Golden Nuggets: Are Harbaugh's Tweets Potential Recruiting Violations?

To help jump-start Twist's dream of starting up All Right Now, his Stanford SBN site, today we take a look at the cryptic tweets from none other than Jim Harbaugh.  Andy Staples has spent an inordinate amount of time reading and analyzing these mysterious tweets.  Harbaugh talks about everything from Greek Gods to air conditioning to Jack Bauer, but Staples is convinced these often refer to recruits.  In fact, Harbaugh may even be using these tweets to try to steal a recruit who is considering Cal!

For the bulk of his 13-month Twittering life, Harbaugh has walked right up to the line that separates benign recruiting updates designed to excite fans and violations of NCAA rule 13.11.2, which forbids coaches and other university personnel from commenting on recruits other than a simple confirmation that the player is being recruited. For example, nine days after he joined Twitter, Harbaugh offered his first recruiting update. "More good news for Stanford football coming soon," Harbaugh wrote on May 29, 2009. "We just got a call."

Anyone who checked Rivals.com shortly after the tweet could figure out that the call came from Denton, Texas, offensive lineman Cole Underwood, who committed to Stanford on that day. Harbaugh's recruiting updates remained similarly obvious for almost a year, but then something changed.

Either Harbaugh's compliance officer asked Harbaugh to get a little more cryptic, or Harbaugh simply got bored. Because in April of this year, Harbaugh began having more fun with his commitment tweets. Take this one from April 27:

So glad for the phone call I just received. Big news & big addition for the Cardinal. The history books will judge April 27 better than OK.

A quick check of Rivals.com revealed that Salisaw, Okla., offensive lineman Garrett Gladd committed to the Cardinal on April 27. Get it? "So glad ..." Gladd. Better than "OK." Gladd lives in Oklahoma, where the thinly veiled tweets come sweeping down the plain.

Harbaugh probably realized quickly that he made that one too easy. On May 7, he left a little more to the imagination with this tweet:

I received a Big call, Strong news that leaves the Cardinal riding Tall in the saddle tonight!

The first two unusually capitalized letters tell us the commitment came from a Big, Strong player -- and possibly that Harbaugh read a lot of Hunter S. Thompson in his formative years. So we should assume the Cardinal received a commitment from a lineman on May 7. The third (Tall) and a check of Rivals reveals the mystery man to be 6-foot-5 Parker, Colo., offensive tackle Brendon Austin, who at the time of his commitment was the tallest member of Stanford's 2011 recruiting class.

After the jump Jerome Randle and Pat Christopher get ready to play in the NBA Summer League, Ted Miller thinks highly of Shane Vereen, and more.

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