It is August 1, 2016. That means NCAA Bylaw 13.10 is now live. What is 13.10? Here’s the breakdown from our compliance friends at Purdue (follow on Twitter @boilerbylaws).

My phone is full of texts from coaches this morning asking, “What do you think about the new social media rules?” It’s important to look at these rules not only from the perspective of marketers (which coaches, ADs and administrators are) but also as educators. With that in mind, a few thoughts for coaches (and those who run accounts for coaches):

  1. These are essentially harmless actions. Retweeting and liking posts are common social media behaviors. On the surface, it seems these should probably have been permissible some time ago.
  2. That said, my biggest concern, specifically with retweets, is that you are putting a significant amount of eyeballs on the Twitter accounts of high school students who are more than likely not prepared for that kind of publicity. Yes, with high profile recruits they already have a lot of followers and those who care about recruiting will already be following. But social media education is severely lacking at the high school level and this could be overwhelming for these kids. They may like the attention but that doesn’t mean they’re prepared for the scrutiny that comes with it.
  3. At the end of the day, is a retweet or “like” really going to sway a kid from one program to another? The odds are extremely low. And if that’s all it takes to change their opinion, is that a player you really want on your team?
  4. This is a very minor thing but for coaches who retweet everything (or even 20% of what recruits/PSA’s tweet), you’re going to heavily annoy the rest of your followers.  We recommend utilizing the “like” feature more than the retweet.

Social Media is a valuable thing for coaches. It’s something we believethey should embrace and take full advantage of.It matters in recruiting, it helps you brand the program, easily engage students/fans, tell the story of your team and show your personality. The upside is tremendous. Whether you’re a coach who is just starting out or you’re now adjusting to new rules, have a plan before you jump in. Focus on adding value rather than simply adding noise.