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NCAA rule changes way coaches and players interact on social media

Morgantown, W.VA. – Anyone with a Facebook, Twitter or Instagram account has watched how Coach Neal Brown has found ways to interact with his players and team via the varying platforms. Brown met with members of the West Virginia media this week and informed those tuning in that those social media interactions were coming to a stop.

The NCAA has implemented a new rule that no longer allows coaches to like or comment on their players’ social media posts.

This new rule now prohibits Coach Brown, and coaches around the country, from having any interactions with their team via social media. Prior to this rule being implemented, Brown has shown his good-natured humor and offered fans a glimpse into his relationships with the Mountaineers; and that’s something you didn’t get to see so easily 10-20 years ago.

The tweet above goes on to show Brown with a laughing emoji saying “Done” to Sunahara. It is clear that there is nothing going on in the exchange that would be considered below the board, but rather a coach finding a way to interact with his team in a way that’s relatable to the players: social media.

Social media is still a relatively new concept in sports, especially collegiate sports, as there was no real public platform for players 20 years ago. Now, players and coaches alike have social media accounts that good or bad give fans a glimpse into their lives. Prior to the rule forbidding interaction, coaches such as Brown were able to check in, joke, encourage and find a way to relate and touch base with their players. Now, it is not allowed to like or comment back to their team; meaning coaches will be able to observe social media but not react (good, bad, or otherwise).

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