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Point/Counterpoint: Should college coaches use Twitter?

BY DI SPORTS STAFF | MAY 05, 2009 7:27 AM

NO

Although I myself have gone cuckoo and logged on to Twitter (follow me @amiekiehn for useless tidbits like I watched Homeward Bound I and II Saturday … or save your mind space and don’t), college coaches should NOT be Tweeting.

As much as I love my sports, I don’t want to read coaches’ water-downed pep talks when I am trying to get the dirt on celebs like Ashton Kutcher (@aplusk) in 140 characters or less.

Thus Tom Crean (@TomCrean), I know you had a rough year at the helm of the Indiana basketball team (finishing with a scary 6-25 record), but Twitter will not parlay confidence in your squad.

Sorry. So instead of picking up the cell phone and Tweeting, “Jeff was a serious player in our 4on4 games this past Friday. Athletically he was excellen,” why don’t you jump in and try to nab one of Rivals’ top prospects. Oh, and I’ll forgive you for the misspellings, just this once.

Coaches are unshamingly announcing they’re using the latest media craze as a recruiting device. So let me pose the obvious conundrum — college coaches are not allowed to send text messages due to an NCAA rule, but they CAN Tweet to students? So that really is not a violation? Hmmm …

Illinois football coach Ron Zook (@RonZook) said an interview with the St. Louis Post-Dispatch his reason to use Twitter was strictly for recruiting purposes. “The whole reason obviously had to do with recruiting, period,” he said to the newspaper.

I’ll give Zook credit — at least his Twitter feed is filled with personal anecdotes unlike Minnesota football coach Tim Brewster (whose twitter name is a significantly blatant @Play4Brew). I like Brewster, but he just Tweeted how curling is a “very cool sport.” I disagree. Consider yourself down a follower, Brewster.

— by Amie Kiehn

YES

College coaches should absolutely use Twitter. They should use Twitter every minute of every hour of every day.

Why? Because college coaches say the darndest things.

Take Central Florida assistant football coach Geoff Collins.

“ UCF SPRING GAME today at 2pm. ... I’ve got Got my SWAG on ... I got a lot of JUICE and you know my CHILI’s HOT!!!!!!!! GO KNIGHTS!!!!!,” Collins Tweeted in April.

Now enter Minnesota head football coach Tim Brewster.

It was widely reported on April 17 that a Tweet on Brewster’s Twitter, “Play4brew,” read “How would you like to wake up in the morning and look in the mirror … if your [sic] Fat Pat.”

“Fat Pat” was widely assumed to refer to Minneapolis Star-Tribune sports columnist Patrick Reusse, a critic of Brewster.

The post was quickly taken down, but not before it was widely read and e-mailed to the Star-Tribune.

Brewster’s elementary-school insult was seemingly on par with his grasp of the English language. In recent news, the Golden Gopher football team lost three scholarships because of an Academic Progress Rate below NCAA standards. You’re not a great example for your athletes, Coach.

It used to be coaches had to wait until a press conference to go off like Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy. Now they can make fools of themselves for my amusement with one click.

Furthermore, without microphones and cameras facing them, Twitter lures them in to a sense of comfort, allowing coaches to spout all the incomprehensible slang and childish media bashing they want.

And that is a wonderful thing.

— by Mike Slusark


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