Tuesday, July 7, 2009

social networking and college football

ESPN published the first of a 4 part series yesterday looking at the "impact of online social networks on college athletics", and it's a fairly interesting low-tech peek into how high-tech tools are being used by low-tech coaching staffs. John Calipari, who recently became the Basketball coach at the the University of Kentucky, is a particularly good example. An admitted "technophobe", Calipari is the most followed college coach on Twitter (@UKCoachCalipari) with over 350,000 followers, but apparently doesn't quite grasp the process. So he texts his tweets to his Associate Athletic Director for Media Relations, who then updates the Twitter account.

I think I'll start applying for Associate Athletic Director of Media Relations positions.

It's also interesting to see how slow the NCAA has been to address social networking. College coaches face a mountain of regulations on the manner in which they can contact potential high school age recruits. They are severely limited in the number of times they can make phone calls, or send correspondence through the mail. In 2007, the NCAA prohibited texting. There is no limit, however, to a coaches ability to direct-message on Twitter, and to send private messages on Facebook. Even if those messages are received by the recruit on their phone. And even if, as in Calipari's case, those tweets originated as texts anyway.

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