Generally even the rules that seem small, petty, or not worth caring about were born out of good intent. People could look at the event that cause the rule to be created and say “Yeah, I can see how that might be an advantage/something you would want to stop.”
But this, from an Education Column published by the NCAA, seems to go a step too far:
Question: May a coach take a photo and use software (e.g., Instagram, Photoshop, Camera Awesome, Camera+,) to enhance the content of the photo (e.g., changed color of photo to sepia tones or add content to the photograph), and send it to a prospective student-athlete as an attachment it to an email or direct social media message?
Answer: No, a photograph that has been altered or staged for a recruiting purpose cannot be sent to a prospective student-athlete.
“Staged or altered for a recruiting purpose” would seem to apply more to instances where the photo was either taken solely for the purposes of recruiting or where the photo was altered beyond just applying a filter. Adding text, using Photoshop to insert the prospect into a scene, mocking up scenes involving the prospect, that sort of thing. What recruiting advantage is possibly gained with sepia tones or a fake old timey frame on a photo? And what cost savings or competitive equity is achieved by restricting the use of free or 99 cent iPhone apps?