I just read a post on Facebook from a high school football player and just defriended him. No big deal, of course, because I am just a person interested in the football recruiting of Ohio high school players. But, moreso, I am interested in a recruit's well-being more than anything else. Football recruiting, as dishonest as it can sometimes be, is still a very important part of a young person's life.
I listen to a talk given by a D-1 college coach a few weeks ago. His talk centered on "Perception vs Reality in Football Recruiting." One very interesting area - Facebook. He stressed the importance of high school coaches educating their players on what to do and what not to do on Facebook. He even went sofar to ask coaches "to warn" their players that college coaches check Facebook almost every day.
When comments get "dirty," or distasteful, a prospect's recruiting status can be affected. Pictures that are distasteful or suggestive can produce the same effect. Once on Facebook, all can see or read.
College coaches use Facebook all of the time. College coaches have told me that NOW, the most important communication for them is correct cell phone numbers. Obviously for texting. Getting twitter handles is also important. They tell me that they can get almost everything else through Facebook.
To make the most positive impact on coaches, recruits should post positive comments about themselves and what activities they are involved in both inside and outside of school. Post pictures that tell something about you. No distasteful pics.
Here are some general rules for posting on Facebook:
Do not use obscene language.
Do not post any information when you are upset.
Do not use violent or threatening comments.
Do not refer to women in derogatory words.
Do not use derogatory or discriminatory words to describe someone else's race, even your own.
Do not post information discussing behaviors such as sex, drinking, or getting high.
Do not post provactive pictures.
Do not use derogatory or discriminatory words to describe someone's sexual orientation.
Do not post anything that displays you violating your school and team conduct policies.
I took these from a book presented by the National Guard for High School Player Development. Like any good set of rules, they cover everything.
When college football coaches tell me that they rely on Facebook to learn more about recruits, I feel that these general rules are important. Maybe common sense to most young people, but I read post that are outright distasteful and inappropriate. College football coaches read the same posts.