Tech Tech all atwitter as coach bans Twitter, suspends tweeting playersBy Betsy Blaney, AP
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Tweetout: Texas Tech bans Twitter for players
LUBBOCK, Texas — Tweeting is out of bounds for football players at Texas Tech.
Coach Mike Leach said Monday he has banned his players from using Twitter after one of his linebackers noted the coach’s tardiness to a team meeting in a tweet Sunday, one day after the Red Raiders lost 29-28 at No. 12 Houston.
According to the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, linebacker Marlon Williams asked on his Twitter account why he was still in a meeting room when “the head coach can’t even be on time.” That tweet has been deleted and his page no longer exists.
Offensive lineman Brandon Carter, a team captain, also had a Twitter page. After the loss to the Cougars, he tweeted: “This is not how I saw our season.”
On Sunday, Carter was suspended indefinitely for violating team rules unrelated to his Twitter page, which was nowhere to be found later that day.
Leach said players don’t need Twitter or Facebook. He called them “stupid” distractions.
“I think that a guy who plays college football gets enough attention,” he said. It’s “a bunch of narcissists that want to sit and type stuff about themselves all the time. We’ll put mirrors in some of their lockers if that’s necessary but they don’t have to Twitter.”
Leach said players’ Facebook pages will be monitored. He does not want his players sharing information about the football team on them.
He joked about who would be watching.
“That’s a committee that’s very secret and the names of those people are in a vault deep in the bowels of our training center, which even the entrance to that is highly classified,” he said.
The Red Raiders (2-2) host New Mexico (0-4) on Saturday. Texas Tech is coming off back-to-back losses at No. 2 Texas (34-24) and to the Cougars.
Texas coach Mack Brown said he thought it would be against the law to tell players they can’t use social networking sites like Twitter, MySpace and Facebook.
“It would be a football rule and when they’re students away from us, they really are under the guise of the university more than football,” Brown said. “What we have done is encouraged them not to be on it. If they are on it, then they need to be classy and not put anything on there that they don’t want their mom to read. These kids think that they’re just in conversation with buddies, and that’s public information.”
Brown said he encourages Longhorns players to step back and think about the ramifications of what they post — not just now, but in the future.
“When there’s a hint of trouble, people are going to go immediately to their Twitter and their MySpace and Facebook and see what’s on there,” Brown said.
Before his suspension, Carter was known as much for the colorful mohawk and face paint as for his playing ability.
Asked how much Carter’s absence would be felt, Leach responded, “Not at all.”
Shawn Byrnes, Texas Tech’s center, said Carter’s experience will be missed.
“He’s a big, key player, but I think we have guys who can step up and play a role in the offensive line,” Byrnes said.
Leach declined to comment on what it would take for Carter to return to the team.
“Anything that he needs to do to get back, that’s pretty much between me and him,” Leach said.
AP Sports Writer Jeff Latzke in Oklahoma contributed to this report.
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