Sponsored by IMG Academy

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Recruiting on Twitter; King Hurt, Unable to Play for Buzz; NBC Tape-Delay Controversy Wrap-up

Thanks to a Twitter follower, I learned of this excellent Washington Post story on the use of Twitter in college recruiting. I posted a couple of articles about this back in May, but I learned some new rules from this one. One of them was that Twitter's Direct Message system, which is private communication between two Twitter accounts, is not regulated by the NCAA. This means text messaging between coaches and recruits, which was prohibited two years ago, is for all intents and purposes back. The cost factor was one of the reasons cited by the NCAA for the cell phone text ban, and with Twitter being a free service, that is no longer pertinent. And another interesting point:

What could make a difference in recruiting is whether coaches do their own tweeting, according to Jerry Meyer, the national basketball recruiting analyst for Rivals.com. Some coaches do not write their own posts, or they funnel their thoughts through a university official, though NCAA rules stipulate that any direct messages from a coach to a recruit must be written by the coach. But a coach whose tweets seem genuine -- or a coach who utilizes the site to covertly communicate with prospects -- makes the recruiting process more intimate.

There's not much doubt that USC football coach Pete Carroll, with almost 30,000 followers, is writing his own tweets, but since he is following only 18 people, most of them celebrities, I'm not sure he's doing much recruiting via Twitter.

The New York Buzz has played three matches and after their opening win over the short-handed Philadelphia Freedoms, has lost to the Boston Lobsters, and last night, to the New York Sportimes. Domijan and Stephens were back from Wimbledon and Evan King was too, but as this Daily Gazette story recounts, King was unable to play when he was hit in the eye while warming up and had to be taken to the emergency room. Matt Kandath was called in to substitute again when King couldn't play. I'm told that King will be wearing an eye patch for a few days, and will see a specialist, but could return to compete for the Buzz.

For those of you as frustrated as I was about NBC's tape-delay of Wimbledon broadcasts, here is a collection of opinions from writers about how it can be fixed and whether it will be, put together by Sports Business Daily.

As someone who is interesting in growing the sport (I don't believe that's on NBC's agenda), I think the lack of live televised tennis is one of the barriers to that growth. When young kids can't see the sport and its top competitors, they gravitate to sports that they can see regularly. Any sport is diminished when it's not deemed important enough to preempt Martha Stewart or Rachel Ray or Access Hollywood, and the vicious cycle of fewer viewers leads to less coverage leads to fewer potential viewers continues.


Austin said...

Toss in the fact that ESPN has quietly stopped showing Masters Series events abroad and the early rounds of tournaments here in the states.

The people on the west coast had it much worse than those on the east and folks in the central time zones. Because NBC shows coverage at the same time for all time zones it was delayed another 3hrs out west and ESPN didnt come back with live coverage in the afternoon, just 3hrs of ESPN news.

P_de_Fermat said...

Wimbledon deserves a "shout out" for the extras they give the Juniors: a beautiful set of high quality memorabilia, 50 pounds ($80) credit for the gift shop, player passes with 20 pounds daily food credit good through the end of the tournament, whether you are still in the tournament or not. These are very simple, but impressive gestures that make the Juniors seem special and not just an afterthought.

Lisa said...

Where was The Tennis Channel in all this? They bill themselves as "Home of the Slams" yet showed no live matches during the two weeks of Wimbledon. Can someone with some industry knowledge please explain that one to me?

Joy said...

Lisa: Tennis Channel has some rights to all of the majors but doesn't have any rights to Wimbledon except for the Wimbledon Primetime show (that airs when there are no live matches being played).

Austin: Tennis Channel airs wall-to-wall live coverage of Monte-Carlo, Rome, Madrid, Shanghai, & Paris. 10-14 hours a day throughout the tournament. All the singles matches on the t.v. courts are aired live.

09 NCAA Champs said...

Sorry, off topic, but just saw George Husak is new assistant coach at USC.

get real said...

The problem is, tennis is not a high ticket sport. I personnally do not know who saw wimbleton, let alone the finals. Some people have a hard time with the foreigners ect. I have heard tennis is on the decline. espn is showing old football games ect. My family will not sit and watch tennis, they do not think it is exciting enough.

Tennis Channel said...

Unfortunately the hard core tennis fans are a small minority. Dick Ebersol might get 500 emails about Wimbledon coverage, but would get a million with a snafu of football coverage, etc. The bottom line is w/ ratings. If a network can get the viewer numbers, they'll work harder to improve the coverage.

The solution is the Tennis Channel. Hopefully they'll get more rights and also into more homes.

Austin said...

Tennis Channel has way too many replays. I was so excited to get it two years ago, but quickly realized it wasnt all that great.