College football coaches have been talking to their players for the past couple of years about watching what they post on social networking sites such as Facebook, MySpace and Twitter. The fear is that the athletes will either reveal something they shouldn’t, perhaps giving an opponent inside info, or embarrass themselves and their school.
Most of the time, it’s no problem. The Dogs’ Jeff Owens blogs occasionally and Twitters frequently — mostly inspirational, rah-rah stuff or notes on eating and napping. Especially eating, as in “I wish I had some cheesecake!”
However, Mark Richt was bothered this weekend when freshmen Washaun Ealey and Derrick Lott both put updates online revealing that they had suffered minor injuries in preseason practice — something UGA had not officially announced. Such leaks might not be that big a deal now, but Richt wants them nipped in the bud before the season starts.
I love it: “the World Wide net.” Sounds like Letterman, doesn’t he?
Richt can at least be thankful none of his players has gone as far as University of Colorado cornerback Ben Burney, who was given an official athletic department blog to write about this season. But, USA Today reports, after the player’s opening entry referred to his “girl of the night” being in bed with him and lamented that two-a-days (football, that is) would interfere with his sex life, the entry was first cleaned up and then Burney was terminated as a blogger.
“I was just trying to portray how it is,” Burney told the Colorado Daily. “I wasn’t trying to be risqué or anything like that. I was just trying to make it realistic. I guess it was too realistic.”
He should have stuck to Jeff Owens’ kind of cheesecake.
So what do you think? Should coaches crack down on social networking by their players, or is that a violation of the athletes’ freedom of speech? Share your thoughts in the comments, vote in the poll or both.