Coaches following tweets, Facebook posts invades privacy, some athletes say

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HIGH POINT, N.C. -- Some collegiate athletes think coaches closely monitoring their social media activity invades their privacy, even though UNC was banned from a bowl in 2012, in part, because of a tweet.

All student-athletes at High Point University are required to sign the school's social media policy. The policy states that a coach or other official will track what they post on networks like Facebook and Twitter.

If a post violates either the law or policies set by the NCAA or the university, the student-athlete would have to remove the post or he or she could face dismissal from the team.

"It's probably unfortunate that it's gotten to this point, but there's a reason it's gotten here--because there's so many different potential violations or negative consequences that could come from people saying what they think," said Jared Michols, HPU assistant athletic director.

Michols said he also monitors what student-athletes post, and he said he's seen things like foul language and inappropriate pictures.

"I'm kind of creeped out to be honest, but I guess they got to do it for protection reasons," said Christopher Muggler, student-athlete.

"Anything I feel like an employer would have a problem with, probably High Point's going to have a problem with, so I better just stay away from it entirely. So I don't have a problem with them monitoring social media at all," said Michael Feroe, student-athlete.

HPU drafted its policy as the NCAA began its investigation of UNC in 2010. At other local schools, Wake Forest also monitors its athletes' posts, and North Carolina A&T is drafting a new social media policy.

UNC had a similar rule in its 2010-2011 student athlete handbook. The NCAA banned UNC from the 2012 postseason on Monday.

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