.My mom always taught me that sometimes things happen for a reason. As a southerner, I listen to my momma. I had a post planned for today that began like this:
Today I wanna know, should Coach Richt ban his players from Twitter? What about Facebook? As recently as last week I probably would've said no. Today's a different story.My intent was to explain why I've changed that stance. For every one Mike Moore (who's been as enjoyable to follow on Twitter as anyone) there's ten more football players who haven't reached his level of maturity...but have set up an account. And even if they are mature, anyone can have a momentary lapse of judgment while clicking Post. Or can get caught up in the fairness of the NCAAs issues. Check out Rennie Curran's response to the rumor mill last night.
Can't believe how hard the ncaa is trying to crack down on college athletes. How can expect someone not to look to outside sources.
when there are video games being made of you, your jerseys getting sold, your family is struggling n you don't even get a dime except pellYou can also check out some of his responses to his followers' questions. We saw #35 lay a lot of wood the last three years. Last night, regardless of his intent, Curran raised a big red flag. Who's the next college athlete to raise one? Will he/she be in Athens? While Coach Fox has successfully banned his players from Twitter, it would be more problematic for Coach Richt to police.
But I think it needs to be done.
And if not, all student-athletes should adhere to Rex's advice -...by all means watch the Twitpics and keep your mouth shut!
I've followed as many Georgia athletes as I can find through social devices. And I'd be lying if I typed to you that there's been moments when I've squirmed reading status updates. I'm sure you have too. Luckily, most Dawgs behave themselves...on the cyber streets. But the temptation has to be high to get attention anyway they can.
Which is why the NCAA is making headlines each and every day here lately. They've failed to regulate sports agents (mostly because the task is nearly impossible) and now social media has forced them to. Father NCAA can't just sit in his office while student-athletes post pictures of themselves on Facebook partying in South Beach. They can't just be content with the status quo when amateur football players are tweeting about being given VIP status.
And now they're in Athens. We expected this right? If you didn't, you've had your head in the sand...and I don't blame you. I'm sure they want to talk to AJ Green, but I doubt they'll find much. As Mike Moore said last night, "Hahaha this talk about AJ is hilarious..that country boy ain't never been to Miami!!! You can put those rumors to rest...".
Perhaps our own David Pollack of 790theZone should check with fellow former players instead of trying to parlay a rumor into radio stardom. Sure AJ's the easy target given his future draft status. But that doesn't mean the kid traded in time on his family's farm in the lowcountry to pretend he's the fresh prince of the ocean air.
But it all brings me back to my original question. The NCAA can pretend they've had their arms wrapped around this all along. We know differently. They can scare us into thinking that we may be facing the 2010 season without a player, or players. They can...this time. But why not nip this in the bud? UGA athletes are well-versed (just like 99% of all NCAA student-athletes) on the pitfalls of these interactions with slimeballs. Why not also educate them on how to use social media...after they graduate.
As nice as it is for me to get a glimpse of these kids' lives and I'm sure as nice as it is for them to socialize in cyberspace, the potential risks greatly outweigh the rewards. Ineligibility, restitution, vacated wins...to name a few. Coach Richt is a nice guy and I'm sure he doesn't want impose such authority on his players. But if a tweet or an uploaded photo bring consequences for everyone except the guilty agent, he may not have a choice.