Honors Theses

Date of Award


Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis



First Advisor

Chris Sparks

Relational Format



The purpose of this thesis is to better understand the effects of social media on college athletic recruitment through student-athlete exposure, the transition from a coach-controlled recruitment process to a player-controlled recruitment process, student-athlete and collegiate athletic program reputation management, and overall increased revenue. The effects will be examined through a review of nineteen published literature sources and the qualitative analysis of interviews conducted with high-school senior student-athletes, university recruitment and media relations staff, and college freshmen student-athletes. Qualitative research will be conducted with interviews of high-school seniors who are at least 18 years of age who are currently going through the process of collegiate athletic recruitment by Division I universities. The interviews consisted of seven questions that measure and evaluate their experience with social media and their recruitment process. These interviews were designed to gauge the impact social media has on high school athletes and their current recruitment process. Selected high school athletes were chosen from top-performing high schools in the athletics sector from the state of Mississippi based on state rankings by the Mississippi High School Athletics Association and top-performing athlete lists such as Mississippi’s Dandy Dozen list and ESPN’s athlete rankings. Qualitative research was also done with college freshmen student-athletes. Like the high school senior student-athletes, these college freshmen student-athletes received the same seven interview questions to measure their experience with social media and their recently completed recruitment process. Qualitative research also consisted of interviews with recruitment and media relations staff of Ole Miss Athletics and Louisiana State University Athletics due to their past experiences with recruitment issues. These interviews were comprised of ten questions that measured and provided further understanding of the role of social media in collegiate athletic recruitment.

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