John Wall, PLEASE come to (insert school) is +1Posted by rtmsf on April 13th, 2009
The latest idiocy to come out of the NCAA rules tome involves the ubiquitous Facebook pages. You know, the social networking site that every man, woman and child under the age of 35 already has as a must-visit every day of their lives? Over the weekend it was reported that NC State had sent a cease-and-desist letter to one of its students, Taylor Moseley, for starting a Facebook page called “John Wall, PLEASE come to NC State,” referring to the nation’s #1 point guard who is still unsigned. Talk about a tactful approach! The original page, which featured over 700 members, is now closed to the public with the forboding warning attached: The name of this group has been changed to comply with a request in regards to NCAA Regulations.
NC State was ostensibly acting upon the NCAA’s interpretation of its rules with respect to such social networking sites and how they may be used in the recruiting process. The problem, of course, is that Moseley has no more proximate relationship with the NCSU athletic department than the janitor working in his dorm or the random fan with the red Wolfpack emblem on his car. In the NCAA’s narrow-minded worldview, each of these people are potential “boosters.” And if you’re a booster, you cannot make such open, outward displays of affection toward a potential recruit such as John Wall lest you put your favorite school in jeopardy of a violation.
Cue the hordes of Duke fans who just started John Wall groups for Carolina, and vice versa. Or Xavier Henry to Kentucky groups created by Kansas fans. Or Lance Stephenson… well, you get the picture. Where does it end, and assuming the NCAA could figure it out (without subpoena power, good luck) how on earth is any of it enforceable? There are already dozens of these kinds of pages on Facebook (see the UK example below), and anyone can start one on their own and regardless of school affiliation. RTC can put up a page right now begging John Wall to attend our school of choice, and what can the NCAA do? Punish the school – no way, we have no affiliation with the school. Punish the player – for what? He didn’t have anything to do with our endorsement. Punish us – ennnnh, sure, except they already deny us to their credentialed events (i.e., nothing will change).
The most amusing part of all of this is the NCAA’s response to the ever-changing spectre of technology. From the WRAL report:
NCAA spokesman Erik Christianson said the group considers its rules “technology neutral.” A Facebook page is simply a high-tech way to try to influence recruits. The NCAA’s concern is “intrusions into a high school student’s life when they’re trying to decide where to go to college,” he said. He said the NCAA is keeping up with technology, noting new rules on text-messaging from coaches.
New rules on text messaging! Wow, Eric, we’ve certainly moved right on up to 2002 with 2003 in our sights with that progressive legislation! This means that by around 2014 the NCAA will have this Facebook thing figured completely out. Kudos to them.