Published July 8, 2011 - 5:13am
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We have seen it time and time again since Facebook and Twitter have been viral that anyone says anything they wish. Student athletes have also been able to say whatever they wish as well, which is most often a terrible decision in the heat of the moment.
Just last month, Ole Miss freshman linebacker CJ Johnson deleted his Twitter account because he said some inappropriate comments that were posted on SportsbyBrooks.com. School officials have said they did not make him delete the account.
That’s old news.
What I find interesting about this story is that Ole Miss is now requiring all student-athletes to take a class on social media responsibility in the fall. Athletes are then required to sign a social media policy at the end of the class, and violations involving the accounts will punishable.
The Ole Miss athletic department uses software to monitor social media networking files, such as a Twitter account, named UDiligence. When a player uses social media, automatic emails will be sent if any keywords are alarming.
Johnson is the same recruit who was sick of the trash talking from Mississippi State fans to his Facebook account when he chose the Rebels over the Bulldogs to play his college ball. He is expected to compete for a starting position right away.
Now, why spend the time and the headache monitoring all your athletes’ tweets? Why don’t coaches just completely ban Twitter and social media altogether?
I do find it interesting, though, that Ole Miss (and there is probably more universities doing this now) is requiring all student-athletes to take the social media responsibility course and sign an agreement. It can be seen as a “first step” to helping find a much-needed median in all the madness.