With the 2015/16 college football season fast approaching, the SEC, the country’s powerhouse conference, held their pre season Media Day on Wednesday.
Student athletes and social media – the good and the bad – are a hot topic these days and they go hand in hand – from players promoting themselves to college coaches using it to contact and woo start athletes. Arkansas head coach Bret Bielema took the topic head on at a press conference where he chose to focus on what types of players he recruits (or doesn’t). Interestingly, the impression of players that he and his staff can glean from social media, particularly Twitter, is something he takes very seriously.
“…you recruit your own problems…I can’t stress enough that just because you’re a great player in the United States of America doesn’t mean Arkansas is going to recruit you. We have a social media background screening that you’ve got to go through, and if you have a social media nickname or something on your Twitter account that makes me sick, I’m not going to recruit you. I’ve turned down players based on their Twitter handles. I’ve turned down players based on Twitter pictures. It’s just that’s how I choose to run our program. I’m never going to waiver in that.”
Bielema is completely unapologetic – his program, his rules. We’re guessing that dozens, perhaps hundreds of high school players nationwide have been passed over by the Arkansas staff because of something they posted online.
If you’re a high school athlete looking to make it in college, this is something you have to take seriously. Even if you think what you’re posting is a joke, someone else may not.
Consider what pro footballer JJ Watt had to say about social media last week:
“Look at every Instagram post about 95 times before you send it. A reputation takes years and years and years to build, and it takes one press of a button to ruin. So don’t let that happen to you. Just be very smart about it.”
Good advice there – don’t post anything unless you’re sure you’re in the clear. Worried about something you may have posted in the past? You can enroll now and let us help you sort it out.
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