I'm not the first person to say this, and I certainly will not be the last. That it has to be said every year is sad, but it does:
DO NOT TWEET RECRUITS.
Don't do it. There's absolutely nothing good that can come from it, despite what those who tweet recruits may think. No, I do not care if you are one of those who "only" tweets encouragement to recruits; that is still creepy. Let's break it down for what it is: An adult man/woman tweeting a teenage boy. Someone could be tweeting "good luck" to these guys and have the best of intentions, and sure that is not nearly as bad as what some idiots send these guys, but it is still best to leave them alone period.
We have not even yet discussed the hundreds of twitter accounts that are set up SPECIFICALLY to tweet "come to ______" at these guys, or even worse -- the people who tweet disgusting, awful things to 17 year olds after they decommit from a school, or change their minds. We also have not discussed the fact that if someone works for, gives money to, or supports the institution that they are lobbying for, chances are they are committing an NCAA violation. I'm not even considering that angle here. All I am saying is maybe it is best to refrain from interjecting comment or opinion into the already difficult decision that a recruit will have to make.
Do you remember back to when you were 17? I do. I barely could decide between Ernest movies on a Friday night, let alone decide which high-profile university I was going to attend and play football for (note: I was not actually recruited for anything at all). People seem to forget that, despite the physical gifts and on-field talents these guys possess, they are still teenagers between the ears. Teenagers that are faced with a big life decision that many of us never had to face at that age. So it goes without saying that they do not need encouragement, or lewd comments, or told that they would look good in this and that color uniform. They don't need any of it: they just need to be left alone so that they can decide what's best for them. It is that simple.
I'm perfectly aware of how many recruits talk about "feeling the love" from fans of a school on social media, but do you want to be that person? I know I don't.
The reality is that with social media like Twitter and Facebook, access to recruits these days is readily available, and it's here to stay for the foreseeable future. There is no way for the NCAA to police who contacts thousands of potential future collegiate athletes on Twitter so those who do so will continue on with no regard or punishment.
In the end, this post probably means nothing to anyone. Those who already take part in this act either see nothing wrong with it, or they simply don't care, but if I'm able to dissuade just one person from tweeting a 17-year-old, then I've done my job. Additionally, for those who will read this and are quick to point out the sins of a rival fanbase in this realm, please refrain. It would take five minutes searching Twitter for anyone to find a faction of ANY fanbase guilty of the above charges. So let's discard the notion that your rival does it more than your school does. That's simply untrue. We all have them, and we -- those who don't see the need to tweet recruits -- may never be able to stop these people from tweeting recruits, but we can sure try.