By Liam Morales | April 6, 2016

Athletes' social media accounts: surrender or not


California recently passed a bill prohibiting universities from having access to students' social media accounts.

With social media becoming an integral part of people’s daily lives, many interpret it to be a representation of a person's or entity's image. As a result, many universities demand student athletes turn over their social media accounts because what they post can affect the “brand” of the University.

Cactus Shadows High School’s Tennis team suspended a few students last year for posting a video of themselves in Mexico that was deemed inappropriate. According to tennis player Max Smith, that suspension “has set the tone for all of the sports teams at our school not to do anything stupid.” Cactus Shadows High School Baseball player, Matt Sill said coach Gaetano Gianni has a rule that if he sees it and someone brings it to his attention there will be repercussions. “You shouldn't be posting anything you don't want your coach or someone else to see. If you can't handle not posting inappropriate things, you're not mature enough to handle being a college athlete,” Sill said.

I conducted an anonymous survey on social media; 87 percent of the 23 voters stated social media can in fact damage a University's or team's image. However, according to another survey that also received 23 votes, 87 percent of voters agreed athletes should not have to turn over their social media accounts.

Cactus Shadows wrestler, Gregory Burgess, said instead of giving information for their social media accounts they can “understand what is expected of them and if what they do off the field affects them while competing, there will be consequences anyway.”