Da' Dream Makin' Cold Blooded Sausage

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Friday, June 17, 2011

University of Georgia athletes should NOT be on Twitter, Facebook, etc

"After a while they all seem the same I've had sex 4 times this week I'll explain having a hard time adjusting 2 fame"

That is a tweet from next in line of our superstar TE chain, Jay Rome. Doesn't sound too good (although at least he can spell), until you realize it's a song lyric from Drake. But the quick fall out before Jay Rome told people he was just quoting a song is an indicator of a bigger issue.

Imagine if some AJC reporter caught that without knowing the kid was just quoting Drake, and blows up a big deal in the paper that has to be calmed down but still causes much ado over nothing. The potential for damage is absolutely massive by allowing these kids to put up whatever pops in to their juvenile brains with relatively little filter or context to show sarcasm, playfullness, etc. It may not be a Georgia, but it's bound to blow up in someone's face, and in several instances already has.

We've said it before, and as innocent as Jay Rome's tweet was (and he's far from the biggest potential problem there amongst the incoming class), we'll even use caps to show how strongly we feel this way; THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NOTHING POSITIVE THAT CAN COME FROM UNIVERSITY OF GEORGIA ATHLETES ON TWITTER, OR FACEBOOK, OR ANY SOCIAL MEDIA SITE! It is a ticking time bomb waiting to explode, just no one knows when, how badly, or how many times.

6 comments:

  1. While I don't necessarily disagree with your article, I think everyone needs to stop talking out of both sides of their mouth. Either these kids are student-athletes or they're not. Universities don't ban other students from tweeting or facebooking, so how can they justify banning student athletes? I was always told that anything I put in writing needed to contain appropriate content so that if my parents and/or pastor somehow came in possession of it, I wouldn't be embarassed or busted. Unfortunately, kids today (all kids - not just student athletes) post anything that pops into their minds and don't seem to have an understanding of the differences between right and wrong and appropriate and inappropriate, and therein lies the bigger fundamental problem.

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  2. Anon,

    The difference between a "normal student" and student athletes is a pretty big one. Not in terms of the people themselves, but in other ways. For one, normal students aren't normally deemed "representatives of the University" like student-athletes are. Some kids walk around campus wearing Florida hats, Southern Cal hats, among other schools' gear. They aren't shown in front of between 100s (for say swim meets or tennis matches) and millions of fans (televised football games) wearing "Georgia" across their chests representing that school in athletic competition nationally.

    And the primary issue though, is media attention. Writers for the AJC, Banner-Herald, ESPN, etc follow Georgia athletes on twitter, so what they say can be transmitted to the media immediately and without the ability to take it back or add context. You're not going to see thye AJC or ESPN.com with a story about how some 20 yr old sophomore from Acworth named Beatrice Russell called Obama a socialist devil. But if Aaron Murray says the same, they just may try to turn it in to some national story. Damien Swann may quote extremely inflammatory lyric from some up and coming rapper he grew up with in south Atlanta, yet Mark Schlabach, Chip Towers, and Mark Weiszer have never heard of the guy and it blows up in to a national story because a kid was hyping a friend's career.

    To make this long rambling response short, basically, the difference between normal students on twitter and student-athletes on twitter is the potential for media attention and media fallout, and their public status as supposed "representatives of the University".

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  3. There is freedom of speech in America dude. No matter if you are a Student Athlete or not. It may be stupid, but its a freedom. They need to teach these guys the consequences of their actions maybe but you shouldn't ban them fom it altogether, just because people don't want to be embarrased by what they say.

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  4. OK, perhaps you don't understand what "Freedom of Speech" means. It means the government can't restrict your right to say what you want (aside from things like yelling fire in a crowded theater, etc). Last I checked, Greg McGarity, Mark Richt, Mark Fox, Manny Diaz, Jack Bauerle, Jeff Wallace, etc aren't the government. And the Athletic Association is not a government entity I'd assume for reasons aside from taxation.

    As an American citizen you have freedom of speech, that is correct. But ain't nowhere in that freedom does it say this includes student-athletes at the University of Georgia can post their thoughts on twitter like everyone else. If you want the privelege (i.e. not a right) to represent the University of Georgia in formal athletic competition, you lose the privelege (i.e. not a right) to be on twitter.

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  5. Howabout this - Kids can tweet/FB whatever they want, but if their Coach, "parents and/or pastor somehow came in possession of it" and are "embarassed(sic) or busted" then stadium steps are run. It would make me think twice about posting inappropriate things...

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  6. I love the Freedom of Speech argument. He must not of knowed you is a lawya' Senior Sanchez. To think I never knew you were paying attention in Con. Law.

    When the University of Georgia pays for your education, housing, food, etc. then that means if you want to keep all of those free things you gotta play by the rules the coach lays down. Of course rules and discipline are not really "practiced" by the Ol' Former Right Hand of Bobby Bowden.

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