Monday, September 12, 2011

Nick Saban won’t ban players from Twitter, but there’s a “policy.”

image Alabama Head Coach Nick Saban had his usual, Monday charm session with the media earlier today and covered all the usual stuff a head coach usually does 48 hours after a business-as-usual dismantling of a capable opponent on their own field. The offensive line? Improved but still has work to do. Defensive performance? Improved but still has work to do? Special team? Improved but…

“What about Duron Carter’s Tweet that he was on the team and expected to play Saturday?” The question came as a result of official word from the athletics department Saturday morning that the son of former NFL great Cris Carter had not made the trip to Happy Valley and would not play.

Saban’s response:

"We monitor guys' Twitter. We don't want any guys to put information out there about what happens, but we released the information before the game because we didn't want it to be a distraction to the team. The team knew it, but we didn't want everybody to start focusing on what's happening, and all that kind of stuff. Our team knew what the situation was on Friday. I mean if we'd gotten the information on Saturday morning, the guy could have come up there and played in the game, so we weren't going to make an announcement until we were absolutely certain that wasn't going to happen. We found that out on Saturday morning, so we thought it would be best to pass out that information during pregame, but our policy is we don't want guys to twitter information about our team that creates an advantage for the other team. And secondly, we monitor guys' Twitter so that they are not putting information out that could be personally damaging to them in the future in terms of the kind of information that they choose to put out there, but we don't have a policy where you can't do it."

So far, the only “damage” being done on Twitter by Alabama football players is fooling a bunch of AUbsessed rival fans into pouncing on a tweet posted out of context and jumping to the conclusion that there is dissension in the Alabama locker room. I think it’s rather silly for a bunch of rival fans to follow the tweets of an Alabama player and retweet the ones that they think mean something they want it to mean. It’s either silly, or sick.After all, there are people out there who have participated in organized, deliberate attempts to entrap Alabama football players into committing NCAA violations, feeding year old pictures and Facebook posts to gossip blogs in the hopes of stirring investigations and perhaps even going so far as to openly contemplate causing a traffic “accident” involving a member of the Crimson Tide team.

Allowing 18-22 year olds unfettered access to such a wide open social medium like Twitter is risky business. Bad actors abound in such media and it’s wise to avoid giving them an opportunity for mischief. But Saban apparently trusts his players to be grownups about the privilege and not post information that could give opponents an advantage or worse, cause harm or embarrassment to the player himself.

Exit Question: What if we could only trust other teams’ fans to be grownups and worry about their own backyards (Zeke Pike, cough cough)?

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Unknown said...

"It’s either silly, or sick." Unfortunately, its the later. These are the same people that have hired private detectives to follow our players, paid former players to lie about UA, and compiled "dossier's" of false allegations and half-truths and forwarded them to the NZAA.
"Sad" doesn't even BEGIN to capture what these people are.