New Mexico coach Steve Alford recently sent a handwritten fax to the Albuquerque Journal to inform the paper that one of his particularly Twitter-happy incoming freshmen would not be allowed an account upon enrolling.
The same apparently applies to the rest of the team after Alford instituted a Twitter ban for players (Facebook is fine) that will prevent force incoming freshmen like Jarion Henry to delete his account when he arrives on campus and even Alford's own son to stop tweeting, according to the paper.
Alford, who has his own Twitter account but hasn't posted since September, knows what information about his program he wants to make public, and what information he doesn’t. Trusting loose-lipped college kids to be on the same page obviously is not his plan.
UNM's other three incoming freshman have or had Twitter accounts: Alford's son, walk-on Kory Alford, hasn't posted since UNM began summer school in early June.
Hugh Greenwood, the potential starting point guard who hails from Australia, has barely tweeted but will have to give up his account as well.
"I just use it to follow all my mates over in the USA, and figured my mates in AUS would use it to follow me, too," Greenwood told the Albuquerque Journal. "But it’s not a huge deal because I prefer Facebook anyway. I rarely make 'Tweets' unless I'm replying to someone else or thanking someone for mentioning me."
Doing so could cost New Mexico players dearly because disciplinary action for violating social media policies can be harsh, according to KOAT-TV.
UNM said it has a three strike rule when it comes to its social media policy. Depending on the third offense the player could lose his or her scholarship, be suspended or removed from the team.
Bob Knight certainly never had to deal with such a thing while coaching Alford at Indiana, but in an Internet age when one unsavory tweet has the potential to go viral, Alford is like many other coaches who want to take every precaution.
Is the New Mexico policy draconian? Maybe, but much like the playing time and scholarships the players receive, it's all a privilege, not a right.