Tuesday, February 1, 2011

TECH 621 Article 1

Since my post about being a habitual line stepper, I actually further researched to see if any scholarly articles had been written regarding the matter of college athletics and social media interactions.  Using Ebscohost and Academic Search Premier I was able to find the following:

Maher, Matt. You've Got Messages: Modern Technology Recruiting Through Text-Messaging and the Intrusiveness of Facebook. Texas Review of Entertainment & Sports Law; Spring2007, Vol. 8 Issue 1, p125-151, 27p.

Now the first thing to point out regarding the article is the year of publication.  A lot of things have changed since 2007, the article itself lists Myspace as being the 6th most popular website at the time, while Facebook was a mere 66. As anyone can tell the sites are reversed with Facebook being in the top 5 sites everyday.  Regardless, the information the author was pertaining to did give more insight and thoughts about how social media is shaping and changing the way recruiting is being done, as well as the way NCAA violations may occur.  Maher presents his research through looking at NCAA bylaws as well as the way current universities monitor interactions and their own athletes time and usage on social media sites.  One university, Loyola University in Chicago, actually banned all of their athletes from using Facebook.  However, Maher points out that at what point does a university infringe upon an athletes right on the First Amendment, or do student-athletes relinquish this right when they accept the opportunity to play for a college.

Maher also examines points that I had previously gave little thought to.  As far as messaging on social media sites goes, Maher determines that it is improbable for the NCAA to "police" every message an athlete receives and therefore one can only guess that messages may pertain to violations such as illegal recruiting (here's looking at you Cecil Newton) or as harmless as a child rooting on their favorite athlete and just sending a message saying "HI."  The other dilemma that Maher  raised was the fact of how hard it is to authenticate a student athletes profile on social media sites.  For example, I typed in Jujuan Johnson into Facebook and received over 20 profiles all claiming to be Jujuan Johnson, even more fake profiles exist for former UK player Demarcus Cousins.  In this instance, Maher posed the question of whose responsibility is it to protect the athlete from fake profiles and negative publicity, is it the NCAA or the University, or does the answer lie somewhere in the middle?  Thinking about this for several minutes, I believe that the answer does lay somewhere between the university and NCAA level, more on the university level.  However, I do also see Maher's points of what could go wrong if someone decided to make a fake profile of an athlete and then just destroyed that persons image, it could have lasting effects both emotionally and professionally on an athletes credibility just because how hard it would be to authenticate whether or not that profile actually belonged to said individual.  Maher gave the example of Myron Rolle, who enrolled in FSU, but before that had fans posting on his wall encouraging him to go to other schools.  The biggest drawback of this was someone did in fact create a fake profile as Rolle and entered into several chat rooms and made others to believe that he was actually going to college elsewhere, something the media picked up on as fact.  

In conclusion,  Maher related earlier points, that the university and NCAA will both have to monitor what athletes do, as well as try to monitor and protect athletes from unruly fans as well as those who are trying to cause harm.  As far as recruiting goes using social media, Maher again focused on how much of a grey area there is and how hard it would be to police all messages recruits are getting, which is something I completely agree with.  However, I do believe that as social media continues to be incorporated in everyday life that one or the other, NCAA or colleges, will have to make a hardline stance and rules in order to make sure they cover all bases not only for their own personal benefit and safety, but the players and athletes as well


  1. Scott,

    This seems like an interesting piece - now, was it more of an opinion piece, or an analysis of certain social media activity? I can't tell if it's research, or what kind of research it is.

    Also, do you use tags and categories on your blog? Please create a category "Article Analysis" to make them easy to find.

    I hope you had a nice time in KY, and yes, I know, you're very sorry to be back in IN today and tomorrow... Stay safe.

  2. It was a little of both, it was published by a Dr. for a Nebraska Law and Entertainment class. It seems that all of the scholarly information that I have found on the topic has a little bit of analysis on policy along with opinions on what should be done because so much grey area exists.

    I don't use tags yet....but I def need to, will start doing that from here on out!!

    On the Indiana v KY comparison, I was notified it was 55 today in KY.....I'm tired of this weather!! Be safe as well, we still have the worst ahead of us : (

  3. also, I found another article tonight http://bit.ly/goEZjR about a High school football player who gave up Facebook because the school he de-commited from had fans who were harassing his family and him.