Student-athletes And Social Media Usage

Open Access
Robinson, Brooke Blair
Area of Honors:
Advertising/Public Relations
Bachelor of Arts
Document Type:
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Steve Manuel, Thesis Supervisor
  • Susan Mary Strohm, Honors Advisor
  • student-athletes
  • social media
Social media has become a main source for news and communication among the millennial generation. Although there are many benefits that result from the use of social media, there are also some consequences when platforms are used inappropriately. The target demographic studied in this paper is college student-athletes. Since these individuals serve as role models and faces of universities, they are under a microscope and have to follow many guidelines that other students do not. The use of social media by student-athletes has caused universities to develop policies pertaining to it. Although social websites are widely used, many young people do not realize the repercussions that can occur from inappropriate uses like posting pictures from team parties. Universities have taken different approaches on how to proactively deal with these issues. Some institutions are banning the use of social media by their student-athletes while others are creating educational training programs. Additionally, monitoring has become a topic of interest for legality purposes. This paper is a content analysis of articles resulting from three databases searching on the subject of college athletes’ uses of social media. After conducting background research, search terms were picked to create these searches. The articles were then read and coded for key words. It was found that most colleges and universities are implementing social media guidelines into their policies and training their athletes on the proper uses to avoid problems. This research proves that the growth of social media has become a growing concern in athletic departments across the country. Further research could be done to learn whether social media bans or education programs are more prevalent among higher education institutions.