Talk about #notgettingit and #dumbrules.
The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) — the organization that makes the rules governing college sports — has banned the display of hashtags and social media URLs on football fields.
That means colleges and universities in the U.S. will have to find other ways to market their Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and other social media presences, along with any hashtags they were using to increase school pride, awareness, and so forth.
A new bulletin (PDF) from the NCAA Football Rules Committee begins by saying “there may be no advertising on the field” and then goes on to list what schools are allowed to put on their football fields. It ends with this warning:
All other items, including social media designations such as URL’s and hashtags, are prohibited.
College and pro sports teams have been active in the last year in promoting their social media presence right. As we reported in late 2011, the Boston Celtics became the first NBA team to paint their @celtics Twitter handle right on the basketball court, and about a month earlier, the Mississippi State Bulldogs had painted the #hailstate hashtag in both end zones of their football field.
(Photo via Ben Waits on Twitter.)
If you follow college sports, this NCAA rule should come as no surprise at all. If you don’t, let’s just say that the organization isn’t exactly known for logical, forward-thinking rules.