The story broke that Yuri Wright, one of the top cornerback recruits in the country, was expelled from his high school, Don Bosco Prep (a private Catholic school in New Jersey), and lost his scholarship to Michigan because of what he was saying on Twitter. Kevin DeShazo wrote a very good article about whether Michigan and Don Bosco are right or wrong for what they did. I am going to consider what Yuri did with his social media accounts, besides the obvious of saying terrible things, wrong.
As a college recruit, there is nothing wrong with having a Twitter or Facebook or Google+ account. However, you need to remember that as a prospective student athlete, coaches are trying to determine if you are going to be the right type of young person to represent their university. What you say on social media will be used to determine if you are the right type of person.
Looking back at our post about setting up your social media accounts for the recruiting process, I am going to break down where Yuri went wrong.
Here’s What You Can Do to Your Social Media Accounts to Avoid Making the Same Mistakes
1. Remove all references to restaurants, products, or services. Yuri did have media personalities and sports networks that followed him on Twitter. If he is going to say the wrong thing, he shouldn’t have been broadcasting it directly to the media.
2. Check your friends’ photos and your own. Not an issue in this instance.
3. Clear your wall and Twitter feed. It is a little late for this one.
4. Unfriend of unfollow anyone you don’t know personally. This is where Yuri got into the most trouble. If you want to allow random people and media outlets to follow you, you have to be prepared for the consequences. If you are going to say stupid things in social media (hint: you shouldn’t), then don’t broadcast it to random people.
5. Set your privacy settings to fully private. Yuri actually got this 100 percent right, but he completely negated any privacy on his account by allowing media outlets to follow him.
Don’t Lose an Athletic Scholarship Because of Something You Said
Yuri’s lost scholarship should be a lesson to every recruit no matter the sport. Don’t lose a hard-earned athletic scholarship because of what you said online. At the very least, you should apply some common sense to what you are going to say and back that up by setting up your social media accounts in a way that you won’t be as heavily scrutinized if you have a momentary lapse in judgment.