Thoughts on Interesting Twitter Related Incident at Mississippi State

Flagged this interesting story out of Starkville, MS where hoops coach Rick Stansbury dismissed a freshman off his team after the kid went ballistic on Twitter:

Mississippi State freshman D.J. Gardner has been dismissed by coach Rick Stansbury for "repeated actions deemed detrimental to the team."

Gardner, a 6-foot-7 guard from Okolona, Miss., was expected to be redshirted this season. The freshman apparently wasn't happy with that decision, posting profanity-laced remarks on his Twitter account, according to The Clarion-Ledger.

Gardner's Twitter account has since been deleted. Gardner is the fourth Bulldogs player to leave the program in nine months -- joining Twany Beckham, John Riek and Elgin Bailey.

Stansbury had banned his players from using the social messaging website last season after Ravern Johnson used Twitter to question his role on the team.

The ban was lifted after the season. Stansbury hasn't said if it will return.

The article also mentions how this is not the first time the Mississippi State hoops program has had to deal with Twitter related issues. The story is interesting and it brings up the issue of whether universities around the country are being smart about the use of social media by their athletes.

We have had our issue with Twitter. Recently P noted about an ill advised Twitter post from Fauria. There has been previous instances on Twitter related posts from our athletes that have been blogged about here on BN. I don't really care for coaches banning their players from using social media. I think the players can be coached up on how to use it smartly, so they can navigate through today's media space. Few tips that instantly come to mind:

  • Student-athletes should be given simple guidelines on how they conduct themselves in an online public place.
  • One of the codes of conduct should include specific provisions barring student-athletes from attacking any university employees via Twitter. I think this is something the academic faculty should consider as well warning the students taking their classes that personal attacks on faculty will simply not be tolerated. If anything it's a good learning opportunity for students, who should know that in real life, they would not be able to hold on to a job, if their employers found out they were being attacked by employees on Twitter.
  • All student athletes should protect their Twitter account and not allow any members of the traditional media, who have proven to be hostile to interests of the program (we know who those guys are at UCLA).

In short, I think banning use of social media is not the smart way to go. Schools should focus on developing some sensible rules and then make all students well aware of them and also make it clear the consequences of breaking those rules.


<em>This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of BruinsNation's (BN) editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of BN's editors.</em>

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