New Washington football coach Chris Petersen has (finally) joined the new world of recruiting.
Welcome to Twitter, @CoachPeteUW.
Petersen on Monday became the last Pac-12 Conference coach to join the social-media service, and by Tuesday afternoon already had almost 4,000 followers.
The 49-year-old Petersen still hasn’t scripted his first Twitter message, and he doesn’t plan to do so any time soon. He joined Twitter for one reason: to connect with high-school recruits. Per NCAA rules, coaches are allowed to send private direct messages to recruits, 140 characters at a time.
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“First of all, my Twitter is not for you guys (in the media). It’s for the recruits,” Petersen said Tuesday. “I think when Facebook came out I said: ‘Facebook? No one’s going to do that.’ And when I heard about Twitter, I don’t know how many years ago, I was like: ‘That’s not a good idea. No one is going to do that.’ So I’m still behind the times. It’s always had to do with recruiting, so that’s the best way for us to communicate with those guys, and that’s what it’s all about.”
The NCAA does regulate how many phone text messages coaches can send to recruits.
“That’s my world. I’m good there, but we can’t text them,” Petersen said. “Facebook — about half of them seem to be on it, half of them aren’t. Twitter, it seems like 90 percent of (recruits) or more are on Twitter. That’s the best way to communicate, and I’ve got to try hard to keep up with the times. I’m trying.”
At Boise State, Petersen had banned players from using Twitter, but did not carry the policy over to UW.