Example of a College Athletic Social Media Policy

[lead]RecruitLook Scouts discuss with high school athletes and their parents all the time about the importance of social media in the college recruiting process. The impact social media might have on a recruit’s college recruiting is significant; it can be helpful or harmful. We’ve outlined an entire section discussing social media. College athletic programs fully understand the impact that social media can have on its institution. That is why schools are putting an emphasis on monitoring social media with their student-athletes.[/lead]

Below is an example of a College Athletic Social Media Policy.

Dear Example University Student-Athletes,

As you begin participation in another athletic season, the Athletic Department of Example University wants to make sure you are aware of the revised social networking guidelines. Example University and the Athletic Department recognize and support the student-athletes’ rights to freedom of speech, expression, and association, including the use of social networks.

In this context, however, each student-athlete must remember that playing and competing for Example University is a privilege. As a student-athlete, you represent Example University and you are expected to portray yourself, your team, and the university in a positive manner at all times.

Below you will find our social networking guidelines which provide the following guidelines for social networking site usage:

-Everything you post is public information – any text or photo placed online is completely out of your control the moment it is placed online – even if you limit Access to your site. Information (including pictures, videos, and comments) may be accessible even after you remove it. Once you post a photo or comment on a social networking site, that photo or comment becomes the property of the site and may be searchable even after you remove it.

-What you post may affect your future. Many employers and college admissions officers review social networking sites as part of their overall evaluation of an applicant. Carefully consider how you want people to perceive you before you give them a chance to misinterpret your information (including pictures, videos, comments, and posters).

-Similar to comments made in person, the Example University Department of Athletics will not tolerate disrespectful comments and behavior online, such as:

  • Derogatory language or remarks that may harm my teammates or coaches; other Example University student athletes, teachers, or coaches; and student-athletes, coaches, or representatives of other schools, including comments that may disrespect my opponents.
  • Incriminating photos or statements depicting violence; hazing; sexual harassment; full or partial nudity; inappropriate gestures; vandalism, stalking; underage drinking, selling, possessing, or using controlled substances; or any other inappropriate behaviors.
  • Creating a serious danger to the safety of another person or making a credible threat of serious physical or emotional injury to another person.
  • Indicating knowledge of an unreported school or team violation—regardless if the violation was unintentional or intentional.

The on-line social network sites are NOT a place where you can say and do whatever you want without repercussions. The information you post on a social networking site is considered public information.

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