has grown by 1,382 percent from February 2008 to February 2009, resulting in an increase of about 6.56 million new unique visitors during that time frame. Now several athletic departments are catching onto the trend, using the platform to update fans and reach out to recruits, reports the Daily Reveille. LSU football coach Les Miles congratulated top-three NFL draft pick Tyson Jackson, wished former LSU wide receiver Demetrius Byrd a speedy recovery after his car accident, and bragged about LSU’s performance in the annual spring football game–all during a five-day span using his new Twitter account. USC coach Pete Carroll, Georgia coach Mark Richt, and Tennessee coach Lane Kiffin are among other coaches who frequent their Twitter accounts. Meanwhile, college athletic programs realize they need to be careful to uphold NCAA recruiting rules. The NCAA board of directors approved a ban in April 2007 that disallows coaches to text message recruits. But users who subscribe to someone’s Twitter account can have that person’s messages sent to their mobile device. "As long as the coaches are not using Twitter to contact individual prospective student-athletes and are abiding by other recruiting rules, … there is not an issue with them using Twitter," NCAA associate director for public and media relations Cameron Schuh said…

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