PennStateHoops.com Discussion Forum

Web Sites and Recruiting

The “Thank You Terry” PSU hockey blog manage to get itself in a bit of hot water with the University recently by contacting a hockey recruit. While I don’t really see that being a problem here, it can’t hurt to post the following (taken from a letter sent to TYT) as a reminder of restrictions that are placed on boosters since everything that was in the letter applies to hoops too.

[hr]

To all Penn State Hockey Alums, Fans, and Booster Club Members:

While it is an exciting time to be associated with the ice hockey programs at Penn State, it is also a time to be attentive to how NCAA rules apply to this new landscape. As most of you know, the NCAA rules applicable to a varsity program are far reaching and include institutional responsibility for the actions of fans, former student-athletes and donors. Some people may not realize that NCAA recruiting rules began to apply to Penn State on the day we publicly declared intent to form varsity hockey programs. Thus, it is very important that everyone is aware of the following:

[ul][li]Only members of the Penn State coaching staff are permitted to call or write to prospective student-athletes, their parents or their coaches.[/li]
[li]Prospective student-athletes are defined as anyone who has entered 9th grade, regardless of recruitment status by Penn State.[/li]
[li]Only members of the Penn State coaching staff are permitted to have any in-person contact with prospective student-athletes, their parents or their coaches.[/li]
[li]Boosters and fans of the Penn State programs are permitted to attend hockey games involving prospects at their own discretion. In addition, they are welcome to share any relevant information with the coaching staff. However, they are not permitted to present themselves as Penn State recruiters and they may not attend a specific contest or activity at the request of the coaching staff.[/li]
[li]Boosters and fans of the PSU programs are not permitted to provide any benefits or special arrangements to a prospective student-athlete or his / her family and friends.[/li]
[li]Boosters and fans of the PSU programs may not visit a prospect’s high school or educational institution to perform an evaluation of a prospect’s academic qualifications.[/li][/ul]

NCAA rules provide exceptions to some of the contact restrictions, but these exceptions do not mean that it is OK for program supporters to recruit on behalf of PSU. For example, if a booster club member has known a prospect’s family since the prospect was in elementary school and they have always gone on family vacations together, this activity could permissibly continue. However, in this scenario, recruitment on behalf of PSU is prohibited and any matters involving PSU hockey must be referred to the coaching staff. Relationships that originated prior to the prospects enrollment in 9th grade and outside of athletics circles are considered safe in this analysis. Of course, the NCAA rules do not restrict interactions within a legitimate family environment (grandparents may speak to their grandchildren about Penn State at their discretion).

Please call the Penn State Athletics Compliance Office (ACO) at 814-863-8048 if you have questions about the application of NCAA rules. The ACO staff is happy to field calls from PSU supporters and dedicated to ensuring Penn State’s tradition of integrity in athletics continues indefinitely. We know that part of the transition into the new era may include modifying behaviors from years gone by that were helpful in a club environment, but may be harmful in a varsity environment. The best thing to do when in doubt is to call and ask before you act.[/i]

[hr]

TYT also posted a few NCAA rules that are directed at websites such as this. In particular:

[center]Web Sites Established by Individuals Independent of the Institution[/center]

[ul][]Establishing a Web Site in and of itself does not categorize an individual as a media entity. Therefore, individuals who establish Web sites independent of the institution continue to be subject to all applicable restrictions related to contacting prospects for a recruiting purpose.
[
]Recruiting information that is not available to the general public may not be posted on Web sites established by individuals independent of the institution.
[*]Individuals operating independently of the institution may not contact prospects to obtain recruiting information.[/ul]

The second item is the reason that I link every entry in the recruiting matrix to a public source so that the site can never be accused of posting info that is not available to the general public.

I have never contacted a recruit or his family or his coaching staff.

I have had some people claiming to represent “recruitable athletes” - that is, high school basketball players- write to me to see if I could get them recruited. I have forwarded those emails to the coaching staff. (No more than a few, and not in years.) However, I always responded to the email to let them know what I had done and tell them I couldn’t do anything more for them. Was that a violation?

[quote=“tjb, post:2, topic:2550”]I have never contacted a recruit or his family or his coaching staff.

I have had some people claiming to represent “recruitable athletes” - that is, high school basketball players- write to me to see if I could get them recruited. I have forwarded those emails to the coaching staff. (No more than a few, and not in years.) However, I always responded to the email to let them know what I had done and tell them I couldn’t do anything more for them. Was that a violation?[/quote]

Nope. That’s exactly what you are supposed to do.

[quote=“tjb, post:2, topic:2550”]I have never contacted a recruit or his family or his coaching staff.

I have had some people claiming to represent “recruitable athletes” - that is, high school basketball players- write to me to see if I could get them recruited. I have forwarded those emails to the coaching staff. (No more than a few, and not in years.) However, I always responded to the email to let them know what I had done and tell them I couldn’t do anything more for them. Was that a violation?[/quote]

No. Incidental contact is OK, as long as it’s brief, civil, and doesn’t involve recruitment. You’re allowed to forward info to the coaching staff.

Looks like Seton Hall could be in some hot water. ;D

jk noobd, I appreciate all the recruit updates

[quote=“LPcreation, post:5, topic:2550”]Looks like Seton Hall could be in some hot water. ;D

jk noobd, I appreciate all the recruit updates[/quote]

Haha, I would respond to this post in an intelligent manner, but I still don’t really understand what the rules are for websites. I need an internet highlighter for the stuff I need to re-read.

Still don’t know what a blog, such as the ones I write for, can exactly do when contacting recruits. I’ve never asked a Seton Hall or Penn State target for an interview on how their recruitment is going, although I was planning on contacting Brian Oliver to see how his visit / transfer process was going sort of piece but he committed within 24 hours of his visit.

I think the key in terms of this site, and sites such as mine is the “Media” aspect. As far as Penn State is concerened, I’m just as much of a media member as FOS or the CDT. I imagine this makes my interview with Thomas “legal”.

That wasn’t the context of this thread but somebody brought it to my attention.

[quote=“NGameday, post:7, topic:2550”]I think the key in terms of this site, and sites such as mine is the “Media” aspect. As far as Penn State is concerened, I’m just as much of a media member as FOS or the CDT. I imagine this makes my interview with Thomas “legal”.

That wasn’t the context of this thread but somebody brought it to my attention.[/quote]

Does Penn State issue you media credentials? If so, I would say that they consider you a media member. If not, I would say that you aren’t and you shouldn’t be contacting recruits.

[quote="NGameday, post:7, topic:2550"]I think the key in terms of this site, and sites such as mine is the "Media" aspect. [b]As far as Penn State is concerened, I'm just as much of a media member as FOS or the CDT.[/b] I imagine this makes my interview with Thomas "legal".

That wasn’t the context of this thread but somebody brought it to my attention.[/quote]

Does Penn State issue you media credentials? If so, I would say that they consider you a media member. If not, I would say that you aren’t and you shouldn’t be contacting recruits.


Yep I’ve had them for 2 seasons now. I’m glad somebody brought this up though. The whole issue is very ticky-tack.

It wasn’t that long ago that PSU wouldn’t issue credentials to any organization that didn’t have a printed product. How times have changed (and that’s not a dig a NGameday, just pointing out the changing media landscape)

[quote=“noobd, post:6, topic:2550”]Haha, I would respond to this post in an intelligent manner, but I still don’t really understand what the rules are for websites. I need an internet highlighter for the stuff I need to re-read.

Still don’t know what a blog, such as the ones I write for, can exactly do when contacting recruits. I’ve never asked a Seton Hall or Penn State target for an interview on how their recruitment is going, although I was planning on contacting Brian Oliver to see how his visit / transfer process was going sort of piece but he committed within 24 hours of his visit.[/quote]

;D

Just giving you a little ribbing for the guy that posts inside info from the Seton Hall board…specifically, this part.

•Recruiting information that is not available to the general public may not be posted on Web sites established by individuals independent of the institution.

“Recruiting information that is not available to the general public may not be posted on Web sites established by individuals independent of the institution.”

That rule sure isn’t followed. Otherwise recruiting websites wouldn’t exist.

No that is very true. Penn State has done a good job accepting the fact that not all news media outlets are printed. I still think print gets a little more access in some regards, but I’m not going to be the one to tell David Jones he hasn’t earned the right to an inside scoop. I’m just happy they’re letting the rest of us come and do our jobs.

[quote=“LPcreation, post:11, topic:2550”]Just giving you a little ribbing for the guy that posts inside info from the Seton Hall board…specifically, this part.

[quote]•Recruiting information that is not available to the general public may not be posted on Web sites established by individuals independent of the institution.
[/quote][/quote]

Have been meaning to respond to this, didn’t have internet access though…

I mean, technically the information I have been posting is not available to the public… but the party I am getting it from (Rivals) is even more guilty (it would seem) as they are getting $$$ from subscriptions in exchange for this information that isn’t available to the public.

I mean, unless Rivals is “established by individuals” that are associated with the university instead of “independent” then I don’t see how the crime is any different.

And this is why the internet and recruiting is such a gray area.

[quote="LPcreation, post:11, topic:2550"]Just giving you a little ribbing for the guy that posts inside info from the Seton Hall board...specifically, this part.

[quote]•Recruiting information that is not available to the general public may not be posted on Web sites established by individuals independent of the institution.
[/quote][/quote]

Have been meaning to respond to this, didn’t have internet access though…

I mean, technically the information I have been posting is not available to the public… but the party I am getting it from (Rivals) is even more guilty (it would seem) as they are getting $$$ from subscriptions in exchange for this information that isn’t available to the public.

I mean, unless Rivals is “established by individuals” that are associated with the university instead of “independent” then I don’t see how the crime is any different.

And this is why the internet and recruiting is such a gray area.


This does get me thinking, though… How does recruiting information become “Public”. If websites independent of the institution (i.e. Rivals) cannot comment, and the institution itself cannot comment on recruits, then how DOES that info become public? I guess a guy like Davey has to print it in a paper somewhere, or some schmuck has to comment on Sportscenter or Jed D’s show or something, otherwise it becomes a chicken-or-the-egg kind of thing.

I bet that being “public” holds true for about 2% of all recruiting information.

[quote="LPcreation, post:11, topic:2550"]Just giving you a little ribbing for the guy that posts inside info from the Seton Hall board...specifically, this part.

[quote]•Recruiting information that is not available to the general public may not be posted on Web sites established by individuals independent of the institution.
[/quote][/quote]

Have been meaning to respond to this, didn’t have internet access though…

I mean, technically the information I have been posting is not available to the public… but the party I am getting it from (Rivals) is even more guilty (it would seem) as they are getting $$$ from subscriptions in exchange for this information that isn’t available to the public.

I mean, unless Rivals is “established by individuals” that are associated with the university instead of “independent” then I don’t see how the crime is any different.

And this is why the internet and recruiting is such a gray area.


This does get me thinking, though… How does recruiting information become “Public”. If websites independent of the institution (i.e. Rivals) cannot comment, and the institution itself cannot comment on recruits, then how DOES that info become public? I guess a guy like Davey has to print it in a paper somewhere, or some schmuck has to comment on Sportscenter or Jed D’s show or something, otherwise it becomes a chicken-or-the-egg kind of thing.

I bet that being “public” holds true for about 2% of all recruiting information.

It can come from the recruit himself or his high school/AAU coaches. Plus, websites like Rivals/Scout etc. most definitely can comment on recruits. While not worded well, I think the NCAA regulation is aimed at Joe Schmo fan websites, not websites run by accredited organizations such as Scout or their subsidiaries, e.g. Fight On State.

So if an “individual” posts something from a $$$ article from one of the various recruiting websites…he violates the rule:)

I’ve wondered if it were a violation if the people running the site, or covering the school for the site, have a connection with the univerisity, i.e. an alum or booster.