Texas A&M fans have wound themselves in knots the last few days upon discovering Texas coach Charlie Strong knows how to use Twitter — gasp! — just like their coach, Kevin Sumlin.
#Heavensno. #OhYes. Or, more to the point, #YESSIR.
Sumlin has perfected the art of issuing sporadic, but eye-catching tweets of #YESSIR whenever A&M lands a new commitment. The message from Sumlin’s official Twitter account usually sends a lightning bolt through the A&M fandom.
Former Texas coach Mack Brown was considered a recruiting pioneer, but he never utilized Twitter in that fashion. In fact, his account was relatively dormant until Brown stepped down in December. Now, he’s a Twitter machine.
Strong didn’t tweet much in his first month while crisscrossing the state with his assistant coaches. Now, Strong is settled into his role and unafraid to use Twitter to promote his program in the same fashion as Sumlin.
Another big day in Austin. Continuing to put The T Back In Texas! #letsride
— Charlie Strong (@CoachStrong_) February 24, 2014
This came not long after Rowlett defensive end Charles Omenihu announced on Twitter he committed to the Longhorns.
Strong issued a similar tweet on Saturday after Huntsville offensive lineman Ronnie Major flipped his commitment to Texas from Baylor.
— Charlie Strong (@CoachStrong_) February 22, 2014
NCAA rules have been clear on this issue for years. Coaches and school administrators are not allowed to promote any specific player commitments. In fact, the rules were such that media relations departments could issue announcements on national signing day but nothing else until that player arrived on campus.
As a result, coaches would avoid talking about recruiting for fear of saying the wrong thing. But in this social media age, Twitter has given every coach an outlet to send what amounts to coded messages.
And the fact is, your typical 17- or 18-year-old likes seeing that stuff. Recruits can retweet the coach’s message since they know it was issued specifically for them.
Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops is issuing tweets that say “BOOM” followed by a three-digit number, which is interpreted as a recruit’s area code. Texas Tech’s Kliff Kingsbury goes with #boom.
It’s unclear if the Sooners and Red Raiders are at odds over who hash-tagged it better.
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