(Photo: 247 Sports)
One of the problems with this digital age is the availability and accessibility of young athletes with questionable decision-making skills who can be potentially swayed by a tweet or a comment on the Internet. While it is simply obnoxious for a fan of a school to compliment or insult a recruiting prospect on Twitter, it is an NCAA secondary violation for a booster of a school to contact a recruit before he has signed his Letter of Intent.
On Sunday night, Twitter CEO and Michigan booster Dick Costolo broke this rule. Costolo tweeted a recently committed Michigan recruit, 2015 wide receiver George Campbell, congratulating Campbell on his choice to attend Michigan. The NCAA views that as a violation. Actually, it's two violations because not only did Costolo reply to Campbell, his first tweet was a reply to Wilton Speight, a 2014 Michigan commit.
— dick costolo (@dickc) July 29, 2013
NCAA bylaws – that are most likely made up as they go along – concerning the role of boosters state, "As a booster, you may not: Contact a prospect in-person on-campus or off-campus Contact a prospect by telephone, email, Internet or letter."
"If a violation occurs," the bylaws state, "it may jeopardize a student-athlete’s eligibility for intercollegiate competition, jeopardize a school’s membership status with the NCAA or cause a booster to lose access to all booster benefits."
Costolo is the CEO of Twitter and an apparently avid Michigan sports fan. Shouldn't he know how the rules work on the social media service that he runs?
I doubt Campbell is suspended or any sanctions are issued due to Tweet Gate 2013, but if Campbell is penalized, at least he likes what Costolo is doing with the place.
— George Campbell (@GeorgeCampbell0) July 29, 2013