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Facebook pages could be NCAA recruiting violation

Posted April 13, 2009

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— Support of college athletics on Facebook could land colleges and universities in big trouble with the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).

Fans of N.C. State, Duke and Carolina have set up pages on the social networking site asking John Wall, a Raleigh high school basketball star, to play for their schools.

John Wall Facebook an NCAA recruiting violation?

N.C. State recently sent a cease-and-desist letter to N.C. State freshman Taylor Moseley to shut down the 700-member group "John Wall, PLEASE Come to N.C. State" after determining it violated NCAA recruiting rules.

"The NCAA wants to control as much as possible and make reasonable for the high school prospect the whole recruiting process," said David Glenn, owner and editor of the ACC Sports Journal.

Under NCAA rules, fans are not allowed to recruit players. The NCAA says such sites are a high-tech way to try to influence the college choice of a recruit.

"That's always been illegal," Glenn said. "What has changed is now the schools and the NCAA have Facebook sites where they can see there is a potential violation."

Nick Stevens, an N.C. State student and sports blogger for WRALSportsFan.com, said the NCAA should not penalize fans for speaking their mind.

"I just think it is impossible to police, and I don't think students are directly involved with the athletic program, and I don't know how that can be a recruiting violation," Stevens said.

Although Glenn believes the pages are recruiting violations, he admits schools probably don't have to worry about most of the sites.

"Nobody is going to get thrown in NCAA jail because of somebody's Facebook page," Glenn said.

Wall, a 6-4 playmaker, averaged 21 points, seven rebounds and nine assists for Raleigh Word of God this past season. He is the No. 1-ranked recruit in the country by both Rivals.com and Scout.com, and among the last top players yet to commit.

A Facebook search Monday afternoon turned up other groups, including "Bring John Wall to Kentucky!" and "John Wall, come to DUKE!!"

There are at least four groups encouraging Wall to pick Kentucky. Through an athletic department spokesman, UK head of compliance Sandy Bell declined to comment on whether the department has taken any action in response to such groups.

N.C. State athletics officials declined to comment about the issue Monday.

The group that it wanted shut down has been renamed "Bring a National Title back to NC STATE!" and features a photo of Wall.

Dozens of other Facebook pages, however, are still up for current recruits, including Wall, and other top undecided basketball players.

"The name of this group has been changed to comply with a request in regards to NCAA regulations," the page stated.

15 Comments

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  • yellow_hat Apr 14, 1:49 p.m.

    State does not need a John Wall. That is not going to fix the multitude of problems plaguing Wolfpack Basketball or athletics in general. We will remain a 3rd rate program (and I am talking all sports across the board - the only possible exception is TOB & Football) as long as Fowler is running the show. They need to clean house in the Athletic dept. - down to the secretaries & janitors & start over.

  • jprime Apr 14, 10:38 a.m.

    From reading another article on this, it looks like people are right that students have their first amendment and they cant suffer legal problems.

    Worst case is the university athletic dept could formally "disassociate" themselves with the student in question.

  • jprime Apr 14, 10:01 a.m.

    So if I am standing next to John Wall in line at a McDonalds while wearing a State shirt, and I say "Hey man, State is a great college! You should come over. I will show you around." then NC State has to worry about the NCAA breathing down its neck?

    What about any other entity commenting on how good any school or team is? This rule should not apply unless the recruit is receiving some sort of incentive that holds a monetary value - which to my knowledge is its purpose anyway.

  • dcatz Apr 13, 7:13 p.m.

    Last time I checked, the NCAA was not the same thing as the legislature. They do not make our laws.

    Sending fragrantly false cease and desist letters is a sue-able offense.

  • dmccall Apr 13, 7:08 p.m.

    How would the NCAA enforce this? How do they know the group organizer isn't a fan of an opposing school trying to get NCSU in trouble? How is this different than fans chanting at a game that they want a player? How is this different than a recruiting thread on a message board or a website comment thread?

  • likemenow Apr 13, 6:59 p.m.

    The NCAA trumps the 1st Amendment right to Freedom of Speech?....lovely

  • chatamite Apr 13, 6:23 p.m.

    "thats always been illegal" Glenn said------------wrong, illegal is a term for a criminal violation and NCAA rules are like being late for class, just a rules violation in itself.

  • Wags Apr 13, 6:17 p.m.

    "Whoever gets Wall is just asking for trouble. He's got an attitude and an entourage. He's one and done and will be playing to impress the pro scouts, not to win. He may be a great player, but he's not a good college recruit."

    He would be a perfect fit over at State.

  • jhilfiker2001 Apr 13, 6:17 p.m.

    He is not a good college recruit? I agree and neither was brandon jennings. Jennings played in italy last year instead of college and I recommend Wall do the same. Why should he play for free when there will be money on the table for a year, before he enters the draft?

  • NCRunner Apr 13, 6:15 p.m.

    CRAZY! It is not the college.

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