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Oklahoma football: Bob Stoops knows football, but he understands little about Twitter and its trappings

If the Oklahoma football coach knew, he wouldn't have said what he did a week ago at Big 12 Media Days.
by Jenni Carlson Modified: July 30, 2013 at 10:00 am •  Published: July 29, 2013

Bob Stoops has a Twitter account, but it's protected.

That means he gets to pick and choose who sees his tweets, who interacts with him, who comes into his social media world.

That means he has little idea of how unfiltered Twitter can be.

If the Oklahoma football coach knew, he wouldn't have said what he did a week ago at Big 12 Media Days.

At least, you hope he wouldn't have.

Stoops was asked about fans contacting recruits on Twitter. Such contact constitutes an NCAA violation, but that hasn't stopped many college football fans from taking to the social media site and trying to sway recruits to their school.

“That's something that's becoming part of it,” Stoops acknowledged.

Then he looked at the reporter who asked the question, Carey Murdock of Rivals.com.

“We may hire you to govern our social media with the fans,” he said.

That drew a laugh from the media around him.

“I'm not kidding,” he continued. “I don't see it stopping. In today's world, once things get rolling, it's not stopping.

“You hear that OU fans? We have to get on board.”

During a summer in which Stoops has said some controversial things, this tops the list.

A couple days ago, OU tried to close the barn door even though horses were already out, and ironically, it did so through the football program's official Twitter account.

“Stoops: Comment in Dallas on Twitter wasn't meant literally,” the tweet read. “Reminder — NCAA prohibits fan contact (with) prospects in person, via phone, online.”

But everyone involved with college athletics knows that policing fans' Twitter contact with recruits is nearly impossible. Search high and low, and you won't find any school that has been even so much as reprimanded for a fan contacting a recruit via Twitter.

Now, that might change.

It came to light Monday that Dick Costolo committed an NCAA violation over the weekend when he tweeted at two Michigan recruits. He is a Michigan fan, and his tweet to Wolverine commits Wilton Speight and George Campbell broke NCAA rules.

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by Jenni Carlson
Columnist
Jenni Carlson, a sports columnist at The Oklahoman since 1999, came by her love of sports honestly. She grew up in a sports-loving family in Kansas. Her dad coached baseball and did color commentary on the radio for the high school football...
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