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NCAA Bans College Coaches From Using Instagram to Recruit Athletes

Mobile apps with retro filters such as Instagram and Hisptamatic have been very polarizing in the photo industry, but the latest member of the anti-Instagram camp has many people scratching their heads. The NCAA has banned college coaches from using Instagram filters while recruiting prospective athletes.

The relevant section in the NCAA rulebook bans not just Instagram, but a number of other photo editing programs/apps as well:

Question: May a coach take a photo and use software (e.g., Instagram, Photoshop, Camera Awesome, Camera+,) to enhance the content of the photo (e.g., changed color of photo to sepia tones or add content to the photograph), and send it to a prospective student-athlete as an attachment it to an email or direct social media message?

Answer: No, a photograph that has been altered or staged for a recruiting purpose cannot be sent to a prospective student-athlete.

The move has received a pretty negative reaction from the press, with commentators calling it “lunacy” and citing it as yet another example of the NCAA being “out of touch“.

It’s interesting that the NCAA is the organization to ban filtered photos while reputable news organizations have embraced them.

(via NCAA via NBC Sports)


Update: The NCAA has issued a statement in response to the controversy this has generated:

An NCAA educational column posted online that discussed the alteration of photos used for recruiting purposes has generated much discussion because of its inclusion of Instagram as an example. The educational column is being updated. The NCAA has issued the following statement:

“Schools can and do use Instagram in all sorts of ways: to promote events, post game highlights and give a sense of what it’s like to be on campus We at the NCAA regularly use Instagram for similar purposes.

“There is no NCAA ban of Instagram. Schools just can’t alter the content of photos – and to be clear, we do not consider Instagram’s filters as content alteration – and then email them directly to recruits.”

So they don’t consider Instagram filters to be content alteration, but they do consider sepia toning to be? Interesting…


Image credit: First Cal football game! by neil conway