Sunday, August 1, 2010

What do college athletes need to learn about social media?

It is 2010, and Twitter and Facebook have hit recruiting and agent issues full on.

The commissioner of the ACC was forced to make public comments about this mess. Butch Davis, head coach of the UNC Tarheels football team is on video and widely quoted because of his players' involvement.

A player (who I like a lot) on a team that I love, recently made a half dozen Tweets about a recent "social engagement" of his. Sounds like he had a crazy Friday night. Well he didn't like that I posted his public (100% public) Tweets on a blog that follows this particular college (a great blog at that).

As is the right of that blog, they took down my post. I assume because the player got upset. So be it.

But in light of the potential recruiting violations, and increasing involvement of agents and their "runners", I think this player and his college program are actually lucky. Hopefully he and his teammates have learned that their PUBLIC, OPEN, and AVAILABLE comments are actually being READ by people. People who have expectations about conduct and behavior.

I don't care if this young man made some "youthful indiscretions". We've all been there, to some extent or another. But I just don't want his mistakes to hurt the program, or maybe even himself later on in life when he gets drafted and aims for a shoe/apparel deal. I didn't post his comments to that end, but maybe that's a lesson he learns.

So here is to hoping that everyone has learned a lesson, the player moves forward with some more insight into life in 2010, and his team goes on to win their conference (it'd be pretty easy to tell what team I'm talking about given my publicly viewable history of blog posts and Tweets; I'm a die-hard fan).


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