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#AthletesAndSocialNetworkSites

Post  Tuesday and Friday on Wed Mar 26, 2014 12:12 pm

The first time I heard about a situation involving a HS athlete receiving sanctions from inappropriate postings on a social network site was about 3 years ago. A varsity basketball player posted some disparaging comments about his coach on Facebook. The posting was revealed to the Varsity coaching staff and that player’s playing time was curtailed for the next few games. I was very shocked to learn a player would post something questionable like that on an open forum for other people to see. I couldn’t understand how one could think this information wouldn’t get back to people who directed his basketball team.

Fast forward to this season……. After a great D1 boy’s game played in the Queen City by 2 of the top teams in D1 opposing players took to twitter to talk trash to each other. They swore back and forth at each other. After trying to compete on the basketball court for 32 minutes they were now spending their time trying to compete on twitter. However, this competition involved trash talk, swearing and very unsportsmanlike conduct. I believe the word “flagrant” could be used. A division 1 boy’s game was held towards the end of the season. A player on one of the teams took to twitter and tweeted a very flagrant post that was malicious to the other team. That player received an immediate suspension from the team. A Trinity player receives a 5 day suspension for using the social devices at hand inappropriately and misses out on the playoffs and weakens his team for the playoffs. Now, we have the situation where a player has been stripped of his POY award and was not allowed to compete in a NH all-star game and won’t be allowed to compete in the VT/NH all-star game.

There has definitely been a healthy debate over the last few days as to whether the punishment in the D2 boy’s Twitter-Fiasco fit the crime. I believe when the NHBCO handed down their sanctions in this instance they were making a firm stand on what has happened on social networking sites with HS athletes in the last season and to prevent the continual abuse by HS athletes of posting ill-advised comments on social networking sites. Someone has to be the adult here. This was NHBCO’s chance to be the adult. They were in a position to do nothing, do a partial sanction or a full sanction. They decided to do a full sanction to send a swift and strong message to HS athletes in NH to:

“Knock it off.”

If they did a partial sanction then future ill-advised decisions by HS athletes or in this instance basketball players would be open to interpretation for what kind of sanctions would fit what kind of inappropriate postings on social network sites. With the NHBCO decision there is no wiggle room or interpretation. If you recklessly post disparaging words on social sites you will be sanctioned. I applaud the NHBCO for taking a firm stance on this situation. The sooner HS athletes realize you just can’t do inappropriate things like this the better off we’ll all be as a society. There has been a general erosion of respect, sportsmanship and mature behavior over the 21st century in HS sports. The social network sites have added fuel to this already increasing lack of sportsmanship wild fire. It’s just not enough to beat your opponent, but one must get on Facebook and Twitter to send verbal needles into the losing team. Is this the way we want our athletes to be?

I applaud the Pembroke administration in this situation. They did what was right and had Pat Welch go down to Portsmouth to issue apologies to the Portsmouth AD, principal and coach. Last year the Pembroke administration did the exact same adjudication with a student who sent an inappropriate posting to a team Pembroke was going to play in a basketball playoff game at UNH. That non-basketball playing student had to go to the school he made the inappropriate social posting and apologize in person to school administration officials. Kudos and loud applause to the Pembroke administration for doing what’s right.

There is no doubt that sooner as opposed to later when HS athletes in NH sign their athletic contacts to be on a team, along with the use of alcohol and drugs, that inappropriate communication on social network sites will also be a provision on their athletic contracts. I do feel there is a general “We’ve had it with these social network inappropriate postings” by fans, parents, coaches and administrators. It’s now time for school administrators to make athletes aware BEFORE a season starts what they could face with sanctions and suspensions if they recklessly and immaturely post ill-advised communication on social network sites.

So, from here on in HS athletes, your inappropriate social site postings are on the radar. The sanctions by the NHBCO for the D2 Boy’s situation have set a landmark precedent for this. There will be no more excuses or the “he or she is just a kid” argument when sanctions are handed down by school administrators of HS athletic governing bodies.

There is a saying on the court of “don’t put it in the referee’s whistle.” For example, in the VCU – SF Austin NCAA tournament game VCU was up by 4 points. A SF Austin player attempted a 3 pointer at the regulation buzzer and was inexplicably fouled by a VCU player. The 3 pointer went in and the foul shot made and then VCU lost in OT. That VCU player put the pivotal play of the game “into the ref’s whistle.” The player and VCU lost big time.

So, HS athletes don’t put your life, athletic career and your teams into the hands of governing bodies. Believe me this is not a case of Big Brother watching you. This is a case of you maturing and being responsible as STUDENT-athletes. Don’t post inappropriate and unsportsmanlike communication on social networking sites. If you do it becomes someone else’s right to act judiciously on you. Either post good communication or don’t communicate at all on social network sites.


All HS athletes are now on the social networking radars.


#StopillAdvisedSocialSiteCommunicating

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Re: #AthletesAndSocialNetworkSites

Post  JAF on Wed Mar 26, 2014 1:56 pm

Well said. We need a clapping emoticon.

If you cannot say it to someone face to face, then why would you type it for all to see and have the chance it'll be preserved "somewhere" on the Internet... How many people have gotten away with things because communication was only verbal and the claim was made that someone "misinterpreted" what was said? Bill Clinton was famous for helping cloud the meaning of what 'is' is or was...

When you're looking for a job later in life - believe me future employers will Google you and check your social media history. And believe it when someone tells you so will a perspective college coach. There are whole business models which provide a service to project a positive online presence for you/companies. It's not a cheap service either... What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas is more than just a slogan.

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Re: #AthletesAndSocialNetworkSites

Post  Tuesday and Friday on Wed Mar 26, 2014 9:44 pm

The following is from the Concord Monitor quoting Matt Alosa:

For his part, Alosa said he’ll do his best to make sure this never happens again.

“With team rules there are always consequences,” Alosa said, “and I’m going to make a statement to the kids next season that you’re not allowed to tweet except the score of the game.”


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Re: #AthletesAndSocialNetworkSites

Post  The Edge on Thu Mar 27, 2014 9:10 am

Personally, I think the NHBCO is doing the right thing by setting a strict example. Unfortunately, it seems to be using a good kid who made a bad choice. But there are consequences to the choices you make, that's life. The ability today to communicate instantly with virtually the whole world is a powerful, useful, but dangerous tool. What a lot of people do nut understand is that once you post to these services (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) you no longer "own" the content. There may be settings in your account that control who can access it but the poster no longer "owns" it.

Facebook policy
:
For content that is covered by intellectual property rights, like photos and videos (IP content), you specifically give us the following permission, subject to your privacy and application settings: you grant us a non-exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable, royalty-free, worldwide license to use any IP content that you post on or in connection with Facebook (IP License). This IP License ends when you delete your IP content or your account unless your content has been shared with others, and they have not deleted it.
When you delete IP content, it is deleted in a manner similar to emptying the recycle bin on a computer. However, you understand that removed content may persist in backup copies for a reasonable period of time (but will not be available to others).

Twitter policy:

You retain your rights to any Content you submit, post or display on or through the Services. By submitting, posting or displaying Content on or through the Services, you grant us a worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free license (with the right to sublicense) to use, copy, reproduce, process, adapt, modify, publish, transmit, display and distribute such Content in any and all media or distribution methods (now known or later developed).

Tip: This license is you authorizing us to make your Tweets available to the rest of the world and to let others do the same.

Instagram policy

Instagram does not claim ownership of any Content that you post on or through the Service. Instead, you hereby grant to Instagram a non-exclusive, fully paid and royalty-free, transferable, sub-licensable, worldwide license to use the Content that you post on or through the Service, subject to the Service's Privacy Policy, available here http://instagram.com/legal/privacy/, including but not limited to sections 3 ("Sharing of Your Information"), 4 ("How We Store Your Information"), and 5 ("Your Choices About Your Information"). You can choose who can view your Content and activities, including your photos, as described in the Privacy Policy.

Bottom line is if you don't want the whole world to see what you are posting, do not post it

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Re: #AthletesAndSocialNetworkSites

Post  Tuesday and Friday on Thu Mar 27, 2014 9:48 am

One residual thing from this unfortunate situation that left a bad taste with me was how Jourdain Bell was dragged needlessly into the controversy by some people. Bell was an innocent party in this situation and commenters on some sites and other sites like Boston Barstool Sports said Bell should relinquish his POY award. Here is a quote from BBS "dragging" Bell into a situation that wasn't his doing:



"I have a question. Do you think Jourdain Bell brags that he was the DII player of the year now? I mean is that something you’re proud of when everybody knows you only won the award via a disqualification because the real player of the year sent a meany pants tweet?"



REALLY??  scratch scratch 



Just keep the focus on the epicenter of the situation and don't drag an innocent bystander into the fray and tell him what he should do or not do.


"Meany pants tweet?"....... Yea I guess we should just let HS athletes post what ever they want on twitter and fb after a game. That would work out great wouldn't it?

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Re: #AthletesAndSocialNetworkSites

Post  Tuesday and Friday on Thu Mar 27, 2014 10:09 am

Pete Tarrier said they will be addressing this situation and the issue of social networking and athletes on this coming Saturday's radio show from 8 to 9 am. It should make for some interesting listening.

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Re: #AthletesAndSocialNetworkSites

Post  JAF on Thu Mar 27, 2014 10:47 am


Dang - I had a reply vanish due to "Maintenance"... oh well....

I agree 1000% with Edge's last comment....

Consider if Barstool ran a story about the D2 game and PW posted anonymous there what he posted on Twitter - who would know it was him and we wouldn't be having this discussion.

I think the anonymity of BBS vs. other regulated sites illustrates why those that run these type of message boards have gone towards requiring some sort of authentication about who said what. Last I knew - the Prez of BBS could give a rats ahhh behind about who says what. Freedom of speech - if you want to read it, then do so at your own risk... Also, who knew BBS was trying to do real sports stories - I thought they were there for TnA and visual entertainment purposes... Also to "sell" their/his services for "shows" on college campuses...

With regard to social media policy - that's a tough one... Today it's Twitter over Facebook... A few years ago Facebook took over from Myspace.... Before that various bulletin board systems were the rage... The issue with coming up with a policy is the industry changes too fast for policy makers... Think snapchat... Why was it developed? It allows for ease of sexting, right? Of course if we go back to when T&F was a youth, there'd be a hammer, a chisel, and stone tablets  Razz  Laughing 

BTW: For anyone who really believes they can be anonymous "out there" - don't count on it... Especially with the advancement of network forensics and auditing done in modern operating systems. If someone wants to spend the money to find out who said what - they will. In order to run effectively it requires a modern operating system.

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Re: #AthletesAndSocialNetworkSites

Post  Tuesday and Friday on Thu Mar 27, 2014 11:09 am

Believe me Jaf, I know the shock value of BBS. They are all about clicks and advertising $$. It is still wrong to drag an innocent player into a controversial situation.


There were other "less shock value" sites that had comments pertaining to Bell and "what he should do."


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Re: #AthletesAndSocialNetworkSites

Post  EBlessNHSP on Fri Mar 28, 2014 11:12 am

This social media stuff is nothing new to these kids, they grew up in the generation of social media. They know the consequences especially if you're an individual getting your name posted on websites and in newspapers. It should be no surprise to any student athlete that when you post something derogatory or inappropriate you risk more than just your reputation.

And if coaches and parents are doing their job preparing their kids for the next level (athletically, educationally and in the work force) social media awareness is 100% part of that discussion/program.

Can't wait to see what my 3yr old slings at me in a few years.

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