Much has been written about the threat that social media poses to young athletes. When they are feted at a party, they tend to tweet about it. Those tweets then tend to get noticed by coaches and, big surprise, the athletes suddenly look a lot less driven and promising than they did before those tweets and photos surfaced.
Yet some coaches are now speaking up about high school athletes tweeting and the hidden dangers of the practice, namely that perpetual social media involvement is a sign that athletes aren’t spending any time studying or doing other worthwhile things with their time.
As noted by longtime Rivals.com analyst and columnist Edgy Tim, who writes a column for the Chicago Tribune, a number of unnamed coaches were all too happy to speak up about their issues with the social media revolution and its invasion of the high school sports space.
First, athletes need to know that coaches see everything that they’re posting … and yes, they are keeping track.
"We see everything from Twitter conversations to friend requests on Facebook to pictures from last night's party on Instagram," a Big East assistant football coach told Edgy Tim. "We see it all and we share that information back and forth in a moment's notice."
Yet they are also keeping an extremely close eye on how often their prospective athletes are tweeting, too, a concern which is emerging as just as pressing as what the athletes are focused on.
"It's really honestly as disturbing seeing how often a kid will post/tweet out messages than the actual content," a Big Ten recruiting coordinator said. "Some kids, I swear never put their phones down. I know you have different programs where you can load up posts, but we know the difference right away.
"Does this kid ever study?"
It’s worth noting that these officials also said that what they see is having a direct impact on their decisions on how to handle athletes. A Big Ten coach told Edgy Tim that his school stopped recruiting a number of players who had made in person visits to the school because of what they had posted online.
Hear that high school studs? Cut back on the tweeting, and make sure to keep it private, at the very least. Your collegiate sports future may depend on it.