Twitter has created a number of issues for collegiate athletic programs. Via their tweets, student-athletes have sparked public relations issues for athletic departments and educational institutions. This research examined the messages student-athletes receive from athletic department officials and coaches about Twitter. Semi-structured interviews with 20 student-athletes at a Division I school were conducted. Results revealed that these messages occurred in 1 of 3 areas: (a) (non)training, (b) surveillance I monitoring, and (c) reactive training. The results indicate that student-athletes are left to their interpretations of what constitutes inappropriate Twitter content while also being subjected to monitoring. Education about Twitter typically occurs after a violation of an unclear or unknown policy. This reactionary and ambiguous approach to Twitter appears to be doing little to mitigate controversial tweets. Athletic administrators are encouraged to devote resources to front-end, rather than back-end, training and to define clear boundaries for Twitter usage.
- Social media
- Sport communication