The Real Paul Jones

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NCAA confused about messaging in recruiting – in the face of #noemail

If you think the other NCAA rules are confusing, they are clearly based on something somewhere but the messaging rules aren’t.

According to the New York Times, coaches may contact players by Twitter direct messages, but not by TXT; by Facebook Messages, but not by Facebook Chat — and public Wall posts are out of the question. Email and phone calls are allowed, but the prospective players won’t take those — afterall they are under 25 (see studies earlier in this blog).

A trusted resident expert in this house claims that the unifying theme is banning public communications while allowing private ones. The exception for SMS aka TXT, he says and the article supports, is because the person receiving the TXT also receives a charge if unlike most TXTing teens the prospect doesn’t have an unlimited TXT plan.

One hole in his, or more likely in the NCAA’s, logic is the difference between Chat and Messaging. Both are private and with the new Facebook Mobile Messenger app both are unified and merged in the same inbox. The trend as seen at Facebook and in Google Plus is to unify the inbox and the activity streams into a personally manageable environment.

That’s what the players are telling the coaches. We don’t take calls. We don’t do email. We want communications mobile. We want them short and interactive. Twitter is TXT without the NCAA restrictions. Facebook Messages aren’t email.

But the NCAA is in a ball of confusion.


  1. I couldn’t care less about this particular issue, but it seems to me that as a college sports coach – not to mention a university admissions person – I’d want to recruit students who have reasonable, or acceptable, verbal and written communication skills in any case.

    If I had athletic skills and was not a complete narcissist or imbecile,* I’d jump through any communicative hoops – to the point of, gasp, crafting a piece of prose in English longer than a few words or actually talking to another human being on the phone – if it meant I could get an insanely expensive university education for free.

  2. Paul

    8/10/2011 at 2:18 pm

    Yo Wake! Wazzup pal? Luvin me some Carolina down hear.

    Srzly, this article should be read along with the article on stu-dent ath–oo–letes which was published right beside the Facebook/Twitter one.

    It begins:

    Joseph Agnew was once a Friday night superstar. A defensive back, he led his Texas high school football team to consecutive state titles in 2004 and 2005. He was also an A student.

    Agnew went on to Rice, a first-rate university with an improving football program. But things didnít quite work out for him, at least football-wise. The coach who had recruited him left after his freshman year. Agnew struggled to find playing time and had a string of injuries. After his sophomore season, he was cut from the team. The next year, he lost his scholarship and later left Rice.

    Yes “Joseph Agnew is suing the N.C.A.A. over the rule that allowed Rice to revoke his scholarship after a series of injuries.”

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