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Foul Called on NCAA Monitoring Athletes’ Social Media

The NCAA recently stated that the University of North Carolina “failed to adequately and consistently monitor the social media activity of its athletes.” Now colleges and universities across the country are scrambling to better monitor their social media sites. But is it necessary for schools to maintain institutional control of their athletes’ social media sites?

VarsityMonitor is a firm dedicated to NCAA social media compliance, offering automated and social media monitoring that helps universities “discover inappropriate, illegal or unethical content.” It also offers forensic quality archiving and third-party social web monitoring (for mentions of athletes by third parties). Coaches and administrators can easily check out activity by team/athlete.

Tools like VarsityMonitor could be used as ways to spot viral content related to a player – but they could also become rather invasive. And besides, not all students are trying to become Internet celebrities. It’s possible to make oneself nearly unfindable on Facebook, and Twitter users can protect their tweets if they don’t want anyone discovering them.

In a sense, however, athletes are their own type of brand on social media. As such, they are representative of the larger brand. Instead of using social media monitoring sites like VarsityMonitor, why doesn’t the NCAA just revise its social media guidelines?

Image via DukeHoopBlog.

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