October 26th, 2012
01:52 PM ET

College coach bans player tweets

(CNN) Like many sports fans, Maggie Stephens uses social media to stay informed about her favorite teams.

But she won’t be following Washington State University football players on Twitter anymore.  That’s because the team’s head coach has imposed a ban on Twitter for his players.

Coach Mike Leach issued the ban after some players allegedly posted vulgar tweets.  Some were reportedly derogatory toward women and African-Americans.

Violators can be suspended.

WSU Athletic Director Bill Moos supports the decision.  “We are at a point now where we need 100% focus.  We don’t need distractions,” Moos told CNN affiliate KREM.

Moos says that the university holds its players to a higher standard, and some students agree with that view.

Stephens is one of them.  “If they are making vulgar tweets, I think it’s a good idea to ban it,” she said.

But not everyone agrees with the ban.  WSU senior Nikhil Malhan said, “I think if the coach wanted to take action, they could tell them the consequences of posting things like that on Twitter, not take away the whole right of using Twitter.”

What do you think?  Should colleges ban student athletes from using social media if their tweets or posts are deemed ‘out of bounds’?  Leave your comments in the section below.

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Filed under: Behavior • College • Extracurricular • Social media
soundoff (58 Responses)
  1. Davidson P.

    I do not think that they should ban twitter. Twitter does not have anything to do with playing football, and it is your own business. My strategy would be to just ban vulgar tweets, not all the tweets!

    November 1, 2012 at 8:09 pm |
    • Alex

      And anyway, I can't see how a coach could suspend you from the team from doing something he has no control over. And even if he was one of the people who can control Tweets, they can't suspend you from the team.

      November 3, 2012 at 7:49 pm |
  2. Pacey

    I think it is a bad and good idea. It is a bad idea because i think people need a social life and if you take twitter away from someone it kind of takes away there social life. I think it is a good idea if the players were posting inapproprate things.

    November 1, 2012 at 6:59 pm |
    • stephon

      i agree

      November 1, 2012 at 7:02 pm |
  3. Eli

    I think that since the coach is not everyone on the teams dad, he should let them do it because what they tweet is their parents responsibility, if they let them then he should to.

    November 1, 2012 at 12:48 pm |
  4. MaKayla

    I think the players shouldn't be able to tweet bad comments but they should give the coach a monitor on his computer and check it for bad tweets. When they graduate they can have their own account.

    November 1, 2012 at 12:46 pm |
  5. kassandra

    i think that the coach was too too hard on them and that doesnt matter because they need their freedom and not just to work all day so remember the next time you ban something remember to think first

    October 31, 2012 at 10:48 am |
  6. Angelica

    Well...twitter isnt a good idea to be on during something important, but hey its a teens life! He shouldn't make them stay away from twitter because then, they go to facebook. Way worse!

    October 31, 2012 at 1:06 am |
  7. Destiny

    I think it is a good idea they need to learn a lesson and have to face the facts that what they did was wrong and need to be punished for inappropriate kind of behavior.

    October 31, 2012 at 12:24 am |
  8. Makayla

    I think that is not okay. People should have their own rights and should be able to post whatever they want. However, I do agree that it is not okay to be posting inappropriate things.

    October 30, 2012 at 11:57 pm |
  9. Michaela

    I believe that the coach has no right to take away the players' ability to post something on Twitter and other social media. They are old enough to post whatever they want. Twitter is a right, not a privlige.

    October 30, 2012 at 10:25 pm |
  10. Mohamad

    I don't think coaches should be allowed to ban players from doing things off the field, but the players shouldn't be this careless and do bad things on the internet which can affect their future in colleges. The coach could suspend the players instead.

    October 30, 2012 at 9:21 pm |
  11. Ashley

    Well, if they start to post bad things about eachother, then I think that he should ban it until they have learned there lesson. But not only talking bad about eachother, also if they say another teammate is playing bad, making fun of teammates, cyberbullying, or even harrasing another teammate online. Then yes, he should deffinatley ban it.

    October 30, 2012 at 9:03 pm |
  12. Michaela

    I believe that the coach does not have a right to ban his players from Twitter. Its the parents' choice about how to punish their kids for bad language on any social media website, not the coach's.

    October 30, 2012 at 8:55 pm |
  13. Easton

    I agree to that because if football players are saying irresponsible things, they should not be aloud to play because they are representing their school. Also because the school looks up to their school teams.

    October 30, 2012 at 8:02 pm |
  14. Adriana

    Well I agree because a lot of people look up to football players. If they start putting nasty things on twitter a lot of people will think that "I should do this to since the football players are doing it". This could lead up to a fight and some nasty things will start to happen. Maybe the other team saw that tweet and was offended by it and that can cause problems. This is why I agree with the coach.

    October 30, 2012 at 7:10 pm |
  15. Hamdy I

    Hooray,you banned them from Twitter! But what about other social media services like Facebook and Instagram are you gonna ban them from that too?

    October 30, 2012 at 6:50 pm |
    • Adriana

      I agree with you because since their getting banned from twitter they can post the same things on Facebook and Instagram and other social media.

      October 30, 2012 at 7:13 pm |
  16. Hannah

    I think that the players should be allowed to use Twitter, but if any inappropriate posts are found by school authorities, they would then be punished.

    October 30, 2012 at 6:27 pm |
  17. Ryan

    They should be able to use social media websites on their own time, but the school could make a rule that they can't use it at school and that they can't say bad things about the school and teachers.

    October 30, 2012 at 6:11 pm |
  18. Shelby

    I think that colleges should make the players work harder,and they can get the social media back once they improve their skills...
    What do you think? Should colleges ban student athletes from using social media if their tweets or posts are deemed ‘out of bounds’?

    October 30, 2012 at 6:09 pm |
  19. joe

    I think it's none of his business

    October 30, 2012 at 5:33 pm |
  20. Dalton

    Yes, I think he should have the right to ban tweeting but he should also ban Face Book. Because they are posting inappropriate comments. He should look and find the players that were making bad comments and give them a warning if they do it again... THERE DONE ON THE FOOTBALL TEAM! THERE CUT!!

    October 30, 2012 at 4:58 pm |
  21. Dalton

    It does effect the way people write but it also helps with our writing skills. Every time we blog or tweet or post (etc.) We learn the skills and we learn about words. We look at our friends that have a high grade in language but someone has a bad grade and the are friends. When the kid with the bad grade looks at the post they learn the right way to write.

    October 30, 2012 at 4:54 pm |
  22. Juliana

    I think this is a good thing, but I think its a little bit harsh on the players. even though the coach tell them not to I think they still will find a way to post something without the coach noticing.

    October 30, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
  23. Chinaaa B.

    I agree . . . if you wann be a team you ahve to act like at team . if you do something deal with the consequences .
    therfor the team was punished for being mindless & not thinking about what was done . maybe now that they see that they have restrictions they'll understand what shouuld & shouldnt be done .

    October 30, 2012 at 3:02 pm |
  24. John

    I don't think he should suspend players for tweeting

    October 30, 2012 at 1:55 pm |
  25. burdman

    i think that is a good idea cuz u don't want people writing bad stuff about the school that might bad moth the people who work at the school

    October 30, 2012 at 1:19 pm |
  26. burdman

    i think that is a good idea cuz u dont want people writing bad stuff about the school

    October 30, 2012 at 1:18 pm |
  27. BRip

    ;each is the same dude who locks his players in sheds. so who cares what he says. he has no right to take away the right to go on twitter because far as is see it he is the last person to try to protect what represents WSU hes not a respected person.

    October 30, 2012 at 1:11 pm |
  28. Alex

    Unfortunately, Twitter, Facebook, and other social media sites have become an addiction. So without these social media sites, it would be fair to say that people would be very angry without them.

    October 30, 2012 at 7:36 am |
  29. lorlor1966

    I find it amusing that one of the students quoted in the article thinks that using Twitter is a "right."

    October 30, 2012 at 12:32 am |
    • eville11

      its the, "right" to make anything a "right" as soon as I deem it selfishly in my best interest I need to have something "right" generation.

      October 30, 2012 at 2:12 am |
  30. Mark

    I think this is totally fair if the players abuse social sites like twitter and facebook they could start fights with other schools which would be horrible.

    October 29, 2012 at 11:12 pm |
  31. ronjayaz

    Outrageous! Suspend the whole team!

    October 29, 2012 at 11:08 pm |
  32. dumas

    Nothing like treating adults like a bunch of 5yr olds. I thought these were our future leaders. Instead of making them behave responsibly they just take away their toys.

    October 29, 2012 at 10:44 pm |
  33. Bob Angel

    OK, so how the FRACK did a fracking comment wind up in the sports section? Besides that... A coach banning ALL twitter use is rediculous. As far as the negative comments go I can undestand that. Guess what boys, welcome to the real world. You signed a contract, made a deal, for most of them the college is paying for their education, quit biting the hand that feeds you, when you do you get smacked. Thats just business 101. You make them look bad by posting stupid @$!t that makes them look bad even though it is not directed at them, guess what... it makes them look bad because they are associated with YOU and your stupid tweets and face book updates. Time to grow up and welcome to the new modern connected 24/7 world. I still have a dumb phone.

    October 29, 2012 at 10:37 pm |
  34. Edward

    My soccer coach last year did something like with Facebook for the same reason and now my team and I need to watch what we put on there but he still let's us use Facebook. I think the coach should get rid of the ban on twitter because we have the right what to say and/or type on the computer.

    October 29, 2012 at 10:26 pm |
  35. Trevor

    I think the ban is not right, I think the players should be able to talk to there family's during the big game. But I can also see why the coach banned it because you don't want your players to leak any information into the media.

    October 29, 2012 at 10:03 pm |
    • eville11

      maybe during the big game isn't a good time to be writing BS on twitter, and keep your head in the game eh?

      October 30, 2012 at 2:08 am |
  36. Joanna

    It's a good idea that the coach banned the team from tweeting because the students represent the school and what would the school look like if the students of it would be tweeting bad stuff

    October 29, 2012 at 9:24 pm |
  37. Maci

    I think that the coach at Washington State University cannot take away freedom of press from his football players, but he can prevent the players from posting inappropriate tweets that can affect how people think of Washington State University.

    October 29, 2012 at 9:08 pm |
  38. Sarah

    I think the ban is fair. Keeping the football players out of social media could help them with concentrating on their football games instead of being glued to their phones and/or computers. For the players on the Washington State University team who didn't post those tweets, those players might think it is unfair. Really though, the coach is doing what he thinks is best for the team.

    October 29, 2012 at 9:06 pm |
  39. tim haight

    Mike Leach is the first year coach of the Cougars. His so called aerial defense is a total dud, with a 0-5 Pac 12 record. In the last game the QB got sacked 10 times. The U of I coach just got fired in mid season for a dismal 20-50 overall record. Maybe Mike Leach and Bill Moos needs to quit worrying about a few bad eggs exercising their free speech rights and figure out how to win games. They must be really high if they think they pull off enough wins to get into a bowl game.

    October 29, 2012 at 3:16 pm |
  40. scott

    “If they are making vulgar tweets, I think it’s a good idea to ban it,” – How about educate them on why such things are bad? Teach them to respect all people, regardless of race, religion, gender, etc. These student-athletes, whether they want to be or not, are looked to as role models. In the long run, education will serve them better than censorship. Simply banning twitter doesn't solve the problem, it merely hides it.

    October 29, 2012 at 3:05 pm |
  41. joet

    If they want the "right" to have a Twitter account, so be it. Let them babble their heads off. I also think its the coach's right to remove them from the team, cancel their scholarship and give it to someone who follows the rules. It is not discriminatory in any way, it applies to all players on his team. And I am not a Washington State or Mike Leach fan. I guess I'm tired of immature brats who can tackle or dribble whining because they have to follow rules.

    October 29, 2012 at 2:34 pm |
  42. CaliVirgo

    I think the coach did the right thing. Football players are often looked to as role models. Not only are they risking athletic sanctions and fines, they are also risking the image of the team and the university. College is already expensive, who wants to send their child to a school where the students display disrespect towards women and minorities.

    October 28, 2012 at 8:25 am |
  43. Crystal

    Internet, it causes many problems! Glad that the coach did put a ban on it.

    October 27, 2012 at 5:07 am |
  44. Viper

    In related news, Coach Mike Leach warned the players that if they were spotted in public with anything other than a 6 foot hot blond babe with no underwear on their arms, they would immediately be ejected from the team.

    Obviously Coach Mike Leach needs new whacking material or a more submissive wife.

    October 27, 2012 at 1:59 am |
  45. Brandon

    Ya know, acts like this are what makes football look bad. Never been much of a fan myself, but if one really cares for their team, not anyone else's, and they really want to support them, they should be able to post Twiitter tweets.

    October 26, 2012 at 11:06 pm |
  46. snoop

    free speech. however, racist tweets should b banned

    October 26, 2012 at 8:56 pm |
    • craugt

      Free speech means that the federal government can't restrict your speech, it doesn't mean that your coach or your boss can't.
      These players can still say whatever their idiot hearts desire. they just have to choose between doing it on twittor or playing for this coach.

      October 27, 2012 at 9:31 am |
      • Mariacristina Cortez


        October 29, 2012 at 1:39 pm |
  47. Reg

    THIS should be national news, http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2223059/Marine-lost-legs-Afghanistan-forced-restaurant-cruel-taunts-rival-football-fans.html

    October 26, 2012 at 8:43 pm |
    • A

      Posting a link from the Daily Mail is like posting a link from the National Enquirer. It automatically gives the assumption of being invalid.

      October 29, 2012 at 2:28 pm |
  48. Jenny L

    I agree with the Senior in this article. The ban should only be for vulgar and derogatory things being posted on Twitter. On the other hand, I can understand what the coach is saying about not having distractions. The players should know better than to act like fools on Twitter, but not every player acts like a fool.

    October 26, 2012 at 7:54 pm |
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    The time to join forces has come. In the current political environment GMO’s, Fracking, and other important issues are overlooked. We are heading down a precariously dangerous path. Feel free to directly post to the FB page Fracking Mad. Hopefully together we can overcome. I seek no compensation and these issues are beyond any petty ownership issues. Like the page and get as many friends worldwide as you can to re-post this.

    October 26, 2012 at 7:37 pm |