Nova Keeps an Eye on Athletes' Tweets, Posts - NBC 10 Philadelphia

Nova Keeps an Eye on Athletes' Tweets, Posts

Villanova hires company to keep an eye on student athletes online



    Villanova will now be keeping a close eye on their student athletes' Facebook pages and Twitter feeds. The school will require all athletes to follow VarsityMonitor. (Published Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2012)

    One local university is putting their student athletes under a social media microscope.

    Villanova University is keeping an eye on the online actions of their athletes.

    "We just got an e-mail last week about it -- telling us that we had to friend the Varsity Monitor on Facebook and Twitter," said field hockey player Leah High.

    VarsityMonitor is an outside company that Nova recently contracted to track the activities of student athletes who play for the university.

    So what does VarsityMonitor do?

    "VarsityMonitor was created to alleviate the burden of managing your athletes social media activities while helping everyone in the athletics industry develop and enforce fair and effective social media policies," according to their website.

    Once the student adds the company on Facebook or Twitter it can see and screen the students’ posts, tweets and/or photos.

    With recent incidents at Lehigh University and other schools in which what student athletes posted on Twitter got them in trouble while possibly embarrassing the college, the move to monitor posts isn’t surprising.

    But some student athletes are questioning why they are being monitored while their non-athlete classmates are not.

    "Things that I make private, I don’t believe that they should have access to that," said track athlete Anna Francis.

    But others argue that the move is about protecting the university’s and the student’s images and reputations.

    As for the university’s stance on the move, no one was available for comment Tuesday.