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Posted on Mon, Aug 3, 2009 : 2:25 p.m.

University of Michigan football coach Rich Rodriguez attempts to be social (networking-wise) on occasion

By Michael Rothstein

About a year before Michigan football coach Rich Rodriguez joined Facebook, it appeared like he joined the uber-popular social networking site.

Except he didn't. And he didn't know about it until his 13-year-old daughter mentioned it.

"Before I actually started a Facebook, there were imposter Facebooks out there," Rodriguez said. "Several of them."

A year later, Rodriguez joined and now sees it as a viable recruiting tool - yet another way to keep in touch with recruits that increasingly use the Internet as their primary form of communication with, well, everybody.

"I don't do that a lot, but I do that some," Rodriguez said. "That's been beneficial. Now, we can't text message but we do e-mail, so I've learned to e-mail. I don't think it's going to end."

Rodriguez also had been big into Twitter - for about a second. He said he hasn't tweeted for a couple of months, although his Twitter account is updated occasionally - but not necessarily by him.

Unlike other coaches, including The Great Twitterer, Pete Carroll, Rodriguez isn't sure how much of a recruiting tool it truly is.

"I'm probably a little better than JoePa," said Rodriguez, a day after Joe Paterno referred to Twitter as Twittledo. "He's at one end of the scale. Some of my other colleagues do it a lot more than I do.

"That, I think, isn't as much recruiting as it is a fun way to get some message out. I don't think it's a big deal but it's probably a little fun for people who are interested in the program and keep it out there in the consciousness and whatever it is. That's fine."


Some coaches who have been somewhat frequent tweeters are shutting down for the season - most notably Notre Dame coach Charlie Weis. Notre Dame linebacker Brian Smith recently announced he would no longer be Tweeting and wide receivers coach Rob Ianello also said he was shutting it down for the season.

One thing Rodriguez wants to see is what he dubs "video e-mail."

"One of y'all smart people will invent a way to video e-mail so now you'll be talking to somebody five states over and actually see them, like the George Jetson era. That's happening. It's coming. Somebody's going to be inventing that and we'll all use it."

Actually, it's already here. There's Skype, which is more of a video chat. And there's also something called Eyejot and Webcamsoft.


Michael Rothstein covers University of Michigan basketball for He can be reached at (734) 623-2558 or by e-mail at