Happy August! It's officially football month, with players reporting to camp and preparation for the first week of action leading us right to the start of the season in early September (and don't forget there's also Cal-Hawaii in Australia on Aug. 26 as a nice appetizer).
On Aug. 1, a new NCAA recruiting rule was set in place as it pertains to social media. Coaches and staff members can now retweet, like or share social media posts from recruits. They are still restricted from commenting on any prospective student-athletes until receiving a signed letter of intent and could find themselves in trouble with a manual retweet and comment, but hitting that quick RT is no problem any more.
Shortly after Midnight ET a few coaches broke through in this new world with fervor, including new Miami coach Mark Richt. Some of the tweets he was excited to share with followers were recent (July 25) while others dated back to March.
Here's Richt and four-star dual-threat quarterback N'Kosi Perry (Ocala, Florida). The tweet was from March 19 but once the rule changed at 12:01 a.m. ET, Richt was ready to retweet.
Auburn's Herb Hand took another approach, explaining to recruits that his social media behavior is personal and (mostly) unrelated to the recruiting hustle.
"I enjoy using Twitter in many ways. My timeline has become my journal," Hand wrote on his account. "I like to post about topics of interest like my family, motivational quotes or videos, food, Auburn University, our program and players. I like to keep my timeline clean and tight. I may RT something you post, I may not. Don't take it personal. I use my "Like" file to keep things that I want to refer back to, I don't just "Like" stuff. That's just how I operate and I wanted to give y'all a heads up."
ATTN: All current and future prospects— Herb Hand (@CoachHand) August 1, 2016
New NCAA rules and my
🔥🔥Hot Take🔥🔥 pic.twitter.com/eDfPCUDIyA
It's fascinating to see the different ways that coaches have and will react to this change in social media recruiting. Some coaches have added value to their program and their own career with an effective social media policy, but if retweeting high schoolers becomes the norm, you can expect to see some backlash (and probably a loss in followers) from fans that aren't salivating over recruiting updates 12 months a year.