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Boise State’s Petersen Stands By Twitter Ban

twitter-logoReaders of this site know this writer’s opinion when it comes to athletes tweeting — coaches should outlaw it.  Whether it’s a player creating a distraction for his team or his school or someone tweeting out info that ultimately brings down a program and its coaching staff (Butch Davis at North Carolina), there’s very little good that can come from allowing a teenaged representative of a school to post his innermost thoughts on the web for the world to see.

One of the nation’s most sought-after coaches happens to agree.  Boise State’s Chris Petersen implemented a Twitter ban on his squad three years ago.  To date, Idaho hasn’t had its statehood rescinded, there have been no mass riots, and no Bronco player has lept off a rooftop due to Twitter withdrawal.  In fact, the coach says his no-tweeting rule isn’t that big of a deal for anyone:

 

“It really doesn’t come up around here.  They get that.  I still believe strongly in that just because it can be emotional, and all of a sudden they hit that send button, and five minutes later, they’re going, ‘Oh.’  There are so many other forms of media out there.

I think they’re scared to death we’re going to take away Instagram, Facebook, Vine and all those other things, so they don’t say a word about Twitter.  The important thing is, there are a lot of other social media outlets that our kids do use, and they do know, if they’re not smart and careful with it, that may go away as well.  It’s a privilege to be here, it’s a privilege to play college football.

If you’re not doing it the right way and representing this university, your family and the rest of your teammates the way they need to be represented, then you don’t need to be on that stuff.”

 

Twitter become the place to show one’s emotions and bare one’s soul in the moment.  Why allow someone 22 or younger to possibly hurt themselves, their program and their school with something that’s nothing more to most of these kids than the latest fad technology?

As someone who writes for a living, I can tell you there’s an added worry that goes along with tweeting.  Some of you who like to post comments on websites and at messageboards have experienced it, too.  That worry: No inflections.

There are no inflections in the written word.  You may write something in a calm, cool voice but an angry person doing the reading may read your words and interpret them as being part of a angry rant.  It’s easy to pick up on sarcasm when you’re talking with someone, not so much when you’re reading his tweet.

There are a million reasons for coaches to ban or limit Twitter.  Petersen has done just that and he continues to win games.  Louisville’s Rick Pitino bans Twitter during the season and he just won another NCAA Tournament.  There have been no player revolts.  And the coaches and administrations at Boise State and Louisville have one less thing to worry about when it comes to their young ambassadors.

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Ex-Hog, Cowboys Coach Johnson Says Arkansas Should Re-Hire Their Ex

Aside from Jon Gruden, Bobby Petrino might be the hottest name in the SEC this offseason.  The ex-Arkansas coach who crashed his motorcycle and his career this past April, is getting mentioned in connection with the open job at Kentucky, potential jobs at Auburn and Tennessee, and even at — wait for it — Arkansas.

Ex-Razorback player, ex-Dallas Cowboys coach and current FOX analyst Jimmy Johnson told Jack Arute and Gino Torretta on SiriusXM radio yesterday that perhaps it’s time for Arkansas to re-hire their ex:

 

“Some people might laugh but I’m serious about it.  If they want an outstanding coach they ought to bring back (Bobby) Petrino or hire Butch Davis (and ex-Johnson assistant and Arkansas native).  And people say, ‘How in the world can you bring back Petrino?’  I said, ‘Listen, you forgave Bill Clinton.’  Forgive the man.  Forgive the man for making a bad decision.  Give him an opportunity to coach again…

He wants to get back into coaching and he’s a great coach and he made a mistake.  This whole country, it’s build on forgiving people and giving them second chances.  And I think the fanbase would love to bring him back.  But if they don’t bring him back?  Butch Davis, give him an opportunity.”

 

For the record, Davis would be a bit of a reclamation project, too, considering the mess at North Carolina that took place on his watch.

This writer’s all for forgiving Petrino.  He messed up.  Millions of us mess up everyday and many mess up in the same exact way Petrino did.  I’m not big on casting stones at “sinners.”

But the problem is this — If you’re Arkansas AD Jeff Long and this guy could have cost you your job with his actions, would you be quick to hire him and trust him again?  Oh, I don’t think so.  Long might forgive Petrino, but that doesn’t mean he’ll bring him back to Razorback Stadium anytime soon.

That’d take more than forgiveness.  That’d take a near miracle.

Then again, if a few Hog boosters get involved…

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Hogs’ A.D. Talks Football With Booster Club, Eyes A Coaching Decision By Mid-December

Arkansas athletic director Jeff Long met with a number of rabid Razorback fans at the Little Rock Touchdown Club yesterday.  Naturally, the state of his coaching search was a hot topic.

Asked what “phase” his coaching search is in, Long said: “Just research at this point.”  Just a few weeks ago he told another booster group that he’s had no contact with coaches or their representatives.  Here’s hoping he’s lying his rear end off, ’cause if he’s spent the time from April til October simply looking at resumes, he’s wasted a lot of valuable time.  (For that reason, we suspect he is lying his rear end off and has talked to representatives for coaches and perhaps a few out of work ones like Butch Davis and Jon Gruden one-on-one.)

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Michigan’s Hoke No Fan Of NCAA Rules On Social Media… But The Solution’s Simple

No, this isn’t MrBigTen.com — though we do own that domain name, thank ya very much — but Michigan football coach Brady Hoke has brought up one of our favorite topics: Athletes and social media.

Turns out a Michigan player sent out a congratulatory message on Twitter to a UM commit earlier this month.  That could be a secondary NCAA violation.  (Tennessee is also currently facing a potential slap on the wrist thanks to a player’s tweet.  Sticking with UT for a moment, a former hoops player at UT once brought his own eligibility into question by mentioning a business in a YouTube clip.)

CollegeFootballTalk.com has Hoke’s reaction to the mess:


“I think social media happened so quickly, and the NCAA is trying to get its head around all that stuff.  We just need to keep educating our players… and I’ll mention what they put out there and what they say.  But there’s no question something needs to happen.”

Hoke also said having to report secondary violations for tweets and texts is “wasting people’s time.”

Well, until the NCAA does open the door to any and all tweets and texts, here’s our standard suggestion: Coaches, keep your kids away from social media.

An NCAA investigation into the North Carolina football program — an investigation that cost Butch Davis and many of his assistants their jobs — began with a single player’s tweet.  One comment about partying with an agent/runner caused UNC’s improving football program to unravel.

A few coaches have created social media policies.  Fewer have banned their players from using Twitter and Facebook.  Most simply take the “I’ll deal with it if they say something stupid” tack.

And that’s dangerous.

One dumb tweet can tarnish a program’s reputation.  One bad Facebook comment could lead to an NCAA investigation that might uncover all manner of dirt.

Until the NCAA revises its rules on social media, the safest path is to ix-nay social media.

For those of you crying “First Amendment rights!” you don’t really understand the First Amendment or why it was created.  Players could still tweet if they wanted to… but they’d be subject to punishments, suspension or banishment from their athletic team.  They wouldn’t be thrown in jail.

If you disagree, you might try to tweet that your boss is an arse and see if you can use the First Amendment to save your own rear.  Ain’t gonna happen.

Further, what about all those coaches who already keep freshmen (and other players) away from the media altogether?  Barring social media would just be an extension of those policies.

The smart coaches will snuff it out until the rules change.  Those who don’t risk secondary violations and much, much worse.

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Defensive End Spence Preparing To Cut List

Defensive end Noah Spence from Bishop Mcdevitt High School in Harrisburg, Pa., is preparing to cut his list of schools to seven.

“Then he’ll be setting up the officials the first week of September, or at least we’ll be knocking it down to five,” Spence’s father, Greg, told 247Sports.com. “It’s a fluid situation right now, just because of the nature of college athletics right now, especially with the NCAA. Every day it’s something new.”

And it was something new this week with one school Noah Spence is considering – North Carolina. The Tar Heels fired head coach Butch Davis on Wednesday.

“We have a lot of respect and admiration for that institution, no question about it,” Greg Spence told 247Sports. “UNC is tremendous, we all know that, academically and you really couldn’t ask for more. The football program, unfortunately, is in shambles right now.”

Noah Spence, who’s ranked the nation’s No. 2 weakside defensive end by 247Sports, has offers from several SEC schools, including Auburn, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and Tennessee.

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Auburn Receives Commitment From President

Auburn has received a commitment from defensive end Gimel President from Wando High School in Mount Pleasant, S.C.

President made the commitment after recent trips to Auburn, North Carolina and South Carolina.

Auburn feels like family,” President told the Charleston Post and Courier. “The players made me feel like I was at home.”

President, who’s ranked the nation’s 40th-best defensive end by ESPN.com, received a total of 14 offers. He was in Chapel Hill on Wednesday when Butch Davis was fired as North Carolina’s head coach.

“That affected my decision a lot,” President said.

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SEC Headlines – 12/28/10 Part One

1.  Florida’s offense in the Outback Bowl is expected to look a lot like the system the Gators used down the stretch — up-tempo, multiple quarterbacks.  In other words, Urban Meyer and crew still have no answers for this year’s offensive woes.

2.  John Brantley says a transfer is still a possibility.

3.  Ever-injured running back Jeff Demps hopes to be ready for the Outback Bowl.

4.  If Georgia loses in the Liberty Bowl it will result in Mark Richt’s first losing season since his days as a high school coach a quarter-century ago.

5.  UGA seniors aren’t going out the way they had hoped.

6.  The Bulldogs will move its spring game in order to avoid a conflict with the third round of The Masters.

7.  The UGA basketball team is closing out its non-conference slate this week.

8.  Kentucky faces Coppin State tonight… then Louisville on Friday.

9.  From the looks of his tweets, Terrence Jones wasn’t felling well last night.

10.  Doron Lamb is making a case for more minutes.

11.  Florida State folks still love to hate Steve Spurrier.

12.  Some of Spurrier’s assistants could be targeted by other schools.

13.  The Gamecocks are hoping to fix their secondary woes in the Chick-fil-A Bowl.

14.  The Music City Bowl between Tennessee and North Carolina is bringing in record crowds.

15.  UNC has lost yet another starter… this time to academics.  (Butch Davis may need to suit up against Tennessee.)

16.  While Carolina’s starting tailback is out, Tauren Poole will be looking for six yards to join UT’s 1,000-yard rusher club.

17.  Bruce Pearl says falling from the Top 10 to out of the polls altogether has been a “reality check” for his Vols.

In case you’re wondering, Vanderbilt is in a sports lull right now.  No anti-Vandy bias… just nothing much to report.

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