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Texas A&M Coach Violating NCAA Rules?

It's come to our attention that a Texas A&M football coach, Van Malone, has a MySpace page.  On that page, available to the public, Coach Malone, officially listed on the Texas A&M athletics website as a cornerbacks coach, has numerous "friends."  Those who use MySpace know that users can list other users as friends.  To do this, users simply view the profile of another user and click on the button to add them as friends.


Texas A&M Cornerbacks Coach Van Malone

What's curious in this case, though, is that among Coach Malone's listed "friends" are 16 year old high school football players.

For one example, Coach Malone is friends with Isaac Kerr, a 16 year old tailback from Richmond, Texas.

Is this a violation of NCAA rules? According to the NCAA's publication on the use of technology in recruiting, this type of communication appears to violate several of the listed rules, including using video and internet communication to solicit recruits.

Further, it is my understanding that collegiate coaches cannot contact a recruit before his junior season. The above player, Isaac Kerr, has yet to begin his junior year of play. Whether this constitutes an NCAA violation is something someone more intimately familiar with NCAA rules could determine - it's beyond my scope.  But it certainly doesn't look good.

Readers: Please do not, under any circumstance, contact the Texas A&M coach or any of the players listed as friends on his website. We draw your attention to this situation, but do not, in any way, endorse or encourage you to contact, in any form, these people you do not know. Please respect their privacy.

Update [2006-7-12 12:33:13 by HornsFan]: A source intimately familiar with recruiting informs Burnt Orange Nation that there's a lot of gray area in these new personal pages and that the NCAA will probably address it in the next year or two. For now, it appears that this kind of contact is -not- a recruiting violation. In our view, it still looks bad, and if I were Mack Brown or another coach, I'd probably not want my coaches using MySpace.

--PB--