Training versus monitoring: A qualitative examination of athletic department practices regarding student-athletes and Twitter

James Sanderson, Blair Browning

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

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<br>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=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<br>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<br>devote resources to fro
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)105-111
JournalQualitative Research Reports in Communication
StatePublished - 2013

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