In a lesson that needs to be repeated over and over, SEO’s will tell you in no uncertain terms that you have to protect your reputation online. Alex Anzalone, who is one of the top high school football prospects in the nation, withdrew his commitment to Ohio State after a person who is characterized of a Buckeye fan that he met on a trip to the school posted pictures of the two posed together on Twitter. Why this was so troubling is the fan is a convict, having been found guilty of possession of pornographic material containing children.
Ohio State did a poor job of vetting who they provided access to players without doubt, but a worse job of managing the media outfall. Rather than shoulder any guilt for allowing such a person to have that close of contact with their recruits and team in general, OSU blamed the problem on social networks and social media. The extent of the action they took was to warn student athletes to be careful who they associated with or allowed them self to be photographed with.
The end result is that OSU did nothing of real impact. They passed the buck rather than have a skilled SMM and SEO work together to clean the problem up. They were more content to claim it wasn’t their fault. The lost the recruit. They lost a media image they had just finished cleaning up and they may lose a national title over it. This just reinforces why universities need SEOs and media managers that understand these problems on staff watching their back.