A message from Mike Leach to his athletes: Stop Tweeting.

On Tuesday, the first-year Washington State head football coach banned his players from Twitter. The Spokesman-Review reports that Leach would give no specifics for what prompted the decision, other than saying, “because I decided to, that’s what prompted that.”

WSU student-athletes were required to go to a social media seminar last week and athletic director Bill Moos said he monitors the athlete’s social media use from time to time. Moos supported Leach’s decision, saying that “we’ve got some areas to that we continue to clean up, and this apparently is one as well.”

Other schools have done the same in the past. This seems to bring up a number of First Amendment questions. Do coaches at a public institution have the right to limit free speech, even if it’s through the social media airwaves?

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  • http://www.facebook.com/workplaydream Keith Harper

    Hey Coach Leach – it’s called freedom of speech. Check out the constitution.

  • http://twitter.com/kforeman1 Kevin Foreman

    Wow. As a parent our goal is to TEACH our children how to use communication tools, not run and hide from them in ignorance/fear. I remember teaching my children not to use Caps Lock in email because it comes across as shouting. Hmmmm education at an institute of higher learning…. go figure.

  • Guest

    This is most unfortunate. Twitter provides a way to disintermediate us fans from the men with whom we wish to converse. I am opposed to any “coach” believing that he has the right to filter the speech of the men in his organization. That shows a profound lack of trust and, frankly, makes me question the integrity of the entire Cougars football organization.

  • http://tac.is/here tacanderson

    Boise State has required this of their athletes for years. As part of student conduct rules, coaches can require all kinds of things from their students. The logic is that it’s too distracting and given the amount of trash talking that happens between athletes on Twitter, I don’t think they’re wrong. I think proper education and rules about good sportsmanship online would be a better way to go, but coaches already have to do a lot of babysitting athletes as it is. I don’t blame them.

  • Mitch Mitchell

    Unfortunately yes, they do. Playing college sports isn’t a right but a privilege. They get scholarships and with those come many rules for behavior. So yeah, coaches can do it, concept of free speech or not.

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