Thursday, November 1, 2012

College Athletes and Twitter

     Twitter has taken the world by storm and has had a tremendous impact in the sports world. A question that is frequently being asked and discussed among head coaches around the NCAA is "Should college athletes be allowed to use twitter during in-season competition?".   The answer to this question can be addressed by simply pointing to the techniques used by professional scouts who often monitor tweets of potential recruits to get a better understanding of their character and maturity. As it relates to the future career of these athletes, 'trash tweets' may result in contracts not being offered or offers made that with significantly lower salaries.
     Controversy can erupt when athletes post something vulgar or offensive to their Twitter of Facebook accounts. This controversy can have immediate or future consequences. For example, the athlete is linked with the university therefore the university is automatically affiliated with that comment. That alone may hurt the affiliated school’s reputation and possibly cause the loss of future recruits.
     If you want to make a statement and you want it to be noticed Twitter is definitely the place. Athletes tweet their thoughts at any particular time on any subject.  However, Twitter can be the place to make a deplorable mistake; your feelings about a certain topic may change after you've had time to 'cool off', but once you post a tweet you cannot take it back. The backlash you might receive will make you regret the tweet.  The concerns are that these tweets come directly from the athlete; it’s their own words, their own thoughts. Their words cannot get twisted or misconstrued because it’s exactly what they wrote.
     On a personal note, I do not think it’s right to ban athletes from using social media while in-season because this is the way most young people communicate. Corporations and government officials tweet their opinions but they do so in appropriate professional manner. Athletes should be able to voice their opinions as well but they must understand the possible consequences that come with hasty tweets. Twitter might not be the ideal place to discuss your thoughts about all topics or air your dirty laundry but it can get you rapid attention.  Final Thought:  If you do not want your mother to see it or hear it, then I don't recommend tweeting it!


  1. Social media use is one of the most talked about topics involving student athletes in today’s world, there have been several incidences of student athletes ranting on twitter and publicly embarrassing themselves, their family, their program and the university they attend. These athletes range from 18 to 23 years of age, which is an age group where ‘emotions are worn on the sleeves’. The saying is metaphorically explaining how athletes of that age group speak out before thinking sometimes. One should always calm down and gather their thoughts, giving time to think about the politically correct and adequate way to converse about a certain topic. Everyone should know the dangers of speaking publicly while on an emotional high. During this year’s opening weekend of college football, Michigan State was in the headlines for the wrong reasons. 3 Michigan State football players took to twitter to publicly bash the performance of their in-state rival starting quarterback, Denard Robinson. Spartans starting linebacker Denicos Allen tweeted that Tommy Vento, a walk-on quarterback for Michigan State, is better than Robinson. Redshirt freshman safety Kyle Artinian was more direct, reportedly tweeting, "DENARD IS SOOOO BAD!" Freshman linebacker Jamal Lyles added, "I can play quarterback for the school in blue." As soon as those tweets went viral, the national media took it and ran with it. The negative impact of the tweets put the football program and university under embarrassing scrutiny. I believe the usage of social media should be placed in every team’s rules and conduct book, certain guidelines should be established and if broken major consequences should be applied to the offender with no hesitation.

  2. I fully agree with players not being banned from social media during a season. I also think that there is some comic relief to vulgar tweets or things that may cause conflict. In the beginning of social media, was it not created so that you were able to voice a personal opinion where others may see it, if they so choose? This certainly does not mean that I think you should “trash talk” or “bad mouth” anyone on tweets, or statuses without any repercussions. I do feel that often times individuals, especially the media, read way too much into the potential drama associated with any statement from a popular athlete; the viewers/listeners feed off of it. Fans love to hear about their favorite athletes and drama. There is a level of maturity that must be reached that allows an individual to understand that as an athlete, you are a role model. Set a good example.

  3. I think this is a great topic for the reason that twitter is very popular among the younger generations. I believe one reason for its popularity is that many professionals are starting to use it daily. When it comes to the matter of banning kids and young adults I feel that this is taking away a right that is theirs to voice their option and say what is on their mind. They just have to be careful about how they go about saying things. Like you mentioned, if something was to happen to upset a player like getting in a disagreement with their coach, they might go straight to twitter and tweet how horrible a guy the coach is. They are not going to be able to take that back. I almost guarantee that if they were to take a few minutes and cool off they would never say the same thing.