Research Post #4

Ramos, R. (2013). Social Media and Educating Student-Athletes on Responsible Engagement. CoSIDA Digest 1, 35-36. Retrieved from http://eds.a.ebscohost.com.proxy.lib.miamioh.edu/eds/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?sid=64e60ccb-c4ea-4763-bc31-d4b6bd3f2d75%40sessionmgr4002&vid=12&hid=4108

I found an article that I think is very beneficial for student-athletes to know because the way that social media is utilized comes with responsibility with what athletes are putting on all social media sites that will help or hurt their image. This article is about Daniel Hour from the University of Washington who is the Athletics’ Manager of New Media and Recruiting Services. Since social media has become so big the reason Hour has the job he does is because of how important and crucial social media is. This article helps to understand that social media had been underestimated but now is so important for student-athletes and fans. Hour said that from his previous jobs/experiences that helped him become successful with his current job is from working with coaches and understanding their needs and wants. Finding out these needs and wants allowed Hour to approach this from a solution-based approach perspective because not every coach wants or needs the same things from him. Student-athletes will tend to make mistakes because the usual age for college athletes are from 18-22 so allowing athletes to receive education on how to properly use social media outlets will allow them to positively attract themselves to the best schools not just based on their talent but their character. When recruiting athletes universities, coaches and athletic directors and managers such as Hour are figuring out who the athletes are through their networks while watching them play as an athlete. There are three main themes they give in a presentation for athletes that UW has in their department social media policy, which are:

1. Think before you tweet.

2. it’s a privilege to play for UW, not a right.

3. Is this how you want to make ESPN?

It does differ between teams with social media, for example a player on the football team that may have 100,000 followers and another player may have 5,000 followers BUT it does not matter how many followers they have; all athletes should comply with the same restrictions and responsibilities as anyone. It’s interesting that in the panel Hour was involved in for this article they asked about the innovative approaches to spotlight student-athletes in their social media accounts and this had a “light bulb moment in 2011” (page 36). At UW Hour said they have built a program for 35 student-athletes so far and they are adding more every quarter because these athletes are featured and promoted. These featured athletes are the student-athletes  who decided to take on the responsibility of utilizing social media according to the social media policies of UW. Coaches have also become involved with the process and program at UW because they realized that they do not only have a voice in promoting the school but the student-athletes due to social media have an influential voice as well. Along with Facebook and Twitter being the top two social media networks at UW, Hour said they have also selected Instagram, Pinterest and Tumblr because a lot of their fan base comes from those networks. 

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