College players wary of fans' critical tweets

Thursday, October 31, 2013

College coaches and administrators concerned about their tweeting athletes also should be wary of their tweeting fans.

Social media experts pointed to vitriolic messages directed at football players from Missouri and Nebraska last weekend as examples of why schools should counsel athletes on how to cope with criticism that crosses the line from heckling to hate.

‘‘What I worry about is some of the psychological outcomes. Does it lead to decreased self-esteem? Does it lead to depression? Does it lead to guys not eating and sleeping right?’’ said Jimmy Sanderson, a Clemson researcher who collaborated on a 2012 study of how college athletes react to negative encounters with fans on social media.

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