Penalties Off the Field: Exploring Social Media Policies for Student Athletes at Universities

Blake McAdow, Jong-Hyuok Jung, Jacqueline Lambiase, Laura Bright


University student-athletes and their teams rely on social media to communicate with their fans, and these interactions may be beneficial for teams and athletes alike. But social media use also carries risk if an offensive photo or statement goes viral. Using frameworks from social cognitive, privacy, and uses and gratification theories, this article captures the status of university social media policies for athletes through content analysis and interviews. The findings outline strategies for monitoring, penalizing and rewarding athletes for their online interactions.


social media policy; student athlete; uses and gratifications; social cognitive theory; communication privacy management

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