PULLMAN — Just one week after players were instructed by a professional about the dangers of social media, Twitter is no more for the Washington State football team.
The decision was made Tuesday, coach Mike Leach said, to ban his players from the social media site effective immediately.
“Quite frankly, if after today you see anything on Twitter from our team,” Leach said, “and I don’t care if it says, ‘I love life,’ I would like to see it because I will suspend them.”
So, what prompted this decision?
“Because I decided to, that’s what prompted that,” Leach said.
Reached by telephone Tuesday night, athletic director Bill Moos said some “vulgar” tweets written by WSU players had been brought to his attention earlier in the day, but that he didn’t address the matter with Leach.
He supports the coach’s decision.
“I fully understand this is the youth of today and so forth, but we have to have our attention and focus on building a football program here, and our players need to have that as their priority,” Moos said. “They aren’t bashing coaches or the program or any of that, but it’s not what we want to be perceived as how our program is represented. I would endorse what Mike Leach has done. We’ve got some areas that we continue to clean up, and this apparently is one as well.”
Moos said WSU student-athletes were required to attend a social media presentation last week. He said he reads tweets every now and then to make sure players aren’t making derogatory comments about coaches or teammates.
“I’ve got kids myself, and they have Twitters and Facebooks and all that,” Moos said. “And a lot of that stuff that comes across there, it would not be approved by the Parent Teacher Association.
“(Some tweets) do not portray the image of what I want our athletes to portray, so we’ve got to learn that and adhere to it and keep our focus on the task at hand, and that’s getting things done academically and building this program.”
Leach has a Twitter account with 39,345 followers, but it’s mostly used for promotion purposes and Leach has said he doesn’t usually operate the account himself.