By MATT KELLY
The NCAA recently passed legislation to ban coaches from using social media to connect with recruits. It emphasizes the use of tweeting, following, re-tweeting and favoriting recruits’ tweets and comments on any social media.
As a whole, the NCAA has caused many rifts in the collegiate athletic community. They have lost a lot of support and many believe that schools will start separating themselves from the NCAA and perhaps forming their own associations.
The Austrian philosophy of the lawlessness of too many laws is at work here. The weight of multitudinous laws, regulation and administrative caveats eventually undermine the laws themselves. The laws are burdened unto themselves and, as a result, the general populace.
Too many laws create moral and practical problems. These laws create ignorance of the law, which breeds disrespect for the law, which then leads to lawlessness, which in turn brings a multitude of new laws, such as the laws about social media and other strange recruiting regulations. The purpose of law is to punish behavior that society deems bad and sometimes to reward good behavior. In the case of the NCAA, very few laws punish bad behavior; they are merely there as irritants for coaches who were trying to develop players and build successful programs.
The effectiveness of laws come from knowing the laws, and many of the NCAA laws are hard to understand and hard to follow. Laws need to be simple and slow to change. If they are not, it breeds lawlessness among the whole community, and a sense of pride for rebelling against such laws.
While laws are necessary to create consistent expectations and consequences, the NCAA has gone to the extreme to make the lives of coaches and players difficult. When laws are so easily broken, even if they are minor, it makes even the most honest of coaches and players lawbreakers.