Whether it’s mobile phones in schools or social media, it seems to be the case that when the powers-that-be don’t understand technology they have a tendency to ban it. So it is in the wake of the London Olympics social media brouhaha, college athletics have arrived at the Fall 2012 season with social media sharing on the brain. Some circles embrace social media in a big way while others favor an outright ban, and still others have installed monitoring programs to check on their athletes. Some college coaches see a value to social media for connecting with potential recruits, fans, alumni and media. There are even social media classes for coaches and athletes – Facebook 101. However, while social media can be great for PR, a social media gaffe can become a major distraction. For this reason Clemson, Iowa and Kansas are among the schools banning athletes from using twitter during the season. On the other hand, players for the Crimson Tide and the Hoosiers are allowed to indulge – perhaps within reason.
Meanwhile, there’s CentrixSocialverse which allows colleges to monitor the social media content of coaches, recruiters, recruits and athletes among others. “You no longer have to find out about a player’s post on a news program,” they say. CentrixSocialverse is data mining at its finest, able to provide “near” real-time data from popular social media. Not only does CentrixSocialverse locate the identities of relevant personalities online, it can also detect when someone attempts identity theft of an athlete. Centrix Socialverse also allows colleges to flag specific words in social media posts. Some popular flagged words are “beer bong,” “Sam Adams,” “doobie” and “porn.” Along the way there is also a movement to prohibit schools from accessing students social media accounts because it is equivalent to having private investigators following students.