As coaches everywhere make their final push for recruits before national signing day, fans on social media everywhere are currently doing the same.
It wasn’t that long ago where college athletic departments didn’t have to worry about a potential NCAA violation via social media, but now it’s an issue that a tremendous amount of resources are committed to by athletic departments each year.
Millions of individuals log billions of hits on recruiting sites like Rivals.com, 247Sports, ESPN and Scout every year, paying a premium price for to see where 17 and 18 year old recruits have scholarships offers from, where they’ve visited, and which way they’re leaning as signing day approaches.
The Houston Chronicle did a piece recently on the complicated role that social media can often play in recruiting, and Fresno State head coach Tim DeRuyter summed it up best when describing the overzealous fans that chirp in a recruit’s ear on behalf of their favorite school, and he did so by putting it all in perspective with an iconic line from William Shatner on SNL.
“It’s a little bit creepy, especially when you’ve got 40-year-old men doing this. Fans can look up these kids so easily, that’s the scary part.”
“I think back to that old ‘Saturday Night Live’ skit with William Shatner speaking at a ‘Star Trek’ convention. He tells all the people who are dressed up, ‘Get a life!'”
The clip of that skit is included below, so take a peek and think of Shatner as the coaches – or frustrated athletic departments – and the “Trekkies” as the hardcore fans tracking uncommitted (or sometimes committed) prospects down on social media in an effort to add their two cents to persuade them. Nice job by coach DeRuyter – I couldn’t possibly think of a better explanation to be honest.
“Recruiting has become that for so many people – they live on Twitter to see what these kids are going to do.” he went on to add in the piece. “On the other side of it, that passion speaks to how popular the college game is year round. But you want to ask people to tap the brakes a little bit. I don’t know how you do that.”
Read the full article here, and – just for fun – watch the SNL skit that DeRuyter is referring to in the clip below.