Sports, business & technology

More Facebook Fun: Pete Carroll’s triumphant return, NCAA brackets and you

carroll-ncaa.jpgMuch has happened since Sportsbiztech broke the news that USC football coach Pete Carroll’s profile had been mysteriously removed from the social networking black hole that is Facebook.

(I boldly state “broke the news” based on the not-so-scientific analysis that, after I blogged, a search for Coach’s name and “Facebook” in Google showed nothing but “Coach joined Facebook” types of entries on the first couple of pages with the exception of mine. I’ll delete that reference if related posts in the blogosphere show an earlier timestamp…)

What happened with Coach Carroll’s profile, it turns out, happened to be a Facebook snafu rather than a legal or privacy issue. 2007 alumnus Ben Malcolmson – who corrected me when I erroneously thought he was still a student (sorry, Ben) – clarified the situation in an e-mail. Malcolmson, who maintains Coach’s Facebook page and writes the USCRipsIt blog, said, “The Facebook page was incorrectly disabled but is now back up. Facebook believed it was a false page, but the air has been cleared.”

Interesting! Instead of a case of stolen identity, Facebook denies the REAL identity of the human being who has now amassed, at latest count, 2,481 friends. (When I joined two weeks ago, I was somewhere in the mid-900s.)

Malcolmson goes on to say that “USC does not have an official policy for its athletes, though many coaches urge their own players to not use Facebook too extensively, if at all. The issues that arise from photos from a party or the like can only mean problems for a student-athlete representing a university, especially an underage student-athlete.”

So, case closed on that puzzling occurrence, and thanks to Ben for clearing the air. Now folks are treated to Coach Carroll’s updates once again, including his latest that reads:

“Pete Carroll is thinking…”BEAT THE WILDCATS.””

This brings me to the second part of my post. Coach Carroll is referring to USC’s first-round opponent, Kansas State, in the NCAA Tournament. That’s right, it’s time for March Madness, where (mostly) American college basketball fans go crazy filling out brackets, trying to figure out whether to go with underdogs or the top seeds for their Final Four. My bracket was a breeze thanks to CBS Sports’ official application on Facebook, which you can go to at Never was filling out a bracket so simple – no pencils or unwanted advice needed – and I can follow my friends’ picks online. Unfortunately for Coach, I didn’t pick USC, whose squad will soon include rapper Lil’ Romeo. I was boring and chose a front-runner. Hint: Change one letter in USC’s acronym.

And the “You” portion of this post’s headline? Well, I’d encourage YOU to follow my lead in creating a bracket, but a report published in the Chicago Tribune last week states that the FBI has actually looked into the CBS Sports/Facebook partnership. That’s because in the U.S., Internet gaming is illegal. The article cites all sorts of reactions from Vegas online gaming lawyers to CBS execs to even the European Union.

So much for avoiding the law in this post. YOU, then, have two options: Move to Europe, or just become a March Madness commentator on YouCastr.


March 19, 2008 - Posted by | basketball, college sports, football, Internet law, Web sites | , , , , , , , ,

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