe Mixon spent months retweeting virtually everything fans said to him on Twitter, and often encouraged supporters of his top schools to show him love.

“With Joe Mixon's recruitment, oh my goodness, he had people from UCLA, Wisconsin, OU, all the places he wanted to go, people were all over him,” said Edmond Santa Fe quarterback Justice Hansen, who committed to OU last spring. “It seemed like fans were crazy about him coming to their school.”

That passion wasn't limited to fans. During Sugar Bowl week, several former Sooners such as Tony Jefferson, Gerald McCoy and Kenny Stills tweeted at Mixon. The OU Compliance Twitter account sent out a tweet reminding former players that contacting recruits is an NCAA violation, but the request largely fell on deaf ears.

Mixon, from Oakley, Calif., committed to Oklahoma last weekend.

Josh McCuistion covers OU football recruiting for the Rivals network site SoonerScoop.com, and said he believes the impact of fan tweets is usually minimal.

“I think sometimes fans think they have a bigger role in it,” McCuistion said. “The decision doesn't come down to that. … Like anybody, the kids like the attention. They like feeling like they're in the spotlight. There's certainly some aspect that does resonate with the kids, but I don't think it's anything that tips the balance one way or another.”

Continue reading this story on the...

by Jason Kersey
OU Sports Reporter
Jason Kersey became The Oklahoman's OU football beat writer in May 2012 after a year covering high school sports and OSU recruiting. Before joining the newspaper in November 2006 as a part-time results clerk, he covered high school football for...
+ show more


Trending Now


AROUND THE WEB

  1. 1
    Waves force closure of bike path, restrictions on Lake Shore Drive
  2. 2
    Cops Can Force You To Unlock Phone With Apple Touch ID, Judge Rules
  3. 3
    Arizona School Board Votes To Get Rid Of Textbook Pages That Discuss Abortion
  4. 4
    Stillwater near-beheading suspect has family history of homicide
  5. 5
    Rubik's Cube, Ninja Turtles up for Toy Hall of Fame
+ show more