Posted On: 10/17/18 6:00 AM

In this series “Recruiting Tips” we will dive into a different issue in each story that deals with recruiting and can help guide the prospect through the world of recruiting.  In the latest edition of the series we dive into the world of social media and how to use it to help you and how to avoid it harming you.

The world has changed and a big part is social media.  Social media includes Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and all other mediums that connect people.  It can be a great tool for recruits to see what is going on in the basketball world and is also a new way for college coaches to interact with recruits.  It can also be one of the quickest ways to lose scholarship offers and interest from schools.

One of the first things college coaches do before they ever talk to a potential student athlete is look up their social media.  Think of your social media as your online resume for potential college recruiters.  They form an opinion of who the prospect is based on their social media.  You want to make a positive impression and not a negative one.

Whether you realize it or not college coaches are watching.  Some of them follow recruits with their actual accounts and others have people in the basketball office follow them with accounts you would never realize were coaches.  They are constantly monitoring student athlete’s posts, retweets, favorites, etc.  Things not to put on social media include inappropriate pictures, bad language, girl drama, or anything else that could be considered offensive they would not want representing their program.  Once you sign on the dotted line a national letter of intent you become a representation of the basketball program and school.  It is their jobs not to make mistakes in the on court and off court evaluation of a potential recruit.  Another aspect that coaches look at is when you post on social media.  Probably not the best idea to be posting anything in the middle of the night on a school night or before a big game.  Also just because Snapchat deletes, it doesn’t mean the memory of whatever the potential recruit does or says will be erased.

Scholarship offers WILL BE PULLED because of social media.  I have seen it happen too many times to count.  It is a sliding scale.  The better the recruit the more the school will put up with, but at a certain point even those recruits become too much of a risk.

Use various social media platforms to your advantage.  For twitter use your actual name and list high school and graduating class in bio.  One of the first mistakes you can make is having an unsuitable twitter handle that misrepresents the image you are trying to portray.  Have your highlight tape on there so it is easy for coaches to see.  Coaches are now allowed by NCAA rules to interact with recruits via direct message.  This is a great way for coaches to get their initial introduction to who you are.  Make sure it’s a good one!

Do not let 140 characters cost you a $140,000 scholarship!