social networking is a force in college sports

I honestly don’t think college students could survive without Facebook or Twitter.

I know I couldn’t.

The way these two social media sites have transformed the campus landscape really is remarkable. You can’t go a day without over hearing a conversation such as:

“Did you see my status?”

“Look at her wedding pictures, they’re on facebook.”

“Have you read their wall-to-wall?”

Nothing is legitimate until its “facebook official.”

The social media takeover is not just for the regular old frat boys, prude girls and hippies that pay tuition and keep universities running. It is an outlet for athletes as well.

Nearly every member of the WVU basketball team has a twitter that is utilized regularly. Perhaps no WVU student is followed more religiously than John Flowers (@jflow41). He communicates eloquently with teammates such as Joe Mazzulla (@JMazzulla21) and Truck Bryant (@TruckBryant5). Viral videos of the team fooling around in their hotel rooms during the March Madness runs surfaced turning the Mountaineers into internet sensations, showing just how fast information flies online.

Ivan Maisel of ESPN.com has realized this and offers a warning.

His article, Faster pace of football affects dynasties, talks about on the field and off the field issues that have altered the dynamics of college football in recent years.

The internet is one of those explanations.

College athletes are scrutinized under a tight  microscope, now more than ever. The access media outlets have to programs can eithe help or hinder the players based on their behavior and achievements.

Facebook and twitter is a complete other issue, and really is a two-headed monster for college athletes. Now fans have a scope inside the lives of these youngsters and poses certain dangers.

Miami coach Randy Shannon outlawed twitter from his teams after quarterback Jacory Harris was found mentioning upcoming opponents players. Shannon found that this not only posed a threat to Harris, but also other teams as well.

According to Maisel, he made the right decision, but it didn’t come easy.

“No matter how big a control freak the coach is, he can’t control Facebook and Twitter. They move too fast. The world is spinning faster than ever.”


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