Houston Texans defensive end JJ Watt gave some very good advice to high schoolers at the Gatorade Athlete of the Year Awards in Los Angeles and his comments are worth repeating here. A Sporting News story spun out of Watt's interview with MaxPreps includes this from the NFL standout:
"Read each tweet about 95 times before you send it. Look at every Instagram post about 95 times before you send it. A reputation takes years and years and years to build, and it takes one press of a button to ruin. So don't let that happen to you.
"You've done so much work. You've put in so much time, so much effort. Don't let one moment ruin your entire life because you wanted to be funny or you were mad or because you had a mood. Just be extremely smart about what you do."And this . . .
"If you use it properly, you can use it unbelievably and you can do great things with social media. You can interact with your fans and have a lot of fun and share with the world what you're doing. But just be very smart about it."
You can read the Sporting News story and see the whole interview by clicking HERE. His comments are toward the end of the 4-plus minute interview.
•Green Alert Take: Ivy League-calibre students are bright but not immune from making social media mistakes. I know of a former Dartmouth athlete who very nearly lost his admission slot because of something he posted. I would expect there are others who coaches have walked away from because of something they've seen on social media, and I can tell you there are athletes at another school whose reputations were soiled by Tweets that were reported in local and national media. Finally, in digging through Twitter for recruiting information I've seen Tweets that I find myself hoping no one else sees. Be smart people!