Thursday, November 11, 2010

Can Coaches Ban Social Networking?

SEVERAL MEMBERS OF the Temple University basketball team, apparently, are on Twitter.

At Villanova University, however, the players are banned from Twitter and facebook during the season. Villanova coach Jay Wright says that bloggers read the tweets and build unwanted and distracting controversy.

Can college athletes be banned from using social media?

28 comments:

Cara Stefchak said...

I don't think it's out of line for coaches to temporarily ban players from updating Twitter accounts during game seasons. Sure they might not be saying anything scandalous, but the media has a way of making innocent banter into full blown controversies that no player needs when they're trying to focus on playing at the top of their game. It's just a precaution to avoid distractions, and players shouldn't make a big deal out of giving it up. It's just Twitter. Now if it were giving up reading J1111 blogspot..now that's just cruel.

See what I did there? Oh man..

Geo said...

So, if you have a scholarship, the university can revoke your right to free speech?

- George
(the teacher who can't imagine a world where people aren't allowed to read the J1111 blog!)

Cara Stefchak said...

Athletes have to be aware that they are public figures and they should present themselves on social networking sites the same way they would present themselves to the media, because in today's world there isn't really much of a line between the two. Maybe as this issue gets more foggy between sports and leagues there will be a more general ban on it. When a player goes to a game, they're essentially going to their job. scholarships = paychecks, coaches = bosses. If it comes down to Tweeting or keeping your full ride..I'll follow coaches orders on this one.

Their job as an athlete is to play their best and throw that ball in a hoop, or in a goal or [insert sports talk here yadda yadda yadda]; not to Twitter to their fans during work. Now when they leave the stadium and want to connect with fans in an APPROPRIATE way, then sure why not. Their Twitter pages are essentially fan pages and a source for journalists to get inside scoops, and they need to be aware that it's just not other players and personal friends tuning in. Negative tweets from them can draw the same consequences as tweets from celebrities. People are always watching.

be amazing today said...

I believe an athlete should be able to Twit away. And read the j1111 blog. My guess they might only put three one's as I was trying to do!

Alexis Wright-Whitley said...

I think that athletes should be allowed to Tweet. They just have to be conscious of what they put out there. I don't want to say that if they receive negative feedback, then oh well, but it is a part of life. No matter what they do, especially if they are a star athlete, the media will try to find ways to get to attack them, by negatively putting them in the news. Tweeting inappropriate things is almost the same of posting pictures of being a sloppy drunk on Facebook; if the coach bans tweeting, he would also have to ban anything else that would result in media generated controversy.

Paki said...

I don't know what the actual rules say and what legal issues are involved here, but I would think that the coach has the right to kick anyone off the team for whatever reason (aside from prejudice, etc). But I don't think that authority should extend to use of the internet. It's one thing to bad-mouth a coach or other players, but I don't think the coach is justified in instituting a complete ban.

It would be interesting to see what would happen if the entire team decided to disregard the ban.

Anonymous said...

I don't believe that Villanova should prohibit their athletes from using Twitter. IF anything it would help the team gain popularity because they would be able to promote the games. Nevertheless, colleges and universities do need to explain to these players that they are a reflection of the school, on and off facebook and twitter. Illegal behavior seen in pictures and comments should be monitored to ensure that it doesn't hurt the schools image.

- Taisje Claiborne

Lauren Hertzler said...

I think that athletes should be allowed to use Twitter and facebook all they want during the season. I agree that social media sites can be a detraction, but who says being distracted is such a bad thing all the time? Sometimes it's nice to just waste some time catching up on everyone's business, I see it as a way of getting my mind thinking in someone else's point of view. It's almost mind boggling and exciting, even if the information is totally meaningless. Even if you love playing basketball more than anything in the whole world - you are going to need to get your mind off of it somehow a few times a day just to be functional. Twitter and facebook make that option endless.

Lauren Hertzler said...

oh my... I meant distraction* not detraction !

Layla Jones said...

I feel that in the same way an employer can judge a potential employee via their facebook and/or twitter pages, spectators can do the same to college athletes. The only difference between a potential employee and an athlete is that when an individual posts potentially harmful things on their social network pages, they're merely endangering themselves and their own personal opportunities. However, when an athlete who plays on a team posts potentially harmful information on their personal social network pages, they endanger an entire program. Therefore, I believe it is acceptable for a coach to ban players from using social networking sites in season.

Lauren Petrie said...

I believe that athletes should be allowed to participate in social networking at all times. If their posts create controversy that's their own fault. I think that by coaches trying to ban their players use of twitter or facebook they're almost babying them. They should be allowed to say what they want where they want. If they slip up and post something unsatisfactory, that's their problem. Their posts on a social networking site shouldn't have any affect on their game and coaches shouldn't have the right to take that away from them.

Nicole Riley said...

Personally, I believe the coaches have no right to control the players off of the courts. Whether its how they are eating, exercising, or using their time on the Internet, if the player does something to him or herself that would jeopardize their position on the team, that is up to the player to learn that lesson. Athletes are people who have rights... they are not owned by their coaches for a certain amount of months each year. The coach should be able to make suggestions, but not ban anything from the players.

Tracy L. Kirkendall said...

Okay..I don't claim to be an constitutional expert or anything, BUT the 1st amendment says "Congress shall make no law...abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press..." Freedom of speech/press pertains to the government not being allowed to restrict these freedoms at any given time. Well...a university basketball team is NOT a government establishment, therefor, it can place restrictions on its players such as banning them from twitter and facebook. It's the same thing that workplaces are dealing with. You are part of an orginization(a basketball team in this instance) and you have a responsibility dictated by that organization to uphold its credibility and wish not to gain negative attention. Like it or not, the coach is within his rights.

Jenn said...

I can understand why coaches would place a ban on social media for the athletes. However, I think that the student athletes should be able to still use Twitter and/or Facebook. Just because they play for the school doesn't mean that they can't have the same privileges that other students (or other people, for that matter) have. If someone were to say or do anything that would tarnish the image of the team, they should face consequences, but I don't think the whole team should be banned just because of the possibility that one person could say something inappropriate.

Sarah Froehlich-Hull said...

I don't believe it is right or fair for the athletes to be prohibited from using social networks. For any sports team to be successful I think the athletes must have a life outside of the team. I know they are supposed to live eat and breathe the team, but in order to be well balanced and sane, some other form of social activity is necessary. Villanovas coach claims "bloggers read the tweets and build unwanted and distracting controversy." Yet Temple's basketball team seems to use their tweeting positively. They even feel like it makes the team even tighter. They enjoy themselves and inspire each other. One Temple player said it helped him "open up more". So if the team is using social networks responsibly, then how can you claim it to cause controversy? And who are the reigning champions? Obviously social networks aren't that harmful.

Nicole Patouhas said...

I feel that athletes should most definitely not be banned from social networking sites. Just as a coach should not infringe on a player's right to speak his/her mind during the season, a coach should not be able to infringe on an athletes right to utilize social networking sites. To me, it seems like just another unnecessary control issue. Making a huge deal out of what athletes are tweeting seems like a waste of time that could be better spent concentrating on other aspects of the game.

Erin Magarity said...

I don't think its necessary to revoke their social networking priveleges, but maybe monitoring their usage would make more sense. I understand you want to keep your basketball team focused and grounded, but keeping them from their facebook friends is just ridiculous. I mean they're going to be totally out of the loop and won't be able to function when an "unlike" button hits the facebook scene.

Hillary said...

The players should be aware that the team is going to be in the media and should be careful of what they say and publish. This goes for twitter, facebook, and other means of updating social networking. It shouldn't be banned, but the players should simply monitored what they are saying.

Lauren Haber said...

I think it is crazy that the coach banned the team from social networking. It is really obvious that college athletes are seen in the media, and therefore should watch what they say on the internet. However, I do not think that their coach has the right to censor their speech. This coach just brought himself AND his team the negative media attention that he was trying so hard to avoid.

Mary Kate Gasiewski said...

The way I see it, if a player chooses to be part of a team, they are choosing to abide by that team's rules, twitter or no twitter. But, I also believe that a requirement of that sort should be mentioned to potential players before they join the team.. Who knows, some people might be so addicted to social networking that they are willing to give up their sport for it..

Tetiana Bilynsky said...

I do not think that college athletes should be banned from social networking. They are all adults, therefore, it is their decision whether or not they want to use Twitter. They are all aware that they are on an athletic team so it is also up to them whether or not they watch what they say. If they post something that will get them in trouble then that is their own doing because they are the ones who wrote it. If they want to use social networking they should be able to, what they are writing is their own decision.

Alison Curran said...

Though it may be a little silly to ban social networking sites, i see the coaches point. These sites are distracting and these players have to focus. There have been plenty of times where i have heard someone say "I just went on to check my facebook and an hour later I was still on." Peoples attention becomes sidetracked and they can't focus on what they are supposed to.

These players made the decision to join the team all on their own; no one forced them too. If their coach said to be at the gym at 7:00am they would be at the gym a couple minutes early. Well, the coach is saying not to use these sites so they must oblige and not use these social networking sites.

Hanae Yanai said...

I do not think the athlets should stop using their SNS service. I understand that sometimes SNS gives the unwanted controversies but this is each person's responsibility or morality. Fackbook, myspace and twitter are entertainment. It does not to ban.

Dana Dever said...

I don't think that they should ban the players use of sites such as Twitter as long as they aren't posting anything controversial. If they are, they should monitor it and have a discussion with the team about it. I think that, in a way, they're trying to put a limit on their private lives and it would be a totally different story if a regular non-althete student was posting things that were considered controversial.

Eleana Wehr said...

I think this is ridiculous. Yes. They have scholarships and to some may stand out as "public figures" but I don't think as college students no matter if they are basketball players or a part of an organization that is involved in the community outside of the university, they shouldn't be expected to refrain from using Facebook or Twitter during the season. Its the idea that of "freedom of speech". I don't see the difference in a college basketball player and a student president of a college organization.

Her Name Is Sam Kelly said...

Athletes should tweet. Athletes should talk. Athletes that are walking around with our money in their pockets, or rather stomachs, still should be able to say what they want to say. If TU, coaches or programs have a problem with what players may tweet they may suspend them or use other forms of punishment but they should not interfere with their freedom of speech.

Let the players play.
Let the players speak.

Giulia Valtieri said...

This is ridiculous. facebook and twitter distract all kinds of students, not just athletes. What's next our professors telling us we can't go on facebook if we are registered in their class? Plus, how can they even measure this? people can use fake names online. If the players want to tweet, it isn't their fault what other people's response is. It is not as if they are holding their phones updating their status while playing the game.

Francine Mensah said...

I don't think that coaches necessarily have the right to ban members from having social networking sites. I think that coaches just want to prevent team members from distractions and negativity which is why players have been banned. I think that coaches have the players best interest at heart and want to be at their ultimate best. Inactivity on social networking sites helps them to do so.