Late last month, we released a survey report based on data we collected from 610 coaches at 220 colleges. That’s a lot of people, but overall there was tremendous similarity in their opinions. One of the factors touched upon is whether coaches take online reputation of prospective students as seriously as admissions counselors do. Overwhelmingly, the answer was yes. Much more so, in fact: 83% vs 54%. But here’s something interesting: while of course a search that turns up negative information can have a seriously detrimental effect on an applicant, it turns out that cultivating a positive online presence is nearly as important.
Among many other results, the survey found:
- 83% of respondents said that they (or someone on their coaching staff) conducted online research of at least one of their athletic recruits during the 2013-2014 recruiting season.
- 78% of respondents said that they believe they could get a better sense of a recruit’s character and personality by researching him or her online.
- 86% of respondents have seen something online that has given them a positive impression of an athletic recruit.
- 79% of respondents believe that a strong and positive online presence can give one recruit an advantage over another recruit.
(Source: Cornerstone Reputation College Athletics Survey)
We also gathered information on the effects of a negative online reputation, but at Cornerstone we believe strongly that it’s better for students to learn how to create a positive reputation--and have fun doing it!--than to be too wary and have no online presence at all. Student athletes have a lot to be proud of, and a well-thought-out Facebook post or tweet can be helpful in the recruiting process. Just ask these coaches.
By Erin Matthews