NCAA Recruiting in the Age of Social Media
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The purpose of the study is to determine the various impacts Social Networking Sites (SNS) have on Canadian full scholarship National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) Division 1 athletes’ recruitment processes. The study employs a qualitative, interview-based methodology. Six Canadian athletes who received full NCAA division 1 scholarships in football, men’s basketball, and women’s basketball were interviewed, as well as three NCAA coaches involved in recruiting processes. It is evident from the findings that SNS have important roles to play in NCAA Division 1 athletes’ recruitment process and there are various aspects of SNS use that determine recruiting effectiveness. All of the athletes who took part in the study along with the coaches were actively involved in SNS during recruiting processes. Twitter was the most preferred SNS platform that is used for recruiting purposes by both athletes and coaches in the study. A primary reason that the athletes gave for using certain SNS platforms is the ability to control the content of the platform and manage how others view them, aligning with Erving Goffman’s self-presentation theory. However, coaches also shared the view that SNS, when not used appropriately, can lead to negative self-presentation, limiting the chances of getting recruited or receiving a full scholarship. This study provides key insights into the role of social media in Canadian high-performance athletes lives and how it impacts their recruitment in NCAA sport.