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It’s Getting Harder For Student-Athletes To Use Social Media

Friday, 13 Jan 2012 | 1:06 PM ET

As many of you know, I’ve been a strong advocate of letting student-athletes tweet and post to Facebook.

Forget about the freedom part , it’s simply a part of living life these days. So I’ve blasted coacheswho tell their players that they are no longer allowed to tweet or use Facebook.

I understand why the coach does this: There are more problems that could occur. So instead of teaching kids how to use social media and learning to trust their athletes, they just say no. But it is taking away an educational experience and an important mode of communication for the athletes now and for the future.

The coaches that ban social media are out there. What’s not out there are many of the internal memos schools are sending athletes in regard to social media conduct.

A volleyball player in a Conference USA school received this note this week.

Twitter Rules

Permissible:

To send a "Direct Message" to a prospect AFTER the National Letter of Intent signing

To post general information such as game scores and team/facilities updates (not created for recruiting purpose)

Impermissible:

To "follow" or be "followed" by a prospect PRIOR to signing of NLI

To tweet about a prospect in any manner PRIOR to the singing of an NLI

To Mention or replay to a prospect via the "@" feature

To comment on a prospect's tweets (including pictures)

Mentioning, endorsing, and/or promoting commercial businesses

The NCAA has nothing to do with this. These are schools trying to get ahead of things by making sure violations don’t occur. Wanting to know more about the endorsement angle, I inquired with a Big Ten compliance officer. I was informed that an athlete can say, “I’m eating at Chipotle” but cannot say, “I’m eating at Chipotle. Come get a burrito with me.”

I’m concerned that schools are going to let their athletes Tweet or post to Facebook, but there are soon going to be so many restrictions on what they can do, that it’s going to spoil the experience.

Questions? Comments? SportsBiz@cnbc.com

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