Mental mistakes will kill your winning opportunities. Before u can win a game you can't lose one.
— Bret Bielema (@BretBielema) February 3, 2013
If I had to give one piece of advice to coaches looking to embrace social media it would probably be to keep it strictly to commenting on your current team and only your current team. Don't argue back with rival fans, don't tell us
Arkansas head coach Bret Bielema might be wise to take my advice. It's free Bret, so feel free to help yourself.
Bielema may have been caught committing a minor violation of NCAA rules when he accidentally tweeted the name of a potential recruit, Andy Bauer. Bauer is a four-star offensive tackle who is currently lined up in the Ole Miss recruiting class for 2014. Auburn blog College and Magnolia made sure to retweet the potential violating tweet before Bielema could erase the tweet in question Wednesday night.
RT @BretBielema: Andy bauer
— College and Magnolia (@CollegeAndMag) July 11, 2013
While the rules concerning social media under NCAA policy may be archaic in some respects, there is little gray area here. Tweeting at recruits is a simple no-no for coaches, recruiting staff, players and fans. Bauer committed to Ole Miss in March, but that has not stopped Bielema and his staff from making a push to flip his commitment over to the Razorbacks. In June Arkansas stuffed Bauer's mailbox with over 20 handwritten letters, which in fairness is relatively mild in SEC territory with some of the other mailbox stunts we have witnessed previously.
Bielema has been a trip on Twitter since joining the Razorbacks. From dueling with disgruntled Wisconsin Badger fans to going tweet-to-tweet with rival coaches, Bielema is entering his SEC tenure as brash as he ever was in the Big Ten. You have to think that we are just getting started. If there is something to be said about Bielema's bad Twitter habits it is that he gets people talking about him. In a division that features Nick Saban and Les Miles and sees Kevin Sumlin and Hugh Freeze turning heads, perhaps the old adage suggesting there is no such thing as bad publicity is the play for Bielema. He tweets without fear, and if players see that as a sign of his true character, that could sway some opinions about Arkansas moving forward.
But for Bielema's best interests, sometimes it is best to pause and think before you tweet.
Helmet sticker to SB Nation.