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Note to athletes: Watch your tweets

Published: Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Updated: Wednesday, October 23, 2013 10:10

Those pictures of sloppy keg stands and best friends trying to hold each other up every weekend may make you smile, until you try to remember where you even were.

With privacy settings on Facebook, Twitter and other social media there is no need to worry about who will see those pictures from your drunken blur of a night.  Dad, Grandma, and your little brother will never know what, or shall we say who, you are studying at school in your spare time.

But now it is not just family members back home you have to censor your weekend life from, but also your school.

As of June 2013 Castleton State College revised its Sparty green student-athlete handbook by adding a new section concerning social media. A powerhouse trio of Deanna Tyson, associate dean for Athletics and Recreation; Benjamin Stockwell, associate sports information director; and Jeff Weld, director of College Relations and Sports Information, created the foundation and guidelines for the censorship among student athletes.

For example the handbook states “student-athletes are prohibited from posting the following on their social media sites: Items that could reflect negatively on Castleton State College, and your specific team. This includes comments, pictures, videos or other posts about drug or alcohol abuse, profanity, or other inappropriate conduct. Also included are “posts and photos depicting or describing unlawful assault, abuse, hazing, and selling or possession of illegal drugs.”  

On several occasions last year, student athletes had to face the consequences of those racy pictures and improper behavior. The threesome based the new rules and regulations on those from division I athletic programs, because they said students and the school need to protect not only the athletes, but themselves.

“Student athletes are held at a higher standard. It sets student-athletes up for the future when we want to get a job. If they follow the new athletic guidelines, then when employees are looking through social media platforms, there will not be anything to cause doubt,” student athlete Ali Spencer said.

Since the day our beloved Facebook came out, it has caused problems. And now with multiple types of social media, there is even more room for mistakes. But the new rules in that green booklet are the athletic department’s potential shining knight.

“It makes sense. Obviously you can’t put things you do illegally online,” said Eric Horsfield, a goalie for CSC’s men’s lacrosse team.

Last year alone, there were more social media issues than ever before. CSC is hoping to enforce some changes and are looking forward to great results.

“I am hopeful. I think it’s something that the athletes can take pride in and have no more issues,” Tyson said. “I don’t think we will have many issues this year. There may be things out there that we don’t see, but if it comes to me, then a lot of others have seen it.”

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