Do Texas' tweeting problems cause other coaches to reconsider?

Posted by: Chris Vannini on Wednesday October 07, 2015


Some days, Kirk Ferentz thinks about eliminating his in-season Twitter ban for players, but other days, he’s reminded why he has it.

Earlier this week, Texas players took not-so-subtle shots at each other over comments from a press conference. This came after a player retweeted a message to transfer at halftime of Saturday's game. Does a situation like that validate programs that have bans? Clemson and Florida State are other notable programs. But Ferentz says he's actually considering removing his ban.

“In the offseason, I'll think about that again one more time,” he said when asked about Texas. “It's like your own kids at home. At some point, they're going to be out after midnight. At some point, they're going to drive cars. At some point they're going to do all those things that you worry about. So how have you prepared them?

"My biggest concern personally, … I've just read so many of those things where a guy tweets something or puts it out there in public, and then four hours later issues this nice, long, elaborate apology that somebody else wrote for them, and it's usually pretty disingenuous."

In August, Arkansas athletic director Jeff Long said he doesn’t believe in bans, saying it’s just another opportunity for growth. Ferentz is starting to see that perspective.

Just about every program follows players’ social media accounts and bans the use of phones during games. At Notre Dame, Brian Kelly said their monitors would know if a player tweeted during a game. The situation at Texas is unusual, but it’s what coaches always worry about. You can be sure it's being re-emphasized after this. 

"Relative to our players, they do have (phones) with them because they listen to music on the bus. They'll even use music in the locker room," Kelly said. "So we're aware that they have them, but they know they can't be on their phones at any time when we're together as a football team when we put our uniforms on."

Iowa is off to a 5-0 start this year and looking to be a contender in the Big Ten West. Coaches and players say it’s a “new” Kirk Ferentz around the football building, and the head coach admits he’s trying to be around people more. This social media reconsideration is another sign of changes, but he also remembers why he has the ban.

"When they graduate, they can have at it," he said. "Go be a social media star. It's a great life out there, so I've been told.”

Chris Vannini is in his fifth year with CoachingSearch.com and serves as its managing editor. He has previously written for the Detroit Free Press, The Oakland Press, The State News, MLive.com, 247Sports and SB Nation.  A graduate of Michigan State University, Chris now lives in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.  Be sure to follow @coachingsearch and send emails to chris@coachingsearch.com.