Education on the Digital Terrain: A Case Study Exploring College Athletes’ Perceptions of Social-Media Training

in International Journal of Sport Communication
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  • 1 Clemson university, USA
  • | 2 Baylor university, USA
  • | 3 University of Florida, USA
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College athletes are active on a variety of social-media platforms. As a result, most athletic departments require them to participate in social-media education. Although this practice is becoming more prominent, little research has explored how college athletes perceive such training. This case study explored college athletes’ social-media use and their perceptions about social-media education. Semi structured interviews of 20 college athletes at a Division I university were conducted. Using social-cognitive theory as a framework, analysis revealed that while participants expressed a desire for social-media education, they indicated that most of the messages they receive about social media tend to be forgettable. Consequently, athletic departments need to take a more refexive approach to social-media education that incorporates college athletes’ feedback to optimize this instruction.

Sanderson is with the Dept. of Communication Studies, Clemson University, Clemson, SC. Browning is with the Dept. of Communication, Baylor University, Waco, TX. Schmittel is with the College of Journalism and Communications, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL. Address author correspondence to Jimmy Sanderson at

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