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College Football Team Banned from Social Media for Duration of Season

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Sport has a rather uneasy relationship with social media. Athletes frequently get drawn in to Twitter battles, get tagged in embarrassing night out photos and generally behave in ways that would cause no team tension if they stayed private, but do when they become public, since social media blurs that line.

Sometimes teams will actually try and pre-empt these kinds of issues before they are allowed to gain any traction. During training the St. Louis Rams actually had their players take a social media course, for instance, but now a college team has taken it one step further. The Clemson Tigers coaching staff have outright banned all their players from using social media until the season is through. This includes Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and even Snapchat.

Beyond simply keeping the players out of trouble, the move seems to be intended to put a barrier between the team and any negativity that might bubble up online if they lose a game or anything else goes wrong. More than anything else though, it's a focus thing. The brass clearly think that limiting contact with anything outside of football will help the players maintain motivation throughout the season.

That's one way of looking at it, anyway. It could also be argued that whilst freedom from distraction and negativity will help the players in the short term, it will leave them less equipped to deal with the social media side of things later on in their careers. No NFL team is likely actually ban social media usage, so any Clemson players who get drafted might end up struggling to cope with it, without the benefit of prior experience, especially given that once they enter the NFL, their popularity will almost invariably sky-rocket.

Alternately, it could just as easily avail the players of a kind of detachment from social media, resulting in them limiting their usage of it permanently. Some teams like their players to have a strong social media presence but there are far more examples of it causing problems than creating benefits. If this works well, it might set off a trend amongst other college ball teams until the 'social media blackout' eventually becomes standard procedure.


Callum Davies

Callum is a film school graduate who is now making a name for himself as a journalist and content writer. His vices include flat whites and 90s hip-hop. Follow him @CallumAtSMF

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College Football Team Banned from Social Media for Duration of Season Reviewed by Callum Davies on Monday, August 17, 2015 Rating: 5
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