Athletes Better Watch Out

We’ve all heard the advice, “Be careful with what you post on ________.” Just fill in the blank with your favorite social media. That is certainly the advice given to collegiate athletes about their Facebook, Twitter and MySpace accounts. Before the social media craze hit, many colleges and universities had no idea what social networking was until there was some incident being broadcasted by the news about some damaging pictures or comments that were posted on the internet. This according to a recent article on ESPN: The Life.

How could schools counter this? What could administrators do to prevent such online scandals? Kevin Long had the answer. Long, founder of MVP Sports Media Training, came up with the website UDiligence.com. This site is the only automated service that helps collegiate athletic departments protect against damaging exposure. For a fee ($1,250 a year for 50 athletes or less and $5000 a year for 500-750 athletes), schools are provided with a monitoring system for student athletes’ Twitter, Facebook, and MySpace accounts. Schools type in keywords into the program that they would not like to see on their athletes’ social networking sites. If these buzz words are used, then administrators will be alerted via e-mail. Then, a detailed account of the instance is added to a spreadsheet log.

This service is definitely a great program for universities to use. Instead of hearing of damaging instances through the news or on blogs, they are able to prevent and handle such issues before they make it to the press. Long believes his service is both a tool of protection and education. According to Long, “UDiligence.com is about protecting brand, image and reputation. And it’s about education and responsible social networking.”

Ryan Corazzo, author of the article, notes that colleges aren’t the only users buying into Long’s services. NFL teams are also looking into the monitoring system. With UDiligence.com teams have the ability to gather information about potential draft picks. For years now, concerns of character issues have been raised after teams draft certain troublesome players. Problem players like Adam ‘Pacman’ Jones and Deltha O’Neal could have been better assesed if teams possessed a service like Long’s.

Whether you are an athlete or not, maintaining your social networks is important. Your friends and followers aren’t the only people looking in on your posts or pictures. Potential employers and graduate schools google your name to get a glimpse of who you are. So take the advice, watch what you put up online.

– Jesse Bazemore