Twitter has become a big part of college football over the last couple of years.
Whether it's sports journalists sharing information, fans talking about their opinions or the athletes themselves sharing an inside look into their world, Twitter has become a major part of college athletics.
However, Twitter has also begun to show why it is every coach's nightmare.
Per Throw The Flag, a number of Florida State football players' tweets were shared with the masses. Many of the tweets included curse words, illegal activity and jokes that went too far. While some may argue that it's just a student being a student, it can still become a major issue if less unmonitored.
This is exactly why former Kansas coach Turner Gill banned all of his players from using Twitter. More harm than good, the social media site has proven to be a source of problems for athletes over the last couple of years. Especially last season, many coaches noticed a drastic change in the way players were using the site.
Nebraska head coach Bo Pelini, as an example, banned Twitter from his players for the three weeks leading up to the Capital One Bowl. The Huskers still lost that game to South Carolina, but it was less about winning and losing, and more about the distraction and problems it was causing the team. Pelini's ban came on the heels of DE Eric Martin, FB Collin McDermott and C Mike Caputa all being cited by police for different reasons then tweeting about it.
Should Twitter be banned for college athletes?
Similar to Pelini's case, Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher has found his players tweeting things such as, "Child support is worse than aids," via Kenny Shaw. The list goes on for Fisher, as Timmy Jernigan, Tyler Hunter and James Wilder Jr. all have sent out some questionable tweets (that are not all suitable for work). The worst offender has been Hunter, who eventually clarified that his tweets were song lyrics, however the damage had been done by that point.
Due to this, the Florida State players have proved that Twitter is too much of a distraction and should be banned. It causes too many problems for these young men as it puts them under constant attack. The argument against banning Twitter is that they should take responsibility for their actions and learn from their mistakes. While true, it is still imperative to protect these athletes from themselves.
In many case, these athletes tweet anything they feel without realizing that even after it is deleted, someone somewhere mostly snagged a screenshot. It is moments like those when a simple "joke" turns into a public relations nightmare.
From the university standpoint, it's better to just ban Twitter accounts for all. It saves programs from having to do constant damage control from teenagers saying things they shouldn't. While there are quite a few who use Twitter appropriately and should not be punished for the actions of others, it's too difficult to tell one it's okay while telling another it's not.
Ultimately, Twitter is a great tool for many. It will continue to be a major news source for college football going forward.
For student athletes though, it's more drama then universities, fans and coaches need.