Raleigh, N.C. — 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.
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.