Report: Football coach loses job after posting nude photo on Facebook February 16th, 2012
With the growth of social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter, many high school coaches across South Florida constantly remind their young athletes to be responsible online. With many college recruiters using social media sites in their evaluation process, high school coaches know how quickly one questionable photo or post can tarnish a young athlete’s reputation–and maybe harm their chances for a college scholarship.
This week, however, it was a high school coach in Maine that learned how costly an online mistake can be.
According to a report in the Sun Journal of Lewiston, Maine, Oxford Hills football coach Paul Withee stepped down after school officials received a complaint that he had posted a nude photo of himself on Facebook.
From the Sun Journal,
“I’m embarrassed, I’m ashamed, I’m humiliated,” Withee said Monday. He said the picture was on the social media page for no more than a half-hour when he discovered what had happened and tried to correct it.
“I’ve never done anything like this before and I never will again,” he said.
“You have to be careful with what you do with social media. You can get yourself into a lot of trouble and something you love can be taken away from you just like this,” he said.
The Sun Journal reports the photo was meant to be shared privately, but was accidentally posted publicly. The paper also reports that school district officials said Withee had none of the district’s students listed as friends on his Facebook.
By all accounts, it seems this was a terrible mistake. Unfortunately, it was a mistake that cost one coach his job.
Coincidentally, the story is making headlines just as school officials in Miami-Dade and Broward counties are considering formal policies regarding teachers and adminstrators’ interaction with students on social media sites.
I’m curious to hear your thoughts. Was this coach right in his decision to resign? And are South Florida schools behind in addressing social media interactions between teachers and students?
Below is a link to the full Sun Journal report, as well as a local story on South Florida schools and social media.
Let me know what you think.