Project Description

The Incident:  Social Media Training, Cardale Jones | Ohio State

In 2012, Mr. Jones tweeted, “Why do we need to go to class, if we came here to play FOOTBALL, we ain’t come to play SCHOOL, classes are pointless.” Three years later the tweet still follows Mr. Jones. And, according to Mr. Jones, “It was just something so stupid; of course I didn’t feel that way about academics, and I don’t. Nobody in this program feels that way; we actually take that stuff very serious around here. It was just a dumbass thing to do. I definitely didn’t think that would happen. It was just a stupid thing to do at that time. It was something where I just got pissed because I studied my ass off.” (1) 

The Outcome:

Mr. Jones entire account quickly was made either private or deleted. (Too late.) Extreme brand damage ensued for Mr. Jones and the University. And, questions arose re: the institution’s commitment to education for student-athletes. Coming off a year in 2011 when Ohio State’s football team had been in hot water and was sanctioned for preferential treatment and cash payments from a tattoo parlor going toward eight football players, (2) the result was negative brand awareness for the Athletic Department. In 2015,  Mr. Jones is a fine student, with a 3.0 grade point average (3) yet, the tweet continues to haunt him. 

The SM2 Prescription:

  • SM2 Discovery (preventative)
  • SM2 Policy with Procedures (preventative)
  • SM2 eLearning, assessment and certification (preventative)
  • SM2 Public Relations/Crisis Plan and Tactical Drills (preventative)
  • SM2 Crisis Implementation (protective)

Sources: (1) ESPN.com, (2) Huffington Post (3) SportsonEarth.com