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The NCAA Bans Coaches From Recruiting Via Instagram

Instagram filters are NCAA violations waiting to happen.

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I would hate to be a college coach. Given the amount of potential NCAA violations out there, I'd be too afraid to ever leave my office.

In the latest official NCAA educational column, which are periodically written "on hot topics [and] intended to assist the membership with the correct application of legislation and/or interpretations," the NCAA lays down the law regarding Instagram, which is an app obviously meant to corrupt the minds of the youth and that needed to be banished.

Institutions are allowed to send prospective athletes photographs during the recruiting process -- that seems so simple we shouldn't have to think about it. But there are very specific restrictions on the type photographs that can be sent. From the NCAA's column:

NCAA Division I institutions should note an institution may send a photograph to a prospective student-athlete as an attachment to general correspondence (printed on plain white paper with black ink) or electronic transmissions, provided the information in the photograph was not altered or staged for a recruiting purpose.

But there's a catch:

Question: May a coach take a photo and use software (e.g., Instagram, Photoshop, Camera Awesome, Camera+,) to enhance the content of the photo (e.g., changed color of photo to sepia tones or add content to the photograph), and send it to a prospective student-athlete as an attachment it to an email or direct social media message?Answer: No, a photograph that has been altered or staged for a recruiting purpose cannot be sent to a prospective student-athlete.

[UPDATE]: Today the NCAA has issued a clarification regarding its stance on Instagram. It reads:

Schools can and do use Instagram in all sorts of ways: to promote events, post game highlights and give a sense of what it’s like to be on campus We at the NCAA regularly use Instagram for similar purposes.There is no NCAA ban of Instagram. Schools just can't alter the content of photos – and to be clear, we do not consider Instagram’s filters as content alteration – and then email them directly to recruits.

As of this morning, the original educational column has not been updated with this change. The NCAA also posted this photo on their Instagram feed.

(h/t Mississippi Recruiting Report)