The coach of a college football team in the United States has taken a hard-line with his playing squad when it comes to social media. Mike Leach has banned the Washington State Cougars from tweeting, and he’s asking the fans and media to help him police this decision.
Speaking to The Seattle Times, the coach had this to say: “Twitter’s now banned around here, so don’t expect anything on Twitter… Twitter’s banned and quite frankly, if after today you see anything on Twitter from our team — and I don’t care if it says, ‘I love life’ — I would like to see it, because I will suspend them.”
Leach didn’t elaborate on the reasoning behind his decision, merely stating: “Because I decided to, that’s what prompted that.” However, Athletic Director Bill Moos was slightly more forthcoming, explaining that in the past there had been a series of inappropriate tweets from players that portrayed the college’s sports program in a bad light. He also added that the problems weren’t solely related to the football team.
Athletes are often looked up to by the younger members of a school, community or country, and whether they like it or not, they can have a big influence on those children. As Bill Moos further explained: “I’ve got kids myself, and they have Twitters and Facebooks and all that. And a lot of that stuff that comes across there, it would not be approved by the Parent Teacher Association.”
Do you agree with Mike Leach’s decision? Should social media accounts of athletes and sportsmen and women be treated as an extension of the team/brand they represent, or is this a step to far in social policing? We’d like to hear your thoughts.