in Higher Ed

ESPN explores social media and college sports

ESPN has the first of a four-part series this week on college athletics and the social web. Today’s article is about Twitter and Facebook and how it’s changing the way that coaches recruit.

Here’s an excerpt:

Tim Beckman sees it a different way. The first-year Toledo football coach has been using Twitter — @coachbeckman — as a way to connect with recruits and to try to keep local and in-state players’ minds on the Rockets.

Beckman likened Twitter to Alabama coach Nick Saban’s use of videoconferencing with recruits. It’s a way to push the envelope and get an edge without actually breaking NCAA rules.

“I’ve been around this business my whole life with my dad being a coach, so I know how important the recruiting is and getting quality players that you bring into your program,” Beckman said. “We’re not able to communicate with them as much as we’d all like to be able to communicate, so you’ve got to find ways to do it. And Twitter just happens to be a way that [Toledo] came to me about, so each day I learn more and more about it. It’s not that I know everything about it, but it’s something I think we need to explore.”

Beckman said he tries to tweet on a schedule to make sure it’s always current. He sends one as he’s leaving the house for work, another around lunchtime and then one toward the end of the day. Unlike several other coaches who use Twitter to talk about goings-on in their personal lives, Beckman said he likes to keep the focus on promoting his team and enticing recruits to come to Toledo.

How many of these coaches do we think are actually doing their own tweets?