All quiet on Twitter front

August, 13, 2010
8/13/10
12:02
PM ET
New Mexico State coach DeWayne Walker became the second coach in as many weeks to ban his players from using Twitter, joining Boise State coach Chris Petersen in barring the popular social networking tool.

Walker said Thursday at media day: "You've got 105 guys on your football team. It's not a matter of not trusting guys. Guys may say things and do things that can affect not only our football team, but our university, and not even mean it."

Indeed, several players got into trouble last season for their tweets. Former Texas Tech offensive lineman Brandon Carter announced via Twitter that he had been suspended for a game. He appeared to delete his account shortly after that. Meanwhile, linebacker Marlon Williams ripped former coach Mike Leach on Twitter and spewed profanity in another tweet after losing to Houston.

Former South Florida receiver Carlton Mitchell posted a tweet a few minutes before kickoff of the Wofford game, prompting coach Jim Leavitt to stop using Twitter. Current South Florida coach Skip Holtz says he has no ban on the social networking site.

Opinions on Twitter vary. Miami coach Randy Shannon says he has no use for it, and does not have account. But quarterback Jacory Harris does, and often posts his thoughts. Other coaches, like Les Miles, Steve Sarkisian and Jim Harbaugh are very active. Others have assistants put tweets out for them.

It will be interesting to see whether Twitter bans extend to other programs -- especially the bigger powerhouse teams. In the tight-lipped, controlling environment that is college football today, athletes seem less able to talk openly and freely. We can look past these Twitter bans to another example -- starting this season, messages will no longer be allowed to appear on eye black thanks to recently adopted NCAA legislation. Many programs also bar true freshmen from addressing the media as well.

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