Ohio State Head Coach Urban Meyer Wrong to Ban Twitter from Team

Brandon WheelandCorrespondent IIJanuary 4, 2012

COLUMBUS, OH - NOVEMBER 28:  Urban Meyer speaks to the media after being introduced as the new head coach of Ohio State football on November 28, 2011 in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

If I were to use Twitter to explain my thoughts on Urban Meyer's recent decision to ban the social network site from his players, it would probably look something like this.

"I will use 140 characters to express my thoughts on how I feel about Urban Meyer's decision to ban Twitter at THE Ohio State. Terrible idea."

Look at that, 140 exactly.

Chances are, if you are familiar with the Internet, you are familiar with Twitter. If you haven’t heard, simply put, Twitter is a social media website where users share their thoughts via “tweets” of 140 characters or less. These tweets are read by users who choose to “follow” that person on Twitter.

If you are a member of the Ohio State football team, simply disregard the above explanation. Urban Meyer has officially banned the site from the team.

Before attacking this decision, let me say that I love Urban Meyer overall as a coach. At the college level, it’s hard to find many coaches in the game today I would rather have leading my football team.

I’m also a college student. While I’m nowhere near making a college roster, I will say that I have learned quite a bit about life during my first semester.

I am now a member of the real world, where the decisions I make can affect me for the rest of my life.

No one is around to baby me anymore, to hold my hand and control what I do. From here on out, everything is my decision and my decision alone.


Players need to learn how to govern their behavior. In a world where the Internet is so important for communication, they should learn how to interact in an appropriate manner. This rings especially true to the athletes he coaches with NFL careers in their future.

I see where Meyer is coming from, but he is out of line with this decision.

As a head coach, I expect you to govern what your players do to an extent. You can set a team curfew because, after all, nothing good happens after midnight.

You can put a ban on alcohol consumption for players that are of age—after all, that affects health and can affect how the team plays overall.

You can even tell players they are allowed to use Twitter, but anything tweeted that relates to players' health or a game plan for an opponent can not be posted.

As I’ve stated, I am a Meyer fan. He has an incredible ability to develop boys into men. He has to develop trust with his players and give them room to do as they wish. If a player breaks that trust by placing something on the Internet that could hurt the image of his team, then adequate punishment should follow.

But where is the harm in an athlete tweeting how exciting a professional basketball game was? How does an athlete recommending a good movie to watch hurt the team’s chances at a victory?

Meyer should strongly reconsider his decision.

High school athletes dream of playing college ball, but the ways they go about choosing schools and the reasoning behind their decisions have gotten pretty crazy. For example, recruits like Tee Shepard have chosen to pick their college destination by drawing a school out of a hat. I would hate to see Meyer lose a top recruit simply because the athlete wants to go somewhere that allows him to tweet.

What are your thoughts?


Follow Brandon Wheeland on Twitter @BrandonWheeland