A lot happens in athletic departments when we think about all that goes on around our teams – the marketing, the public relations, and the other opportunities that come with success. With the 24/7 cycle of team celebrations, social media posts, new articles, and collaborations with celebrities - college athlete development professionals oftentimes are not involved.
I would “argue” that athletic directors (AD’s) might start touching base with college athlete development and mental health professionals because in their effort to raise their department’s profile and some dollars – these AD’s might be severely damaging “intra-team” relations.
Take for instance two recent events at a Power Five conference school. First, a non-revenue men’s team posts a picture with President Trump. Now, how might a revenue team, like some of the athletes on the football team, feel about the tennis team praising a Commander-In-Chief that some consider to be racially devise? Or the same school had a prominent rap star sing the school song on national television despite the actuality several articles have been written documenting the concerns of athletes at the school about the racial undertones of the song?
There was a time when athletic departments could care less if athletes cared how they raise awareness and dollars, but they might want to be concerned… because if the football team isn’t happy, and they don’t win, then all of the ancillary activities do not matter!
Believe me college athletes, especially the studs, take notice of these mishaps and it impacts their feelings, motivations, and behaviors. And in turn it impacts their individual and collective performances.
College athlete development professionals have their hand of the pulse of college athletes and can provide some information that will improve your athletic department’s decision-making.
It’s a new day in college athletics and intra-team relations matter!