Social Media Background Screening Is Real and Serious

I’ve been talking about this for the past couple of years at my Pre-Season Show Off Camp.

I am Twitter and Facebook friends with Memphis area players and I have to shake my head with some of the things that I see.

When college coaches are evaluating you to play for their college programs, they not only look at your basketball talent. They look for the type of person you are and social media is the best place to see the real you.

This week during SEC Media Day for football, Arkansas Football coach, Bret Bielema, broke it down on how he uses social media background screening and why.

(Video and article from

Going back to the words of his former boss at Iowa, Hayden Fry, Arkansas coach Bret Bielema told reporters at SEC media days on Wednesday that you “recruit your own problems.” That means looking into every angle of a prospect, he said, including his social media presence.

“We have a social media background screening that you’ve got to go through,” he said, “and if you have a social media nickname or something on your Twitter account that makes me sick, I’m not going to recruit you. I’ve turned down players based on their Twitter handles. I’ve turned down players based on Twitter pictures. It’s just that’s how I choose to run our program.

“It’s the things that [athletic director] Jeff Long and our fans hold me accountable to. I’m never going to waver in that.”

Bielema entered the SEC in late 2012 after seven seasons as the head coach at Wisconsin.

Arkansas went 7-6 last season after posting a 3-9 record the year before.

“If you want to recruit somebody of high character and value, somebody you can trust to not only watch your house, but your children, someone you can count on to share carries of 1,000 yards each rather than trying to get 1,800 for one, now you’re going to build something that matters,” Bielema said.

“It’s a bunch of we, not me, and I can’t stress enough that, just because you’re a great player in the United States of America, doesn’t mean Arkansas is going to recruit you.”

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