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New NCAA rule changes recruiting process

College coaches now have the ability to contact potential High School players via Social Media.

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At 12:00 AM, September 1st, 2016, the NCAA instituted a new rule allowing College coaches and recruiters to direct message prospects via social media.

At 12:30 AM, September 1st, 2016, Junior quarterback Kevin Doyle looked at his phone and saw a myriad of texts and tweets. He could not believe his eyes. It only took half an hour.

“It just hasn’t stopped,” said Doyle.

Overall, Doyle has narrowed down the list and been offered by 12 different schools, including University of Mississippi, Michigan State University, University of Pittsburgh, University of Iowa, and University of Nebraska.

According to Philly.com, beginning on August 1, the NCAA allowed coaches to like, favorite, share, or retweet recruits’ posts. But, there are many ways to look at this new NCAA policy.

“I think the most important thing with social media nowadays is to just protect yourself,” head football coach Aaron Brady said.

Brady and the coaching staff all agree that players can really hurt themselves on social media. But, regarding college coaches, he is more concerned about the Direct Messaging rule.

“That’s the NCAA loophole,” Brady said.

The “loophole” he is referring to is ‘Division I Proposal 2015-48’ which permits coaches to endorse (think, favorite) and republish (think, repost or retweet) potential recruits or previously committed players who have not signed letters of intent yet.

“I think it affects the kids because Kevin is getting a lot of offers and therefore he is getting a lot of direct messages,” Brady said. “I think that the kids just get caught in this world of ‘the recruiting’ when they should go and have fun and be a highschool kid.”

However, Brady believes that Doyle is taking this process well.

“Now, I have not seen any effect on Kevin, but I have seen kids in the past where the recruiting process becomes their world, and has affected their play,” Brady said.

Doyle, also, thinks the NCAA rule change is an extreme positive.

“It can be overwhelming, but it is really a blessing to have,” Doyle said. “There are people with way bigger problems – and this is a good problem to have.”

In general, this new policy has allowed Doyle to have a direct contact with the coach recruiting him, thus making meeting times and having direct conversations more simple.

“Them being able to text me and tweet me has really been an easier way of communication,” Doyle said.

But, with so many coaches now in tune with his social media, Doyle has to watch what he posts.

“I do not want to put anything bad on social media because it can tarnish my reputation, and so I want to make sure I put the best things out there,” Doyle said. “Even while looking at my friend’s post, I will look at it and think ‘that is funny’ but I can’t retweet or like it because it is derogatory, or not appropriate in general.”

In today’s society, mishaps with social media has cost athletes scholarships, jobs, and much more. To Kevin, he realizes that one tweet could make or break him.

“It can make or break a person’s belief of what you are,” Doyle said. “Sometimes first impressions are lasting impressions.”

But, it is also still important to remain active on social media in order to sell your brand. Doyle does this specifically by supporting the team via his social media and just being himself.

“I definitely try to bring the best of myself out on social media. I try to do this be tweeting certain things and liking certain things, or not liking and retweeting certain things.”

His coaches also vouch for his character.

“He does an awesome job of putting his brand on there, but also does not put inappropriate stuff,” Brady said.

According to Brady, social media is important to have for being recruited, but it is not the only factor in the recruiting process.

“They did not offer him because of his social media, they offered him because of his play. He’s from a great school and has really good grades. I think social branding it great, but it does not get you offers,” Brady said.

“Social media is important nowadays because you have to have it, and the first thing that college recruiters look for are your twitter handle and your instagram account. If you have it, they are going to find it.”

Bottom line however, regardless of where this recruiting process takes him, Doyle feels like a changed man.

“Ultimately, it is helping me be a better person because all of this recruiting is going to go away  one day and I am still going to have this mentality stuck in my mind still,” Doyle said.

Today, he is taking advantage of the sport he loves in a more than special place.

“There is no school that I have been to, seen, or been a part of that has the Brotherhood here and how everyone gets along. Not everyone might be friends, but everyone likes each other and they are all pleasant towards each other, and that is not common.”

About Pat Ferraiolo

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