Notre Dame cracks down on fans recruiting players online
People who love Notre Dame sports tend to really love Notre Dame sports. They love them so much that they'll actually try to jump in on the athlete recruiting process, taking to tools like Facebook and Twitter to encourage blue chip recruits to join with the Fighting Irish.
But according to the rules, such fan recruiting efforts aren't supposed to happen. NCAA law prohibits fans and school boosters from contacting students on a school's behalf, no matter the medium, be it telephone, in person, or online. Recruiting is something to be left to the school's coaches. Interference from fans can directly lead to the school losing out on the chances of signing that recruit.
That's something that Notre Dame's ever-devoted fan base has apparently had trouble grappling, however. Though no story detailing a rules infraction has broken, the school has grown weary of fans reaching out to recruits and getting in the way of the lengthy, complex recruiting process.
Yesterday, Notre Dame's Department of Athletics posted a video to YouTube that explains those rules to fans and asks that they kindly step away from helping recruit new players.
In the video, which is 1:34 long, two fictional Notre Dame vloggers known as Domer Nation take credit for helping to lure "five-star running back Omar Jefferson" into verbally committing to the Irish, telling their viewers that they took him and his family out to dinner just days before he committed.
One of the vloggers also says that he recently launched a Facebook page called "Bring Katrina Jefferson to Notre Dame" to bring the running back's sister to the school when she's eligible.
But that's not cool, as Notre Dame's coaches are quick to interject:
"NCAA rules are clear: Only coaches can recruit on behalf of Notre Dame,” four coaches explain in a round. “It's against the rules for you to contact prospects or their families about Notre Dame, in person, by telephone, or online—through Twitter or Facebook. When boosters violate NCAA rules, the university is accountable.
Leave the recruiting to us."
The school hopes it's a message that will resonate with Notre Dame's massive and adoring fans. But that crowd's proven to be as close as the United States gets to British hooligans, so it's hard to tell just who exactly is listening.
Photo via YouTube