It's safe to say Clemson football won't be doing it "for the 'gram" this season.
According to Scott Keepfer of USA Today, Clemson football players have been forbidden from using social media accounts like Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and even Instagram during the season. The ban started on August 3, the first day of fall camp.
This isn't the first time the Tigers have done this; as Keepfer notes, Clemson players have gone without social media during the regular season for several years now.
It's not clear who started the policy in the first place; according to Aaron Brenner of the Post and Courier, some say the senior class decides the policy each season, but senior guard Eric Mac Lain indicated head coach Dabo Swinney and his staff institute the rule.
Taking away social media from kids born in the 1990s is like taking away water from a fish at times. A majority of 18- to 22-year-olds would find it incredibly difficult to handle a ban like this, and at least one coach was taken aback when he heard what Clemson was doing, according to Fox Sports' Bruce Feldman:
Bruce Feldman @BruceFeldmanCFB
Just got a text from a coach seeing this. "It's nuts. 'Come to Clemson. We'll treat you like you're 8 yrs old.'" https://t.co/On4Vh53Drv8/15/2015, 6:34:16 PM
Tigers wide receivers coach Jeff Scott is on board with his team's call, though:
Coach Jeff Scott @coach_jeffscott
"Distractions are the enemy of greatness" @JonGordon11 https://t.co/5kDiXHB0Ng8/15/2015, 6:02:43 PM
And it seems the players have bought into it. Junior tight end Stanton Seckinger spoke about it with Keepfer:
Every time I pull my phone out, the first thing I want to do is click on Instagram or Twitter or whatever. This ban takes that out of your head. It’s not that I don’t still have the urge, but I know I can’t do it, so it doesn’t occupy my thoughts. I don’t exactly love the ban, but I think it’s a great idea.
By banning social media, Clemson is looking to cut down on added distractions that could rattle its players before games or affect their performance. This move could even go as far as helping them sleep better. Instead of staying up late and fiddling with Facebook the night before practices and games, players have one less option to keep them awake.
A well-rested player will be one who is mentally sharp on game day, improving his chances to make a split-second decision at the right time.
The Tigers will need that timing to be perfect this season. Clemson enters the season ranked 12th in the nation by the Amway Coaches Poll. With a somewhat favorable schedule—with Notre Dame and Florida State as its biggest hurdles—Clemson has a nice setup to make a serious run at the College Football Playoff.
And if the program thinks taking away social media will increase the team's chances of a national championship, then let the experiment continue and alert the followers that their friends and favorite players are going on a little hiatus.