Student athletes punished for social media “tweets”
For athletes social media has become an area off limits, a place where they cannot venture unlike their fans and friends.
Professional sports leagues and universities across the country have been cracking down on athletes that post on popular social networking sites, with Twitter being the focus.
Leagues like the NFL have rules in place for athletes that use Twitter. Any violation of the rules results in a fine. Some universities have suspended players from playing in games for inappropriate tweets.
Those limits have now trickled down to Akins high school athletes. A few weeks ago some members of the volleyball program were suspended for violating social media policies.
“Some student athletes here at Akins have been using social media to disrespect coaches and athletes,” Athletic Director David Peavy said. “Certain athletes disrespected the coaches by tweeting certain phrases they often use in practice or games.”
Practice and locker room time are viewed as sacred to the coaches and should stay in practice and the locker room.
“Basically our playing fields, courts, and locker room are private between the players and coaches,” Peavy said. “What happens between the team stays between the team unless someone is being mistreated. There is a proper way to handle that, however, social media is not.”
Coaches would like student athletes to use social media in a positive light instead of negative.
“Every time you tweet about your team or the opposing team it should always be positive.” Peavy said. “Never pinpoint mistakes on the coaches or players. Voicing your opinion about coaches is unacceptable.”
“Many people do not understand that when you post something on a social media site it is public for the whole world to see,” Peavy said. “It is already been a serious problem and it is punishable. We are seeing it happen in the pros, college, and now high school.”
Although the athletes have been punished and served their time, coaches want to treat this as a positive lesson for current and future student athletes.
“I believe we had a great meeting with the athletes and it was a very teachable moment,” Peavy said. “They are now aware of how social media affects them.”