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Okay, follow me for a second. This is far from a game like Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon, but it sure comes close. If Facebook, Myspace & other social networks can lead to the downfall of teachers and pageant queens what’s not to say popular college athletes can’t fall victim to a scandal?

As recently reported on Bevo Sports, Texas Longhorn head coach Mack Brown has kicked lineman Buck Burnette off the team for an unspecified violation of team rules.  While the team won’t directly comment, numerous news sources cite that Burnette updated his facebook status with some very racially charged comments following Barack Obama’s win of the presidential election.  Since then, Burnette has deleted his profile and issued a formal apology on the matter.

Clearly I have made a mistake and apologized for it and will pay for it. I received it as a text message from an acquaintance and immaturely put it up on facebook in the light of the election. Im not racist and apologize for offending you. I grew up on a ranch in a small town where that was a real thing and I need to grow up. I sincerely am sorry for being ignorant in thinking that it would be ok to write that publicly and apologize to you in particular. I have to be more mature than to put the reputation of my team at stake and to spread that kind of hate which I dont even believe in. Once again, I sincerely apologize.

But what happens to Burnette’s profile? While his page is no longer accessible to general users, Facebook’s Privacy Policy stance on deleted profiles is that information may still be available in backup copies for a reasonable amount of time.  What exactly is a reasonable amount of time?  That could mean a week, a month, or even a year.  Google on the other hand, is not as forgiving as Facebook.  Chances are these negative press articles will stay with him for quite a while when people or hiring managers search his name.

How Can You Set Your Facebook Profile On Private?

Facebook Privacy Settings

Facebook Privacy Settings

It’s very simple actually.

  1. Login to Facebook
  2. Click on the “Account” link in the footer.
  3. Click on the “Manage” link next to privacy.
  4. Click on the “Profile” link on the page.
  5. Set profile settings accordingly.

Now back to the original post about how Facebook & any social network can influence the BCS.  As more college athletes use and build out social media profiles, they become more succeptible and likely targets for identity theives.  Last year, Texas Longhorns QB Colt McCoy fell victim to identity thieves posing as him on Myspace, posting scandalous images and attempting to tarnish his image.  It’s important for college athletes to be vigilent of their online image.  In little time, fake profiles and scandals can easily turn into a huge press fueled distraction for top ranked teams.

And incase you were wondering, Kevin Bacon does use Facebook.  This makes the game so much easier.


3 thoughts on “How Facebook Can Influence The BCS
  1. cammamamaea says:

    Facespace, mybook, the dangers are hilarius.

  2. Jesse says:

    Facebook does not completely delete accounts to give the option to users to return to their old profiles easily. College athletes are taught how to handle the press before each season, I’m sure this training is starting to incorporate social media training as well. Major college athletes are inundated with friend requests by fans, which should give them more reason to be careful with their profiles. Shortly after being signed to an NFL team, my roommate from the dorms deleted his Facebook profile.


  3. The rule of thumb for social networking: be good, or be careful.

    On a related note, I wish they’d make it easier to transport our data from site to site…

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