Considering how many potential NCAA violations the official twitter account for Syracuse athletics has committed the past few years, you'd swear the school's social media director was a saboteur trying to get the Orange in trouble.
The latest mistake came Friday when a tweet from the account urged Syracuse fans to "get your Tyler Ennis jersey while their still available" and included a link to a page where No. 11 jerseys could be purchased. The tweet was hastily removed because it would appear to violate NCAA rules forbidding schools to make money off an athlete's likeness.
"Somebody made an error," Syracuse chief of communications Joe Giansante told the Syracuse Post-Standard. "Someone who was constantly drilled and communicated with and educated about this had a brain lapse. It was an honest mistake."
Including Ennis' name in the tweet is at least the third social media gaffe the school has made recently.
Last March, Syracuse's official account tweeted a link to a story falsely claiming Jim Boeheim had been asked to retire. In Oct. 2011, the school's account tweeted "DAJUAN COLEMAN IS COMING TO 'CUSE!" when the coveted power forward announced his commitment but long before he signed his letter of intent. School officials are not allowed to comment on unsigned recruits.
The good news for Syracuse is that the Ennis tweet will likely be secondary violation that carries no real penalty for the player or school. The bad news is the tweet will make the school a target of jokes ridiculing the hypocrisy of the NCAA's methods of profiting off student-athletes without compensating them.
It's no coincidence the jersey the school chose to sell belongs to Ennis, the star point guard who bolstered his candidacy for national freshman of the year by burying a game-winning 35 footer earlier this week at Pittsburgh. Schools have long sold merchandise in student stores and online featuring the jersey numbers of their most prominent players but lacking the names on the back.
What's hilarious is that someone uneducated in the rules of the NCAA made the obvious conclusion Syracuse was selling Ennis' jersey.
That's exactly what the school is doing, of course. They just aren't allowed to acknowledge it.