I cannot help but remember Bob Dylan’s song “The Times They Are A-Changin'” when I think of how some sports teams are handling social media. The Texas Tech football program is the most recent example of the mishandling of social media. They have completely banned Twitter from their players. (Link: Texas Tech Football bans Twitter)
There is a fear of the unknown within athletic programs. A proactive approach is the key when it comes to social media.
As linked in the previous post, some programs are handling it better than others by drawing up guidelines for players and consequences for any social media misconduct. Completely refusing social media from players is not the answer. There is a fear of the unknown within athletic programs. A proactive approach is the key when it comes to social media. If they educate their players and staff with what is acceptable and what is not appropriate on Twitter, Facebook, etc., along with implementing consequences for misconduct, they will limit the number of infractions to few, if any.
If athletic programs do not adapt to the changing pace of information and the emergence of social media then not only will they be left behind but they could also find themselves covering up or cleaning up a damaging situation that could have easily been avoided.