First, North Carolina. Then Villanova. Now Missouri coach Mike Anderson has made the leap. Will the Twitter ban never cease?
Anderson is, like many other coaches before him, cracking down on his players' use of social networks. Once the basketball season starts, Anderson will force his players to give up their Twitter accounts, according to KCTV5.
This is not major news in and of itself. Anderson's policy is far from radical. If limiting Twitter usage keeps your players focused on the task at hand -- and, not for nothing, prevents them from making any ill-advised public comments during the midst of a grueling collegiate season -- that's probably a net positive for your team. This is not a First Amendment issue.
Still, it's a little sad, if only because it means the college hoops Internetosphere will lose out on EnglishScope24, the handle of Tigers guard Kim English. English is a thoughtful, hardworking kid (he used to live in Missouri's athletics center, so he could do individual morning workouts more easily) and one who's been outspoken about his difficult childhood (as a child, English struggled with a stutter). He's also one of, if not the best, tweeting hoopsters in the country. English's social media high point came this summer, when he tweeted a line-by-line recreation of Rudyard Kipling's classic poem "If," complete with analysis and interpretation related to being a college athlete. It was pretty cool. And, when the hoops season officially begins, it will be over.
Oh well. Life is full of trade-offs, I suppose. (For the record, if I got to play college basketball, I would happily give up the addictive blood-brain-barrier magic that is Twitter. Just to make that clear.) Farewell, Tigers tweeters. We'll see you on the other side.