Back when message boards were all the rage, there was one surefire way to stay plugged in as a Georgia fan – to either scan the DawgVent or DawgPost. If you wanted news and info, it was the place you had to visit at all hours of the day.
That’s changed now thanks to social media. Thanks to outlets like Facebook and Twitter, everyone has a voice. Media outlets can push out the info as it happens. It also enables many of have a voice, no matter how big or small of a person they are. On Twitter, you can push out to the world all that’s going on – whether or not the world wants to know it or not.
That’s tremendous asset for sports fans. How else can you see the ‘other side’ of athletes and see what’s on players minds before or after big games? All too often, players are often sterilized by their handlers, as media relations staffs only want a certain side of a story to be told. Through Twitter, the story is unfiltered.
That, unfortunately comes with bad consequences. At Florida State and possibly at Clemson, the practice of banning players from social media is being adopted. This is stupid and cowardly. To ban players from Twitter because players need to ‘stay focused’ says much about a program’s head coach. It says that they fail at doing THEIR OWN job of motivating and preparing players.
Consider this tale of two NHL teams this season. The New York Rangers entered the playoffs with the best overall record and banned twitter for its players to ‘keep them focused,’ and they failed to reach the Stanley Cup finals. Out West, the L.A Kings put heavy use into their social media efforts and they won the title.
Should players be trained at what to drop out on social networks? Without question. If they are trained on how to handle media, how dad gum hard can it be to do the same with social media. It’s not that hard, just think for five seconds before sending a Tweet, and it can solve many, many problems. Things like that can eliminate someone pulling another Tyler Hunter in Tallahassee (aren’t you glad JHC isn’t down there?)
Twitter is a tremendous asset for college sports. It’s far from a problem.