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Texas Bill Challenges Monitoring University Athlete's Social Media Use
College athletes live in the spotlight, and every move they make is under a microscope -- including their social media accounts.
The University of Texas, along with other higher education institutions, are concerned about what might be tweeted or used as a status update, so its hired watchdog companies to monitor athletes online. In some cases, the schools demand passwords and log-in information on personal accounts.
Requiring this private information is now in the crosshairs. State Representative Dawnna Dukes introduced a new bill that prevents higher education institutions, both public and private, from requiring anyone to hand over private social media information.
"It's about as intrusive as being required to give your employer the name of your OB/GYN and when you have to have an appointment and for what,” Dukes said. "It will protect you from allowing your employer to compel you to provide your private password to your account, and require you to friend them on Facebook."
Dukes said she believes there is a better way to monitor athletes. She said she thinks there should be guidelines enforced or special social media classes to explain what is appropriate behavior.
Former University of Texas softball legend Cat Osterman is used to being in the public eye. Now as a coach at St. Edwards she stresses social media responsibility as a win-win solution to her athletes.
"Anything you post is not a reflection of you, but it's a reflection of your team, your athlete department and obviously the school as a whole," Osterman said.
By Cassie Gallo