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Recruiting and social media: Twitter leads to new set of compliance problems

The athletic compliance offices at Oklahoma and Oklahoma State each dedicate time and resources to monitoring social media activity, but the very nature of the Internet makes it impossible to stop all of it.
by Jason Kersey Published: February 3, 2013

Kevin Fite, Oklahoma State's associate athletic director of compliance, addressed one fan directly in September when he noticed illegal contact with a recruit.

“Cease from contacting our prospective student-athletes via Twitter or any other means per NCAA rules,” Fite tweeted at the offender.

After a terse exchange, Fite instructed all official OSU athletics Twitter accounts to block that particular fan.

The NCAA's definition for a “Representative of Athletics Interests” — laid out in NCAA bylaw 13.02.14 — is fairly broad, which is why Fite would rather be safe than sorry.

“The threshold, I would say, is pretty thin,” Fite said. “Basically, no one can. Let their coaches do their job.”

More than a year ago, Oklahoma's compliance office hired Rob Robinson, a compliance coordinator whose duties largely involve monitoring social media.

Even with such a commitment to the cause, though, the OU athletics department still struggles with social media recruiting problems.

“That's the unfortunate part of the NCAA process,” said Jason Leonard, OU's executive director for athletic compliance. “We're working within a system that you can't do 100 percent.

“There is no, ‘Do X, Y and Z.' I wish there was. It'd be awesome. It'd make my job a lot easier. There are things that still occur here, that — even if we had 100 people on the compliance staff — we still can't catch it all.”

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...
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