College football recruiting and social media have a bittersweet relationship, just ask new Arkansas head coach Bret Bielema.
Jared Shanker of ESPN.com tweeted about a tweet sent on Bielema's handle that simply featured the name "Andy Bauer":
Arkansas coach Bret Bielema tweeted "Andy bauer". Arkansas might want to hope it's another Andy Bauer and not the 2014 prospect— Jared Shanker (@JShankerESPN) July 11, 2013
As Shanker points out, Andy Bauer happens to be the name of a 2014 4-star offensive tackle recruit, who just so happens to be committed to Ole Miss.
Bauer is a big commitment for the Rebels, checking in as the No. 7 offensive tackle, according to the 247Sports Composite rankings.
John Talty of Clarionledger.com sheds more light on what the errant Tweet means for Bielema. By tweeting Bauer's name, he actually had committed a secondary recruiting violation, per Talty:
Coaches are prohibited from publicizing prospective recruit names through any sort of media. Additionally college coaches are prohibited from tweeting at recruits on Twitter.
Not surprisingly, Bielema's Tweet was deleted (Shanker), but of course, it was captured and retweeted.
Ben Jones of StateCollege.com retweeted Bielema, providing proof that it actually happened (h/t Talty):
Just so happens to be committed to Ole Miss RT @BretBielema Andy bauer— Ben Jones (@Ben_Jones88) July 11, 2013
Usually it's the recruits who end up doing something silly on social media—especially on Twitter—but coaches have been known to make mistakes as well. Considering the amount of recruiting rules and regulations the NCAA enforces, something is bound to happen.
That's all this likely was by Bielema, a mistake. He probably tried to search Bauer's name to direct message him and didn't realize that he was actually sending a tweet to his over 63,000 followers. Coaches can send direct messages to recruits as much as they want, but as soon as it goes public, it becomes a violation, according to the NCAA. It was careless and it will cost him in some way with the NCAA, but it will be an insignificant blip on the radar when looking back on the Razorbacks' 2014 recruiting cycle.
That is unless somehow Bauer ends up flipping to Arkansas. If Bielema is trying to talk to Bauer on Twitter, perhaps he's still trying to recruit the huge offensive tackle.
If that happens, this would certainly be a memorable moment for Arkansas, and it would be one that Bielema and his staff could chuckle about behind closed doors.
Until then though, it's just a stupid secondary recruiting violation.