So, in case you missed it, the NCAA made a rules change regarding recruiting. Earlier this week, the NCAA ruled that schools can't "subtweet" recruits using nicknames or other identifying characteristics. While this isn't a death knell to tweeting about recruits, it changes the game.
What is a Subtweet?
Before we get to examples on this, I guess I should explain what subtweet is:
A subtweet is a tweet that indirectly references something, in this case, a recruit. It does not directly "@" or "tag" the player, but uses a nickname or other identifying characteristic of that person. Nearly EVERYBODY ON TWITTER subtweets. I do it. Other SBN writers do it. Coaches do it. Recruits do it. Journalists do it. Celebrities do it.
You tweet about someone/something but don't "@" them? Congratulations. You just sent a subtweet. An example of a regular/non-recruiting related subtweet:
I hate you John— Cam Underwood (@UnderwoodSports) February 2, 2016
So, that's me, talking about John, subtweet style. Got it? Good.
What is a "banned" subtweet?
Now that you know what a subtweet is in general, here's how it applies to recruiting and Miami.
Full disclosure, THE EXAMPLE TWEETS WERE PERMITTED AT THE TIME THEY WERE SENT!
Subtweeting USING NICKNAMES OR OTHER IDENTIFYING INFORMATION is no longer allowed. An example of such things:
Shout out to that "Dude"!!! pic.twitter.com/kqVNfnme6z— Christopher M Vaughn (@CoachVaughn_DBU) September 24, 2015
Player's nickname? The Shark. So the picture of the shark = prohibited from here on out.
Interesting Fact of the Day: Naples is known for the most rare watching in the country! The _ ! pic.twitter.com/qIPZkLQCjP— Ephraim Banda (@CoachBanda) January 28, 2016
Bird emoji for a player named "Byrd". Same thing as shark. No longer allowed.
What is a permitted subtweet?
Any tweet that, while able to be reasonably connected to recruiting, doesn't hint at the player, or nickname, or anything of the sort. Examples:
It's a great day to be a Miami Hurricane! #Squad17— Mark Richt (@MarkRicht) February 16, 2016
Baller Alert today at the U! #Squad17— Eric Josephs (@EJo305) February 20, 2016
Me right now! Locking down the best in the ☀️ MIA ☀️ pic.twitter.com/tvHp0NM7Yh— Ephraim Banda (@CoachBanda) February 23, 2016
What's the common thread? None of those tweets reference anything specific about any individual player. It's more "we're doing something big!" in focus and content. So, that's permitted.
What about Miami's "Radical Transparency" to Crootin'?
Earlier in the spring before National Signing Day, Matt Porter of the Palm Beach Post wrote this interesting article about Miami's new approach to recruiting strategy.
In the article. Porter details Miami's plan to employ "radical transparency" (USA Today's words) about their recruiting movement. Miami coaches put up edit after edit on twitter announcing the cities to which they were traveling to recruit players.
Now, since a city is a place and does not specifically reference a player, those edits from coaches are not restricted from continuing to use them by the new "subtweet rule". They are, however, restricted from adding text to the tweet that includes any nickname/emoji/picture that could be reasonably associated with a particular player.
Take the tweet earlier from Coach Banda. It shows a picture going to Naples. (allowed). It has Miami logos and branding (allowed). It has an emoji of a bird bc the player being recruited from Naples' last name was Byrd (not allowed). So, Miami will be able to continue the "radical transparency" of putting up pictures of the places the coaches are going to recruit, they just have to edit the text/emojis they include in those tweets.
So, that's the subtweet rule and what it means for Miami's recruiting going forward.
Love the new subtweet rule? HAAAAATE the new subtweet rule? Leave a comment below.