Social Media Privacy

Online privacy in the spotlight… as employers and universities around the country are increasingly monitoring social networking sites.

Information behind the privacy wall is proving to just too tempting for some… like at SOU where student-athletes are held to a higher standard.

“Raider Volleyball.”

SOU Women’s Volleyball Coach Josh Rohlfing once kicked an athlete off his team for what he found on social networking sites.

“What was being posted showed the behavior of the athlete was counter… counter productive to what we’re trying to do here.”

While many athletic departments across the country now have social media policies, SOU has no firm stance… so coaches like Rohlfing make their own rules.

“You are representing our university, you’re representing our program, you’re representing our entire athletic department… most importantly we try to get it across you’re representing yourself.”

Some coaches require their athletes to ‘friend’ them, allowing them access to their Facebook pages… others go a step further.

“Some of them have something the student athlete signs, some of them don’t.”

Athletic Director Matt Sayre says potential recruits have even been dropped because of red flags found online.

“If there’s pictures with sexual content, or espousing drug or alcohol use.”

And while the school can’t restrict the number of Facebook pages an athlete has, they hope their student athletes show good character… and represent themselves in the best light possible.

As to whether this is an invasion of privacy… I spoke to three student-athletes who didn’t want to appear on camera, they all said they have no problem with it… they know they are held to a higher standard.

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