A common practice this summer and in years past among college football programs has been instituting a social media ban between now and the end of the football season, or another set date, but it is a practice that has not come without criticism.
A few people, including journalists and university officials alike, have recently taken to Twitter to criticize social media bans as Draconian, the wrong idea and unnecessary.
coaches who do this are so weak. do your job and deal with the growing pains that come with college students. https://t.co/Q84Hm9gzB7
— bomani (@bomani_jones) August 11, 2015
I don't believe in this approach College is about Ed & preparing young people for life, social media is here to stay https://t.co/EXIk5rNey7
— Jeff Long (@jefflongKU) August 11, 2015
Some college football teams are banning their players from using social media? Basically saying you don't trust your players. Not great
— Edward Aschoff (@AschoffESPN) August 11, 2015
It’s hard to argue against these points, as it’s basically along the same lines of parents telling a high school kid that they can’t watch television, play video games or do any other non-academic activities until they’re done taking the SATs.
Yes, social media can be distracting, but to ban it completely for a football season is a bit excessive on the respective parts of Clemson coach Dabo Swinney and FSU’s Jimbo Fisher.
More importantly, this is a ban that is incredibly easy to get around. Though a player may not be posting anything on Facebook, Twitter and the like, they still may be visiting the site and if coaches actually have people who can track when a player logs into social media, that is an even greater problem.
The fact of the matter is this. Though the intentions behind social media bans may be good, they aren’t helpful in the long run.
Rather than worry about what players do on social media on their own time away from the field, coaches should care more about making sure that players are getting to practice on time, being ready for a game and staying focused on schoolwork. Not for nothing, but there are ways of doing that without banning social media.
*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports