Should they or shouldn’t they? Should college coaches allow their players to tweet or should they ban them from using the popular social media platform for fear that someone will write something he shouldn’t and bring trouble upon himself of the program as a whole (as was the case during North Carolina’s recent football scandal).
As we’ve written before, at MrSEC.com we believe most coaches would be wise to ban their players from Twitter during the season. Several programs across the country have gone that route. And for those who feel it’s a First Amendment issue, it’s not. At least no more than a coach banning his freshmen or his quarterbacks or some other players from speaking with the press.
Aaron Brenner of The Columbus Ledger-Enquirer did a nice job of compiling the varying views of a variety of SEC football coaches. You can read his excellent piece right here.
We’ll simply share with you some direct quotes from five different league coaches…
“What can you ever gain by putting your business on the street? The bad outweighs the good.”
– South Carolina’s Steve Spurrier, who bans Twitter during football season
“I’ve got mixed emotions. It can be a very good tool, depending upon how it’s used. I think it’s been a great thing for me and the relationship-building here, for us to get our message out of who we are and what our core values are. A lot of our kids have that to heart, too.
Unfortunately, that’s not always the case, and makes you question whether it should be a part of your program. I can also be very discouraging to read some of the things you see on there. I want kids to understant that could prevent them from getting a job one day. I’ve asked a few to get off of it.”
– Ole Miss’ Hugh Freeze, who does not ban Twitter
“Certainly it’s something that’s been controversial. We just try to educate our guys on the fact that Twitter is something you’ve got to be very careful with. If we have a young man that we feel like is getting out of control with that, then we’ll take that away from him as an option…
Doesn’t matter what kind of year you’re having, nobody out there on anybody’s football team should be talking about anything that sheds a negative light on anybody’s program.”
– Auburn’s Gene Chizik, who does not ban Twitter
“You do have to trust them. We haven’t had anything horrific happen. For the most part, it doesn’t become problematic. It’s just the way people communicate nowadays, so I don’t want to sit here and strangle that with our players. I want them to have a relatively normal life. It’s more important to teach them how to manage it than shut it down.”
– Georgia’s Mark Rich, who does not ban Twitter
“It’s a new way of communicating. I think it’s an opportunity for people to not be accountable and speak in wide exaggerations. The positives of the use of social media will be defined as we go forward.”
– LSU’s Les Miles (with wording like that could it be anyone else?), who does not ban Twitter