Tag: social media education
A video posted to the Twitter account of NFL prospect and former Ole Miss football player Laremy Tunsil cost him anywhere from $7-12 million dollars. The video, posted just minutes before the NFL draft started, showed what was believed to be Tunsil smoking weed through a gas mask bong. Not only does this go against the contract but also the health brand deals and the rules of the game as well. Only if he had used of the 180 Smoke vapes, he could have avoided such a massive hit to his career.
We recently published the results of our 2016 survey on the social media use of student-athletes. Thanks to the more than 1300 college athletes from every level of competition who took the time to take part in the survey. If you are a coach or administrator, take some time to dig through the numbers. It’s our 4th year to do this survey and the information, we believe, is really valuable. It gives us good insight into this group as it regards to their social media habits.
Some highlights/takeaways from the results
Each year since 2013 we’ve compiled survey results from college athletes about their social media use. As we spend time on campuses around the country, it’s important that we continue to pay attention to trends in the platforms they use and their behavior on these platforms. The information is also important to coaches and administrators as they are the ones spending time each day with the players. The more informed they can be, the better and more relevant their conversations around this topic will be. We can’t have coaches out there trying to have a conversation about the use of MySpace and expect student-athletes to pay attention. You can see the results from 2013 here, 2014 here and last year here.
We collected responses over the last few weeks. In total, we have over 1300 student-athletes respond. We’ll analyze the results in a later post, but here are the numbers.
As we head full speed into a new year, it’s always good to step back and reflect on the previous year. To understand where we’ve come from, where we are, and where we’re going. And, hopefully, to celebrate. Thanks to you, 2015 brought us many reasons to celebrate.
Kirk Herbstreit, in my opinion, is one of the best analysts in college football. He knows his stuff, he relates well to fans, he let’s you know where he stands, and he has fun. I’m a big fan. That said, Kirk – and the media members, coaches and administrators who agree with him – needs to re-evaluate his position on student-athletes using social media. Kirk went on ESPN Radio this morning on the Mike & Mike show. When asked what advice he would give to coaches, he had this to say (courtesy of 247 Sports):
“My recommendation in the future for all coaches – and I don’t know if you could control this – is get players away from social media; college players,” Herbstreit said. “Because what I find is it’s counterproductive. And I know it’s freedom of speech and you guys should get on this topic some time. And I don’t know how you’d control it. But I’ve never seen a team as active as Ohio State on social media and kind of going back-and-forth, whether it’s the fans, or media, or whatever it might be.
“You can say it doesn’t affect you, but at the end of the day it does. I would do everything in my power if I were a coach in today’s climate to say, ‘Hey guys, camp starts August 1 and your phones and social media, they get put on the sidelines until we’re done playing. You’re not going to engage. You’re not going to get involved. Because there’s nothing good that comes out of that.’
“I think in some weird way, that may have had some sort of impact on Ohio State, because those guys, they were tweeting more than they were practicing it seemed like sometimes. Those guys were really, really active – and kind of cute – on social media. And they need to put that away. All teams, in my mind, needs to put that stuff away.”
“It’s not always what they tweet out and what they send, it’s what they read and what people can say to them is the thing I have a problem with.”
Many things keep administrators up at night. One of those things, not surprisingly, is what their student-athletes are doing online. “What are they posting? Who will see it? Will I get an email at 2:00 in the morning about it? Will I wake up to find one of our players on Deadspin for something she tweeted?”
What players post is out of the control of administrators and coaches – no matter what policies you have in place. It’s one of the main reasons social media education is so important. Given how much time college students spend online, and how much of a magnifying glass is on what student-athletes post, we must be intentional to educate, equip and empower them to use it well.
In our leadership sessions with teams and departments, we use a tool to decrease gossip and drama. It’s a visual tool that asks 3 questions.
Today we have a guest post from our friend Morgan Crutchfield. Morgan is a writer and photographer who studies the dynamics of social media and sports. Find her on Twitter @CentralMorgan. Enjoy!
Social Media can be a scary thing to tackle as a coach; the need to address athletes’ social media usage may be overwhelmed by fear of failure to cover all the issues or intimidation related to opening a Pandora’s Box by talking about social at all. Attempts to create guidelines start to look like exercises in making long lists of don’ts and the ever-changing landscape of apps and platforms seems to create more work and more room for error. But as we learn more about athletes’ relationships with their teammates and peers, we’re learning that a restrictive social media plan is not only not effective for teams, it fails to capitalize on the power of positive social.
While there is certainly value in setting boundaries with your players and possibly even providing examples of social media disasters to prove the point, educating on what not to do should only be a small part of the plan. Because while social media can be a gateway to some exceptionally negative consequences for athletes who use it only as a megaphone for poorly thought-out posts, it can also be an incredibly powerful set of tools to help athletes build both team unity and self image.
Where should you start? Like any skill on the field, wise social media use starts with practice, so I’ve developed a “drill” that will help your athletes understand how to use social media for good and at the same time will utilize the networks they’re on for hours at a time .
Over the last few weeks we’ve been compiling data on our third annual survey looking at the social media use of collegiate student-athletes (can see the results from our 2013 survey here and 2014 here). This isn’t a perfect science but it does allow us a good look into how college athletes use social media. This helps us be more effective in our social media education and training sessions, and also provides valuable insight as we help athletics departments craft social media strategies.
This year we had nearly 1000 student-athletes participate. We owe a huge thanks to the administrators who passed on the survey and encouraged their student-athletes to take it, and of course to those who took the time to fill it out.
Here are the results of our 2015 survey on the social media use of student-athletes:
Thanks to you, 2014 was our best year yet. From January to December, you’ve kept us busy and we’ve loved every minute. How busy? Let’s look:
- We traveled more than 45,000 miles
- Visited over 40 campuses and conferences in 15 states (many thanks to Southwest and Delta for getting us to and fro safely)
- Educated more than 25,000 student-athletes, coaches and administrators about how to use social media well
- Helped programs from every level – NAIA up to the Power 5 conferences – see direct, measurable results from developing and executing effective social media strategies across a variety of platforms
- Launched Fieldhouse Leadership to help develop leaders worth following in collegiate athletics
Fieldhouse Media is an award-winning firm dedicated to helping athletics departments get the most out of their social media efforts, from educating student-athletes and staff to providing an overall strategy. To find out more about us or to join the more than 70 schools utilizing our services for their athletics department, contact us today.
One of the arguments against allowing student-athletes to use social media is how accessible it makes them to fans. Fan, of course, is short for fanatic. To say that people are passionate about sports would be quite the understatement. Online, that passion and fanaticism can and is taken to extreme, and sometimes flat out disturbing levels. We’ve seen “fans” wish death upon athletes through Twitter, call them racial slurs, tell them they are horrible and should give up their scholarship, and any number of other criticisms you can imagine.
Tweets like this are unacceptable. I’m no legal expert, but I firmly believe that legal action should be taken when somebody threatens to take a gun and 30 bullets to a team bus. This is something the Supreme Court is actually considering.
It’s the ugly side of Twitter for many public figures. In an article on Mashable, Bill Voth of Spiracle Media, who works with a number of professional athletes, had this to say about the topic, “Trolls are getting louder and more powerful, and I think ultimately this is one of the biggest threats to Twitter itself.” He’s right. Student-athletes are humans (and, for the most part, kids). Nobody deserves this type of abuse. If something isn’t done, it may drive public figures away from the platform.