I applaud Scott Frost's policy with recruits on social media, but I have a question about that precedent
I don’t like being the “yeah but” guy.
You know him. You wonder why you’re friends with him at times because he always plays devil’s advocate. He’s the guy who after you come up with a great idea, he’s the first to comment with a “yeah but.”
I feel like the “yeah but” guy when it comes to Scott Frost’s new policy on social media with recruits. The new Nebraska coach got praise for coming out and saying that he wouldn’t recruit kids who put anything negative on social media.
Here was the exact quote that he gave while speaking at a camp via Omaha World-Herald:
“And I’ll tell you this right now — if there’s anything negative about women, if there’s anything racial or about sexuality, if there’s anything about guns or anything like that, we’re just not going to recruit you, period. Piece of advice for you — what you put on social media, that’s your résumé to the world. That’s what you’re trying to tell the world you’re all about. That’s how you’re advertising yourself. Be smart with that stuff.”
Round of applause. Golf clap. Kudos. Pat on the back. Well done. Admirable. That’s how it should be.
OK, I got all the nice things out of my system so now I don’t feel quite as bad being the “yeah but” guy. Because there is definitely a “yeah but” to this, and I’m sure Frost knows it.
Yeah, this policy is good in theory, but what happens when Frost deals with situations like this that hit a bit closer to home? What happens if a kid who’s verbally committed to Nebraska puts out inappropriate things on social media? Or better yet, what if a current player does?
Is Frost going to hold committed recruits and current players to the same standard that he’s holding uncommitted recruits to? I don’t question Frost’s intentions, but I do question that.
You see, that’s an extremely smart policy to share publicly in the 21st century. Frost can walk into any living room in America, tell parents that’s the prerequisite standard he holds his recruits to and he’s immediately on the parents’ side. It’s essentially letting them know that Frost and his staff are going to keep their son on his best behavior in all facets of life.
Let me lay out a scenario for you.
Let’s say that a 4-star receiver who’s been committed to Nebraska for over a year has a bad moment on social media. The committed recruit likes or retweets a picture from an account that basically tweets pornography (that’s not uncommon at all for 17-year-old kids). Frost said “if there’s anything racial or about sexuality, if there’s anything about guns or anything like that, we’re just not going to recruit you, period.”
So is the scholarship off the table? Is that how this is going to work?
Let’s paint the scenario with a player who’s actually on Nebraska’s roster. After all, it’s a whole lot more important to monitor players who actually represent the university than it is to watch what some 16-year-old out in California is going.
Let’s say a Nebraska starter does the same exact thing on social media. One like/retweet from an inappropriate account. That’s it. Oh, and by the way, Wisconsin is coming to town in a couple days.
Suspension? Kicked off for a violation of team rules?
If Frost is willing to put the foot down when it comes to a kid he’s thinking about recruiting, one would have to think he’d be even harder on someone in his own locker room, right?
I’m not saying he won’t do that, but that’s going to be an awfully difficult thing to police and enforce. That’s another thing. What does he constitute as “anything about guns?” A lot of football players hunt, and especially in a place like Nebraska.
And what about if it’s a tweet from five years ago? A lot of 13-year-old kids quote rap songs that have racially-suggestive language. Are they forbidden from getting a scholarship from Nebraska because of something they tweeted when they were in seventh grade?
It’s easy to see how this can become extremely subjective, and that’s what I fear will happen. I really do applaud Frost for trying to change the way that kids approach social media. It’s something that certain coaches don’t touch with a 10-foot pole.
But I can’t help but wonder how he’ll carry out this rule. It’s an easy thing to say when you’re speaking in front of people at a random camp. It’s a different story when you have to apply it to someone who is either committed to the program or to someone who’s already in the program.
Should coaches preach the importance of being smart on social media? Absolutely, as long as players and potential recruits are being held to the same standard.
If they aren’t, “yeah but” guy is going to say, “I told you so.”