You may or may not remember Jay Norvell's Twitter snafu back in February of this year, but according to a report from the Associated Press Wednesday evening he narrowly avoided a one game suspension. On the chance you don't remember what happened, we'll give you the Cliffs Notes version.
Norvell, via his Twitter account, contacted several recruits through the social media site expressing his and OU's interest in potentially offering them a scholarship. He did so mistakenly under the impression he had done so privately via Twitter's 'direct message' feature. He didn't. Which meant the public had access to what the NCAA deems a "written offers of financial aid to juniors, which was prior to the permissible date in which an institution can provide written offers of aid to prospects."
More from the AP's report:
Norvell immediately reported the violation and "further indicated that he understood 'written offer' to be offers made through traditional general correspondence" pursuant to NCAA rules, the OU letter said. "Norvell did not realize that something as impersonal as a direct message could or would be considered a written offer of financial aid pursuant to NCAA rule."
OU also said Norvell sent a letter to the six prospects, telling them he had violated an NCAA rule and rescinding the offer, although he said in those letters that Oklahoma still would recruit them. The university required Norvell to attend a 2012 NCAA rules seminar and banned the football staff from sending general correspondence and electronic correspondence for two weeks to the six prospects.
The university said it also provided specific rules education to its entire football staff pertaining to written offers of financial aid, electronic correspondence and the use of social media during the recruiting process.
Also per the AP's report, the university filed an appeal on Norvell's behalf in October citing similar cases at a number of other schools where in suspensions were not handed down. The NCAA provided no reason as to their decision not to enforce the suspension other than that they had reevaluated the case and set aside the initial decision.
All of which begs the question, how many other coaches have likely made similar offers to the ones Norvell did, via a similar method, only to not make the mistake of doing so publicly? Even in an uneducated guess, one would assume any number of coaches have done something very similar. That said, it was still a mistake on Norvell's part and one he apparently almost paid for in the form of a suspension.
You gotta love technology, right?