Monitoring of Student-Athletes...
                                                                    ... a new trend!

by Prez Ro, Matteson, IL


Youth & HS Football  Youth & HS Basketball  Youth & HS Baseball  NCAA Sports Pro Sports News More Sports

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I'm almost certain, social media studies will be added to college curriculums especially for student-athletes. After all, some schools are watching a prospective athlete's every move on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

It's no urban legend that athletes have lost scholarship offers and opportunities because of their actions on social media sites.

"We look at social media constantly," one Mid-American Conference school's recruiting coordinator said. "We have several eyes looking at Facebook, Twitter and Instagram all the time. Most of the kids seem to not get the fact that social media is open to the public. They also seem to not understand that scholarship offers have been lost because of things we've seen on social media."

Monitoring behavior of athletes has become a full-time job. Information travels more quickly than some people realize, and tracking social media has become easier thanks to rapid changes in software capability.


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"We see everything from Twitter conversations to friend requests on Facebook to pictures from last night's party on Instagram," one longtime Big East assistant coach said. "We see it all and we share that information back and forth in a moment's notice."

The next time a player is at a party holding a red Solo cup, he or she might want to think twice about posting a picture of that on ANY site. But photos aren't the only incriminating evidence left behind. Times and frequency of posts also are warning signs to colleges.

"It's really honestly as disturbing seeing how often a kid will post/tweet out messages than the actual content," a Big Ten recruiting coordinator said. "Some kids, I swear never put their phones down. I know you have different programs where you can load up posts, but we know the difference right away."

Players are recruited openly on social media, especially by fans, which can be more overwhelming than receiving dozens of pieces of snail mail. What's more effective? Who knows right now?

One thing to note, though, is there may be a price to be paid for behavior displayed on social media. As the Big Ten coach noted, social media is a necessary tool for recruiting today. It's also, as he put it, "the windows to the kids, like it or not."
"We just decided this week to stop recruiting a handful of kids we really liked because of different things we saw on Twitter and Instagram," the Big Ten recruiter said. "(Some of the) kids made a visit here and they seemed like great kid(s) in person but kept up a really disturbing pattern; it's something we just won't deal with. We would rather take a chance on another kid."

Student-Athletes, it's time to get smarter off-the-field of play especially electronically.

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