Sunday, August 9, 2009

THE OTHER WILLIAMS IS THE KING OF TWEETS

Apparently, Gary Williams (whose handle is "MDCoachWillams") leads the ACC head basketball coaches using Twitter with roughly 2,700 followers (and he had tweeted 127 times as of mid-week). Virginia Tech’s Seth Greenberg (HeadHokie) is next with almost 1,800 followers and more than 300 tweets, followed by Clemson's Purnell (CoachPurnell) and Florida State's Leonard Hamilton (FSUCoachHam).

None of the head coaches from the ACC's three Triangle schools are consistently tweecruiting -- yet. But the schools' athletics departments are using Twitter to promote the goings-on in the programs, which could help lure prospects when they choose to take a peek.

Under NCAA rules, coaches can't make comments about specific recruits via public tweets. But there is a feature that allows private, user-to-user direct messaging. Considering these messages can be sent directly to cell phones, it seems a lot like text messaging, which the NCAA forbids between coaches and recruits because the prospects were racking up costly bills. But because recruits can choose whether to have tweets sent to their phones, the NCAA considers it like e-mail, which is legal.

Duke assistant coach Chris Collins (Coach_Collins) said earlier this summer that he found out about Twitter from watching the NBA playoffs. He was curious, checked out the Web site and now has almost 1,400 followers.

"I had no idea how many people were on there tweeting," he said. "I decided to do it to use it as a way to connect with the followers of Duke basketball and give them a feel for what us coaches are up to. I try to use a mix of Duke-related and personal things (kids' activities, NBA playoffs, etc.)."

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