The NCAA has updated its social media recruiting policy. The policy deregulates the number of texts, calls, and other forms of digital communication that coaches may have with potential recruits after they finish their sophomore year in high school.
While the previous policy was instituted with good intentions, it was very difficult to enforce and not flexible enough to adapt to the changing ways we communicate and interact. Unfortunately, there are some self-anointed sports social media consulstants who may try to convince schools that they understand social media, compliance, and the law and that schools should hire them to advise them on the NCAA's new policy. As I have written before, schools must perform due diligence on hiring companies who have incorrectly predicted future NCAA social media policy changes because some of these companies have been caught intentionally misrepresenting their credentials and lying to NCAA schools in order to obtain their business.
While coaches may now have the opportunity to send an unlimited number of digital messages to recruits, it would be wise not to over message and aggravate a high school student and/or his family. While social media and other forms of technology may help communicate with recruits, meeting a prospective future student-athlete face to face, shaking his hand, looking him in the eyes, and treating him with respect may still be the most productive way to determine if that person is a good fit for your program.
The bottom line is that schools should tread carefully in the social media space to avoid potential legal liability.
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Copyright 2012 by the Law Office of Bradley S. Shear, LLC. All rights reserved.