The world of college football recruiting is already a murky one full of rules, half-rules and uninforcable rules. And that's before you even factor social media into the mix. It's near impossible for the NCAA to monitor and enforce rules in places like Twitter but hell if they're not going to try.
Obviously, a coach can't mention an unsigned recruit by name when tweeting, but we've all seen coaches tweet about...something...that just happens to be in reference to an unsigned recruit. Sometimes it's a vague reference to a "BEAST FROM OHIO" and sometimes they might even reference a guy's specific nickname, removing all doubt. Basically, it's subtweeting. Positive subtweeting, but subtweeting all the same. That's a no-no according to the NCAA now and they've changed the rules to stop it.
The #NCAA says using PSA's nickname = not permissible in public messages when context suggests the message is referencing an unsigned PSA.— Brad Barnes (@TAMUCompliance) February 24, 2016
A PSA is a "Prospective Student Athlete" in case you're wondering. An example of this practice can be found in this tweet, referencing four-star linebacker Jeffrey "The Shark" McCullough.
A meal fit for a Shark!!! pic.twitter.com/59ppHxicaN— Brian Luc Jean-Mary (@luc_brian) January 22, 2016
Here in Syracuse we saw a lot of this from the previous coaching staff and we are seeing even more of it from Dino Babers' staff. These guys are very Twitter savvy and know how to let loose a string of emojis to keep recruits' attention. Guys like OC Sean Lewis and Director of Recruiting Asil Mulbah are all about #DomeDudes and #OrangeIsTheNewFast and Drake GIFS. So many Drake GIFS. They love to reference places where recruits live and positions that recruits play and so long as they stick to tweets like these, they should be golden.
Great day with amazing families & future #DomeDudes from NY, NJ, PA, MD, VA, OH and WI— Sean Lewis (@TheOC_CoachLew) February 20, 2016
Just added a future #DomeDude to the family! Straight outta the Hoosier State! This guys gonna give OL and QBs fits for the next 4 years!— Asil Mulbah (@CoachSil) January 15, 2016
Of course the big question is...what will the NCAA do if they catch you subtweeting a recruit? Probably not much. It'll be a minor violation that, if it happens, gets self-reported and that'll be that. This is more about the NCAA reminding everyone that they exist, even if they can't really do much about it.
Now go #BeTheAlpha.