By Brad Locke/NEMS Daily Journal
Rick Stansbury is muting his players’ voices on the social network.
Mississippi State’s basketball coach announced Thursday that all players have been banned from using Twitter, the micro-blogging site that senior Ravern Johnson used to express his frustration after the Bulldogs’ 75-61 loss to Alabama on Wednesday.
On his Twitter page, Johnson wrote that he understood why players transfer – a reference to the departures of Elgin Bailey and Twany Beckham – and criticized Stansbury’s coaching.
In a statement, Stansbury said, “It’s a new world we live in with Twitter and all the things you can do on the Internet.
After the game last night, we had a frustrated player that gets on Twitter and says things that aren’t appropriate. In the heat of the moment, some young men just don’t understand once they put something out there for everyone to see, there is no taking it back.
“That’s why I’m banning the use of Twitter at this point.”
MSU athletics director Scott Stricklin said he spoke with Stansbury about the ban decision.
“We were in agreement on him taking that approach,” Stricklin said.
There’s precedent for such action. Kentucky coach John Calipari banned Josh Harrelson from Twitter in October after the player complained of not receiving enough praise from Calipari.
Several football coaches have also banned Twitter use, including North Carolina’s Butch Davis and Boise State’s Chris Petersen.
Stansbury appears to be the first SEC basketball coach to ban his players from Twitter outright.
Stricklin said he discussed social media use with all of MSU’s athletes at the beginning of the school year, and he said the school’s policy will remain the same: Monitor the activity and take action when necessary.
“We have other students who use that service and other social networking sites and are responsible about it,” he said. “I think it’s important to learn how to be an adult in college, and you can only do that if you have responsibility placed upon you. This is a teaching opportunity, too.”
Contact Brad Locke at 678-1571