I’ll preface with this: Far too many athletes make fools of themselves on social media.
However, that overlooks how easy it would be to change that fact – if college athletics decided to use their collective half of a brain.
But, in standard college athletics fashion, both Clemson and Florida State have decided to be reactionary rather than proactive and banned their football players from using social media.
That is not a joke. A group of 40-something-year-old men have decided to tell their 18-22-year-old players they are no longer permitted to use their personal social media accounts.
Because nothing screams educating boys on becoming men like telling them they can’t post an Instagram of them and their daughter. Or post a tweet about how good their one dorm meal was that day.
While the intention is certainly transparent (and sound), the approach is remarkably obtuse. It’s a dangerous road to go down for any supervisor or guardian — let alone a head football coach responsible for these 18-year-old kids. Especially about a topic like social media.
Social media is an entity here to stay, likely for a very long time. And the significance of social media on a person’s employability is undeniable. Thus, there is simply no value in banning players from the entire concept so you can mask the problem rather than attack it.
Instead of banishment and exclusion why not education and inclusion? Nothing makes an 18-year-old want to do something more than you telling them they can’t do it.
Dabo Swinney and Jimbo Fisher should be implementing programs to teach these kids how to properly use social media to their direct benefit.
Completely taking it away, rather than teaching responsibility and highlighting the positives of social media, is nothing but counterproductive. It also displays a general presence of mistrust in a sport where players are bred to thrive in situations that demand trust.
It’s not rocket science, guys. And you know that.
It’s just lazy.
Head coaches like Fisher and Swinney can frame these banishments as a way to limit “in-season distractions,” but the only people they’re fooling are themselves.