Thursday, November 1, 2012
College Athletes and Twitter
Twitter has taken the world by storm and has had a tremendous impact in the sports world. A question that is frequently being asked and discussed among head coaches around the NCAA is "Should college athletes be allowed to use twitter during in-season competition?". The answer to this question can be addressed by simply pointing to the techniques used by professional scouts who often monitor tweets of potential recruits to get a better understanding of their character and maturity. As it relates to the future career of these athletes, 'trash tweets' may result in contracts not being offered or offers made that with significantly lower salaries.
Controversy can erupt when athletes post something vulgar or offensive to their Twitter of Facebook accounts. This controversy can have immediate or future consequences. For example, the athlete is linked with the university therefore the university is automatically affiliated with that comment. That alone may hurt the affiliated school’s reputation and possibly cause the loss of future recruits.
If you want to make a statement and you want it to be noticed Twitter is definitely the place. Athletes tweet their thoughts at any particular time on any subject. However, Twitter can be the place to make a deplorable mistake; your feelings about a certain topic may change after you've had time to 'cool off', but once you post a tweet you cannot take it back. The backlash you might receive will make you regret the tweet. The concerns are that these tweets come directly from the athlete; it’s their own words, their own thoughts. Their words cannot get twisted or misconstrued because it’s exactly what they wrote.
On a personal note, I do not think it’s right to ban athletes from using social media while in-season because this is the way most young people communicate. Corporations and government officials tweet their opinions but they do so in appropriate professional manner. Athletes should be able to voice their opinions as well but they must understand the possible consequences that come with hasty tweets. Twitter might not be the ideal place to discuss your thoughts about all topics or air your dirty laundry but it can get you rapid attention. Final Thought: If you do not want your mother to see it or hear it, then I don't recommend tweeting it!