When Nebraska wide receiver Brandon Kinnie told an Omaha based sports radio show (Unsportsmanlike Conduct) on Wednesday that head coach Bo Pelini has banned Nebraska football players from using Twitter in the coming weeks, I could only think of one thing.
When I was a 22-year old college kid at the University of Nebraska, our idea of text messaging or tweeting was passing a note in class or sliding it underneath someone’s door.
That time frame Kinnie is referring to happens to coincide with the two-week break Nebraska has remaining before the Capital One Bowl on Jan. 2 against South Carolina.
Pelini’s actions came just a few days after a rough Sunday, Dec. 11 for Nebraska. In a 36-hour span, three Huskers were cited for various crimes.
Junior defensive end Eric Martin and junior fullback Collin McDermott were cited for leaving the scene of an accident in separate offenses. Senior center Mike Caputo was cited on the suspicion of DUI.
Pelini has not made any comments about any of the crimes or the Twitter ban.
While the ban from Twitter will not likely affect the Huskers’ play negatively, it surely will lessen the connection some fans feel with certain players but that can’t be at all bad because it's too easy to say something you shouldn’t have said. Once it's out there it's out there. Teenage kids say a lot of things without thinking them through completely. Heck, there’s plenty of 50-year olds that say things without thinking them through.
The way the world works twitter isn't much different then calling up reporters, a team has enough trouble controlling the message without trying to deal with what players say. As much as I don’t agree with everything as far as how Pelini controls the message I understand, it is how any big time organization works.
This is not a heavy handed move by Pelini, although some may interpret it that way. This is a difficult problem. Twitter is a distraction, and I am 100 percent behind Pelini taking this stance on it. Players’ general awareness about tweeting is absurdly low.
The cynics would say that Pelini is old school in the mold of Woody Hayes or Bear Bryant and that such a move would negatively effect recruiting. Part of that cynicism stems from the at time brusque relationship Pelini has had with members of the local media that covers the team regularly. Keep in mind, another root of the fans angst toward Pelini is that he has yet to name a defensive coordinator in the wake losing older brother Carl Pelini, who was recently named the head coach at Florida Atlantic. Though Bo Pelini has said that he has a pretty good idea of what he’s going to do. I can interperet that message in one of two ways. The first is “name the damn replacement and move on” or “the deal is not done until the ink is on the paper.”
OK, I can do without Pelini’s secrecy on injuries but the twitter ban I completely support. There are so many ways twitter will just make people look bad. Twitter is great for college kids...if you're not under the microscope like that. Unfortunately, they are.
The argument of banning twitter while preparing for a bowl game being a bad move is a very weak argument. Let’s face it, last season Nebraska laid a big, fat egg in its 19-7 Holiday Bowl loss to Washington. They need to be focused.
Plus, if recruits care more about twitter than playing football, there's another program down the road.
Personally I think twitter is a total waste. If you have friends you need to say something to, text or call them. If you don't have anything worth sharing with a specific friend, what makes you think anyone else cares? And if you're following the twitters of people you don't really know, you probably need to get a life.