FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas football coach Bret Bielema is no stranger to social media.
But sometimes even the well versed on Twitter can get into a little trouble.
It appears Bielema committed a minor NCAA rules violation after tweeting the name of a high school prospect late Wednesday in a post that simply said: “Andy bauer.” The post was taken down quickly, but not after it gained plenty of attention because the NCAA prohibits coaches to publicize or mention unsigned prospects by name.
Bauer — an offensive lineman from DeSmet High in St. Louis — is rated as a four-star prospect by Rivals.com. He has made a verbal commitment to Ole Miss.
Arkansas officials declined to comment on the tweet when asked Wednesday, citing a program policy in which it will not discuss specific NCAA violations or potential violations. Bielema appeared to touch on the situation with his Twitter page Wednesday afternoon, but did not go into much detail about the mistake.
“Spellcheck and autocorrects are a beast sometimes. Life goes on. #NeverYield #WPS,” Bielema posted on his Twitter page, which has more than 63,000 followers.
Bielema isn’t the first to make such a mistake.
In April 2012, Memphis basketball coach Josh Pastner tweeted the name of a prospect before removing the post. Pastner explained to the Memphis Commercial Appeal at the time he was trying to use the search function on Twitter and instead accidentally typed the prospects name into the “compose new tweet”.
The Commercial Appeal said Memphis self reported the minor violation. The school didn’t face any major penalties for the coach’s social media mistake.
Bielema’s error came the same day the Arkansas coach unveiled the cover of the Razorbacks’ 2013 football media guide on Twitter. The cover, which prominently features Bielema, fullback Kiero Small, center Travis Swanson and defensive end Chris Smith, also includes the Twitter handles for all four.
Arkansas called the addition of Twitter handles as a “groundbreaking aspect” which “allows fans to directly interact with the Arkansas football program’s leaders and brings a level of inclusion to fans across the world.” Bielema also has long been a proponent of using Twitter to promote a football program and has been very with social media during his eight months with the Razorbacks.
“I think you can really use it as a tool of establishing not only what you want your program to be, but what you want to be,” Bielema said earlier this year.