Freedom of Speech For Athletes Essay

They are required to be hard w orking, well rounded, diligent students that may make a difference in the future of th e school’s athletic division. However, these athletes have to make the decision to be role models nd make the correct choices in their time as a college athlete.With the help of coaches and the rules set forth before the decision is made, the athletes know what is expected of them when they enter the college athletic division. Coach Glover, a track and field coach at the University of Louisiana at Lafayett e, came across a picture on acebook of John McCarther, a college track and field sprinter, drinking at a fraternity party. When confronting him, Coach Glover had to expl ain the problem in posting pictures on social media.He explained that although it is h ersonal life, he is not only representing himself but the team and the univers itys image as well as reputation. When signing a scholarship to a university athletic team, the standards are set from the beginning.

Showing responsibility in public and on social media networks is one of the most important things expected of an athlete. C oaches are not saying that if a student is an athlete they cannot have a personal life wher e partying is involved, but they are asking that the athlete not make it blatantly obvious t 0 the Fontenot 2 public.Keeping pictures of themselves off of Facebook or any other social net work is just a way to keep the reputation of the school a respectable one. The rule is not there to punish the athlete. It is just like gettinga job. If someone were trying to get a job and they go in for an interview, the interviewer may second guess their choice in h iring that person because they found pictures that could potentially ruin the reputation of the business. The same goes for college sports.

The University is basically paying the athlete to play for them through scholarship money kind of like a job.If the at hlete, such as John McCarther, puts any type of picture showing him intoxicated or in an i legal or compromising situation, the reputation of a team could be ruined. Who woul d want to play for a team full of party animals? On the other hand, college athletes do have the right to a social life. When approached with the problem one might bring up freedom of speech.

Any 0th er college student could post pictures on a social networking site so why is it a big deal if athlete does it? If they want to post things on his Facebook page, then that is decision to make.Being an athlete, however, sets him apart from the rest oft he campus. John McCarther could post things on his Facebook but he has to reali ze that there are consequences to his actions. Since he signed a scholarship, he is pre warned of these consequences and is well aware of what could happen if he does not take the pictures down. In other words, a college athlete still has freedom of speech to an extent, but unlike other students these athletes have consequences following their ac tions. After the incident with John McCarther, Coach Glover decided to contact theUniversitys tennis coach to find his own way of establishing clear team policie s on Fontenot 3 social networks. When approached with the situation, the tennis coach explai ned some of the policies she has in place for this kind of situation. One of the policies is a warning to take down the posting within twentyfour hours or face a more serious actio n.

The next step would be the consequences of not taking the posting down. One co nsequence would be sitting out of Wo games back to back. The next consequence would be probation for six weeks, and the last consequence would be removal from the eam.Hearing the policies set by the tennis coach, Coach Glover decides that it woul d not be a bad idea to add team policies to the track and field team. The most importa nt Of these policies being no pictures of any athlete of the team is to be put on a social ne twork that could possibly harm the reputation of the team or school. Adding team policies to any team sets strict guidelines that athletes must follo in order to stay on the team.

It is not just put into the scholarship but in the r ule book to let them know that there is a strict rule against postings that could potentially arm the reputation of the sport.Not only guidelines but consequences to these guideli nes are made clear through policies. Every coach no matter what sport should have a set of rules for his or her athletes to follow so that if the postings on social media w ere to happen again, the athlete knows what is expected of him as well as what is at stake if these rules are not followed. Freedom of speech on social networks should be monitored by coaches if someone is a college athlete. I believe that as a college athlete one must have the responsibility of controlling their ctions whether out in public or on a social network.Policies on every team should be set forth to state the consequences if an ath lete does Fontenot 4 not uphold the standards expected of him or her.

I believe that the coach doe s have the authority to handle the situation with whatever consequences he seeks fit at t he time. The athletes still have freedom of speech like all other students but as they si gn off into the athletic department they are set for high expectations because they are n ot only representing themselves but the university as well as the team they play for.