Sports, business & technology

Get out of my Facebook, unless you’re Pete Carroll

facebook-carroll.gifFacebook, described on its very own site as “a social utility that connects people with friends and others who work, study and live around them,” is crawling with all types of people. Surely, Sportsbiztech mused, one of these types includes sports figures?

A Google search for various combinations of the words “athletes,” “sports,” “Facebook” and “official” did not reveal of a list of known names or profiles. Instead, the results were a bit more alarming, with the majority of content involving issues such as security, harassment and other concerns, particularly at the collegiate level.

While student-athletes can create online fan communities by adding “friends” whom they have never met, they have to be equally wary of posting contact information or pictures that can leak their way into a public forum, especially if the leaking is done by students at rival schools. (A hypothetical example: Athlete/student who is a minor goes to a party, is photographed downing a pint of beer and posts picture on Facebook. Rival fan enlarges said picture, mounts it on a poster board and brings it to the next game to publicly taunt said athlete/student/minor.) Coaches and university officials are concerned that, even though Facebook is behind a registration firewall, merely having a profile page would make create far too many opportunities for a student-athlete to damage his or her reputation, as well as that of the school’s. Some schools, like Florida State and Kentucky, have banned their athletes from having Facebook profiles.

Even Bill Gates, though not an athlete at last check but the Champion of Microsoft, had to shut his Facebook account down a few weeks ago, although not due to security reasons. (Receiving more than 8,000 friend requests a day was apparently too much for him to handle. Word has it that he has shifted his sights to LinkedIn. )

That doesn’t mean that everyone is steering clear of Facebook. USC football coach Pete Carroll recently created a page, according to the Los Angeles Times. While one of his interests is “coaching,” another is “playing basketball.” Hmmm.

Mar. 6 update: On his Facebook page, Pete Carroll posts notes and promotes his “A Better L.A.” cause. (He also likes Kanye West, by the way.) Thanks to one of his Facebook friends for posting the link to this blog entry on his profile. Underneath that post, a reporter from Sports Illustrated requested a wall-to-wall interview with Coach Carroll…who actually responded!


March 4, 2008 - Posted by | college sports, football, Web sites | , ,

1 Comment »

  1. […] see, Coach Carroll started a Facebook page last month. Soon, hundreds of Facebookers from students to alums to curious folks like me asked to be his […]

    Pingback by Whither Pete Carroll, oh Former Facebook Friend? « Sportsbiztech | March 14, 2008 | Reply

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