So let’s see. Agents are enriching college athletes’ families and friends like Extreme Makeover. Former players and other alums are running amok trying to build new ties. And boosters are still luring recruits with tales of their institution being the promi$ed land.
And the NCAA goes ballistic on a college freshman over his Facebook page?
File this as yet another chapter of College Sports’ Keystone Kops, under “you couldn’t make this up.”
North Carolina State freshman Taylor Moseley received a “cease and desist” letter from the NCAA after its “investigators” uncovered, after weeks of intense discovery no doubt, the kid had created a Facebook group imploring John Wall, a 6-4, 185-pound senior point guard from Word of God Academy in Raleigh, N.C., to attend N.C. State.
Wall (above) might be the nation’s most coveted recruit.
The group – called “John Wall PLEASE come to NC State!!!!” – attracted more than 700 members. But it apparently violated NCAA Division I Bylaw 13.02.13.
The rule targets “individuals who would develop a social networking site or use an existing one to send recruiting messages to prospective student-athletes,” according to NCAA spokesman Erik Christianson. “Those communications are not allowed.”
The letter to Moseley said: “Should this activity not cease and/or it continues in the future, we will have no choice but to take further action.” Such “action” might include barring the student from getting even student tickets to games or “disassociating” the school from the student, like some scofflaw booster.
Way to go, NCAA. Now we are all criminals.
All of us who are fans. All of us who would like to see our alma mater land the best athletes.
All of us who have integrated the newest communications technology into our lives. And that’s a lot of us. Some estimates say there are nearly 200 million Facebook members in four languages.
That could mean a lot of C & D letters. And a lot of silliness. Not to mention millions of possible violations of First Amendment free-speech rights. “NCAA legislation hasn’t caught up with technology, and that’s being discussed nationally,” Michelle Lee, N.C. State’s interim associate athletic director for compliance told the Charlotte News & Observer.
All Moseley did was what fans across the nation have done for years, use whatever means available to induce a top recruit to attend their school. A generation ago, there might have been telephone calls or letters or even fresh-baked desserts delivered to their home.
Later it became e-mail and even later text messages to recruits. Many, if not most, come from other kids, students, not big-bellied, deep-pocketed boosters.
Where does it end?
And is this may be just a start. Not surprisingly, there are several Internet-based sites encouraging (begging?) Wall to attend various schools. (According to the News & Observer, Wall is still choosing among Duke, Memphis, Baylor, Kansas, Miami, Kentucky and N.C. State)
Moseley deleted his original group, then launched “Bring a National Title back to NC STATE!” Wall’s name is nowhere on the site, only his picture.
Smart kid. No doubt, the NCAA keystones are on the case, while the those who are truly out there tainting a system continue to run amok.