Friday, August 5, 2011
One more coach draws the line on Twitter
By David Ubben
Boise State coach Chris Petersen made headlines before last season when he banned his players from using Twitter.
That worked out well for the Broncos, who went 12-1, but the Big 12 has its first coach to formally ban his players from the site.
Kansas players began signing off the site earlier this week around the same time as a team meeting on Wednesday night, citing a team policy.
Gill confirmed the decision after practice on Thursday.
“We talked about a lot of things,” Gill told reporters of a staff meeting before camp began, “what are some things that we need to do to continue to move our program forward. Someone brought up the issue about Twitter, how that can be a distraction, per se. The reason we decided to not allow our players to have a Twitter account is we feel like it will prevent us from being able to prepare our football program to move forward. Simple as that."
Plenty of Big 12 players have joined the site of late, including a handful of Oklahoma players like Landry Jones and Ryan Broyles, who started up accounts during the offseason. Oklahoma State receiver Justin Blackmon also joined this site this offseason.
The Sooners have a private policy about the site and receiver Kenny Stills had his tweeting privileges taken away earlier this offseason, but the Jayhawks had earned quite a following via the site in recent months.
Receivers A.J. Steward and Daymond Patterson promoted a video of them competing against the soccer and basketball teams on campus, and the fallout resulted in a handful of appearances on ESPN's "College Football Live."
After a 3-9 season in 2010, Kansas was running short on positive press, but Patterson and Steward seemed responsible for the biggest chunk of what came to Lawrence during the offseason.
The risks of players on Twitter are obvious but the Jayhawks had been a pretty good example of a program that had seen positive impact from players interacting on the site.
I followed players like Patterson and Steward, among others (you can follow me here, by the way), but doing so with the Jayhawks won't pay off much anymore.
Here's what a few of the local writers thought about the issue. Honestly, if I was a coach, I'd ban my players from Twitter, but are the Jayhawks a special case?
Patterson was asked about the policy after practice on Thursday, and if Twitter was a distraction.
"I don't think it was, but even if something wasn't a distraction, if you eliminate it, then you can concentrate on something more," he said. "We're here to help the football team win games, and whatever can help us concentrate more, we will abide by it."
So, what do you think? Do the positives outweigh the risks at Kansas?