UT makes Facebook friends while recruiting

Christmas Eve marked the first day in which a Tennessee coach could engage in off-campus recruiting since the school announced self-imposed sanctions for NCAA violations Bruce Pearl and his assistants are accused of committing.

Pearl, associate head coach Tony Jones and assistant Steve Forbes remain unable to hit the recruiting trail, but the last day of Vols assistant coach Jason Shay's three-month suspension was Thursday.

While Shay hits the road and the other coaches are forced to stay on the sidelines, that certainly doesn't mean they can't use the powers of the Internet to reach recruits, according to the Knoxville News Sentinel.

In the absence of off-campus recruiting, Forbes and Pearl have been active communicating with players on Facebook.

"It's a good way to communicate with kids because a lot of them are on it every day," said Forbes, the primary recruiter for current UT players Scotty Hopson and Melvin Goins. "You can e-mail them on Facebook, but you can't post on their wall, and you can't (Facebook live) chat.

"We can also send them links to articles or videos."

I'm wondering if the NCAA has rules against excessive usage of the "like" button.

In any case, Pearl won't be able to engage in off-campus recruiting until Sept. 24, 2011, so recruits across the nation would be wise to be on the lookout for a famous Facebook friend hitting up their pages and sending them messages.

Curiously though, the link to Bruce Pearl's Facebook page is broken on the team's website. But so long as there are recruits out there to be had, Pearl will find a way to get in touch -- off-campus recruiting suspension or not.