Page 2 of 2 Previous

Continued: Becoming social media directors

  • Article by: JASON GONZALEZ , Star Tribune
  • Last update: December 17, 2012 - 10:37 PM

A sign on the locker room doors at Bloomington Jefferson jumped out at Tom Dasovich. Big, bold, underlined words, in all capital letters, some of them underlined for emphasis:

"Treat every conversation you have on TWITTER or FACEBOOK as if it were a NATIONALLY TELEVISED PRESS CONFERENCE."

The Minnetonka boys' basketball coach spotted the note during his team's recent visit and snapped a picture on his phone. Then he posted it on Twitter with the message "Players take note." Nearly half of his 173 followers retweeted or favorited the message.

Such warnings have become a staple of high school team meetings and huddles at practice, joining longstanding warnings about alcohol and drug use.

With teenagers communicating, venting and celebrating with the lightning speed of social media, coaches and athletic directors are scrambling to cope with and limit negative effects of controversial tweets, posts or photographs. Fears of defamation, suspensions, forfeitures and team chemistry issues have led some coaches and administrators to fight the use of Twitter and Facebook by their athletes.

Others, such as Dasovich, are embracing the reality that teenage athletes will find ways to keep their social status up to date.

He manages two Twitter accounts and encourages his players to use them to follow team news and events. He also monitors or trolls through his players' tweets, on the lookout for anything that could taint the Minnetonka name.

"I thought about getting one of those teachable moments out of it," Dasovich said of posting the locker room door message. "Helping kids navigate that world, I think, is important. [Proper use of social media] is a big issue with schools and teams."

Huddle talk: Be smart online

DeLaSalle football coach Sean McMenomy's phone erupted the afternoon former Gophers wide receiver and DeLaSalle alum A.J. Barker posted his denunciation of Gophers coach Jerry Kill and the football program on the Internet. Though he didn't coach Barker, McMenomy still felt the effects of something he classified as an example of how far such statements can reach.

Daily reminders are now a part of McMenomy's battle against ill-advised social media use. The post-practice and postgame speech message to "avoid parties, drugs, alcohol" now includes "be mindful of what you're putting on the Internet."

"With what happened in recent months and last year, you worry about it," McMenomy said.

This past season a Breck football player began a Facebook quarrel with someone at DeLaSalle that led to his suspension and required an in-person apology to the downtown Minneapolis school.

"We are always trying to keep ahead of the game," McMenomy said. "A kid can put whatever the heck they want out there. We gotta figure out what we can do to protect ourselves, and that's educate kids and stay on kids."

Curtailing chatter in Edina

Edina boys' hockey coach Curt Giles made Barker's rant required reading for his team and asked his players to steer clear of such potential social media distractions.

Junior defenseman Tyler Nanne said he took the message to heart. The avid Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat user said he has sacrificed a lot of his social media freedoms.

Nanne and senior defenseman Matt Nelson agreed it's tough to operate under such limiting guidelines, but the consequences of misuse are much worse if left in the hands of their 1,000-plus Twitter followers.

"It can destroy a team and a program," Nelson said. "The guidelines are to protect ourselves and the program as a whole."

Nelson, who has committed to play hockey at Princeton, already has received social media guidelines from his future college. Many major colleges have taken similar measures. The University of Michigan recently formalized social media practices for all athletes and required each to sign an agreement. Associate athletic director David Ablauf called it a "reactionary" response to a growing problem.

Edina girls' hockey players Casey McGarvey and Shelby Anderson said they've learned you can't take back an ill- advised message once you've hit send. And Lakeville North girls' volleyball player Alyssa Goehner considers her 1,062 followers a serious responsibility.

"Sometimes kids send out things and they don't understand the end result, how far it reaches," said Giles, who requires his players to put all their phones in a box prior to games. "[Kids] are going to use it. You always see them on their phones, on Facebook, in Twitterland. We just have to make sure they understand how to use it."

Coach learning curve, too

Understanding the proper use of social media also can be a challenge for coaches and athletic directors. For some, it's overwhelming to even try.

While Bloomington Jefferson girls' basketball coach Andy Meinhardt is well-schooled on social media and took the initiative to post the warning sign on the school's locker room doors, boys' basketball coach Jeff Evens admits to knowing little about the social media world.

Former Southwest football John Biezuns embraced the new world by connecting with colleagues and players. In November, he suddenly resigned for personal reasons amid speculation of misusing social media. He recently said he could not speak on the matter, but acknowledged he has learned a lot from his social media use and called its integration with sports "probably not a good thing."

"Coaches need to be aware of anything social media and as a coach, you have to be careful what you say," Biezuns said. "Anything that gets written down, e-mailed or texted can come back to haunt you."

Bloomington Jefferson athletic director Brian Fell will implement a version of the University of Michigan's new social media guidelines for next year's Jaguars athletes.

Minnetonka boys' basketball captain Riley Dearring is convinced the Skippers' approach is best.

"We all try to look out for each other. If we feel there is something that should not be put out there, we let each other know," Dearring said. "I think it's a good way for players to connect with other players. It's a good way to get information out."

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Buffalo 17 FINAL
New England 9
Cleveland 10 FINAL
Baltimore 20
Dallas 44 FINAL
Washington 17
Indianapolis 27 FINAL
Tennessee 10
Jacksonville 17 FINAL
Houston 23
San Diego 7 FINAL
Kansas City 19
NY Jets 37 FINAL
Miami 24
Chicago 9 FINAL
Minnesota 13
Philadelphia 34 FINAL
NY Giants 26
New Orleans 23 FINAL
Tampa Bay 20
Carolina 24 3rd Qtr
Atlanta 3
Detroit 7 3rd Qtr
Green Bay 14
Oakland 7 3rd Qtr
Denver 20
Arizona 17 2nd Qtr 0:29
San Francisco 13
St. Louis 6 3rd Qtr
Seattle 0
Cincinnati 7:30 PM
Pittsburgh
TBA 1/3/15 2:00 AM
TBA
TBA 1/3/15 2:00 AM
TBA
TBA 1/4/15 2:00 AM
TBA
TBA 1/4/15 2:00 AM
TBA
Detroit 63 3rd Qtr 7:29
Cleveland 53
Houston 6:00 PM
San Antonio
Oklahoma City 6:30 PM
Dallas
New York 8:00 PM
Portland
Toronto 8:00 PM
Denver
Phoenix 8:30 PM
LA Lakers
Toronto 0 2nd Prd
Florida 0
Vancouver 7:00 PM
Anaheim
Tulane 57 FINAL
St Johns 82
Central Conn St 48 FINAL
Connecticut 81
Iona 81 FINAL
Drexel 62
Concordia (MI) 42 FINAL
Eastern Mich 100
Harvard 46 FINAL
Arizona State 56
Longwood 64 FINAL
Ball State 69
Sacred Heart 76 FINAL
Brown 79
Colgate 64 FINAL
Columbia 69
MD-Eastern Shore 78 FINAL
Duquesne 69
UNC Greensboro 50 FINAL
East Carolina 71
Marist 64 FINAL
Elon 69
NJIT 71 FINAL
Lafayette 76
Cincinnati Christian 58 FINAL
Liberty 78
Morgan State 53 FINAL
Marquette 81
Campbell 56 FINAL
Samford 65
Bucknell 71 FINAL
Siena 73
Long Beach State 67 FINAL
Syracuse 85
Coppin State 80 FINAL
Evansville 85
UMKC 73 FINAL
Indiana State 70
Hofstra 88 FINAL
Long Island 62
Coast Guard 48 FINAL
Army 93
Thomas (GA) 48 FINAL
High Point 85
Texas Southern 58 FINAL
Kansas State 56
Rutgers 59 FINAL
Monmouth 58
NC Wesleyan 54 FINAL
NC A&T 58
South Dakota St 63 FINAL
Northern Iowa 74
Central Penn College 69 FINAL
Radford 119
Bowling Green 79 FINAL
South Florida 70
Harris-Stowe 66 FINAL
SE Missouri St 94
Robert Morris-IL 56 FINAL
SIU Edwardsville 104
Northland College 59 FINAL
North Dakota St 83
Milwaukee 60 FINAL
South Dakota 84
Northwestern St 92 FINAL
Arkansas 100
Saint Peters 45 2nd Half 0:01
Cornell 45
St Katherine 62 FINAL
Fresno State 93
Haskell 42 FINAL
Oral Roberts 94
Wake Forest 63 2nd Half 0:20
Richmond 63
Fla Gulf Coast 52 2nd Half 3:28
Xavier 65
SD Christian 45 FINAL
Northern Ariz 71
Judson 30 2nd Half 13:44
IUPU-Ft Wayne 58
Ill-Chicago 25 2nd Half
Bradley 26
Loyola-Maryland 23 2nd Half
Fairfield 29
Miss Valley St 31 2nd Half
Houston 40
Lehigh 31 2nd Half
UMBC 32
Delaware State 21 2nd Half
Temple 31
Belmont 5:00 PM
Butler
Howard 5:00 PM
Fordham
NW Christian 5:00 PM
Nevada
UC Davis 5:00 PM
Washington St
Abilene Christian 5:00 PM
Grand Canyon
UCLA 5:30 PM
Alabama
Stony Brook 7:00 PM
Washington
Buffalo 7:00 PM
Wisconsin
CS-Bakersfield 9:00 PM
California
Cincinnati 17 FINAL
Virginia Tech 33
(15) Arizona State 36 FINAL
Duke 31
Miami-Florida 21 FINAL
So Carolina 24
Boston College 30 FINAL
Penn State 31
(25) Nebraska 42 FINAL
(24) USC 45
Texas A&M 12/29/14 1:00 PM
West Virginia
Oklahoma 12/29/14 4:30 PM
(18) Clemson
Arkansas 12/29/14 8:00 PM
Texas
Notre Dame 12/30/14 2:00 PM
(22) LSU
(13) Georgia 12/30/14 5:45 PM
(20) Louisville
Maryland 12/30/14 9:00 PM
Stanford
(9) Ole Miss 12/31/14 11:30 AM
(6) TCU
(21) Boise State 12/31/14 3:00 PM
(12) Arizona
(8) Miss State 12/31/14 7:00 PM
(10) Georgia Tech
(19) Auburn 1/1/15 11:00 AM
(17) Wisconsin
(7) Michigan State 1/1/15 11:30 AM
(4) Baylor
(16) Missouri 1/1/15 12:00 PM
Minnesota
(2) Florida State 1/1/15 4:00 PM
(3) Oregon
(5) Ohio State 1/1/15 7:30 PM
(1) Alabama
Houston 1/2/15 11:00 AM
Pittsburgh
Iowa 1/2/15 2:20 PM
Tennessee
(11) Kansas State 1/2/15 5:45 PM
(14) UCLA
Washington 1/2/15 9:15 PM
Oklahoma State
East Carolina 1/3/15 11:00 AM
Florida
Toledo 1/4/15 8:00 PM
Arkansas State
Drexel 71 FINAL
Miami-Ohio 54
Holy Cross 63 FINAL
Norfolk State 62
East Carolina 62 FINAL
South Florida 69
(10) Oregon State 63 FINAL
(8) Tennessee 74
Providence 51 FINAL
Boston College 79
Florida A&M 47 FINAL
Miami-Florida 83
Oakland 69 FINAL
Central Michigan 74
Chattanooga 59 FINAL
SIU-Edwardsville 49
Fairfield 59 FINAL
La Salle 73
St Francis-PA 59 FINAL
Pittsburgh 97
Milwaukee 72 FINAL
IUPU-Ft Wayne 78
Gardner-Webb 59 FINAL
Longwood 63
New Hampshire 58 FINAL
Manhattan 54
Bucknell 68 FINAL
Binghamton 57
Northeastern 70 FINAL
Albany 67
George Mason 70 FINAL
Towson 72
Richmond 59 FINAL
William & Mary 56
Tulane 60 FINAL
Cincinnati 50
North Florida 51 FINAL
Florida 63
(14) Georgia 51 FINAL
Seton Hall 70
Tennessee St 75 FINAL
(12) Kentucky 87
American Univ 64 FINAL
Wake Forest 77
Massachusetts 78 FINAL
Boston U 57
Quinnipiac 69 FINAL
Saint Josephs 67
Lafayette 49 FINAL
Saint Peters 34
Northwestern 61 FINAL
(20) Michigan State 57
Duquesne 82 FINAL
Lehigh 75
George Washington 72 FINAL
Loyola-Maryland 49
(17) Rutgers 66 FINAL
Indiana 51
(24) Green Bay 66 FINAL
Dayton 72
Western Mich 55 FINAL
Stony Brook 59
Davidson 67 FINAL
Virginia 57
UNC Greensboro 61 FINAL
LSU 82
Denver 63 FINAL
North Texas 55
VA Commonwealth 63 FINAL
Coppin State 52
Huston-Tillotson 36 FINAL
Houston Baptist 86
Lamar 63 FINAL
Rice 97
Miss Valley St 40 FINAL
Alabama 71
Saint Louis 63 FINAL
Eastern Illinois 49
Middle Tennessee 98 FINAL
Tenn Tech 76
Penn State 52 FINAL
(23) Iowa 77
Purdue 62 FINAL
Illinois 55
DePaul 99 FINAL
Illinois State 62
Sam Houston St 46 FINAL
Wichita State 70
South Dakota 76 FINAL
TX-San Antonio 69
Coll of Charleston 51 FINAL
SC State 60
Alcorn State 53 FINAL
Texas-El Paso 63
Dartmouth 76 FINAL
Niagara 70
(4) Notre Dame 76 2nd Half 2:54
UCLA 60
Colgate 36 2nd Half 13:05
Siena 45
Michigan 53 2nd Half 0:16
Wisconsin 61
Fla Gulf Coast 45 2nd Half 8:43
CS-Northridge 48
Yale 30 2nd Half 14:04
(25) Arizona State 43
UC Santa Barbara 13 2nd Half
(16) Stanford 39
Long Island 40 2nd Half
Long Beach St 22
Jackson State 22 1st Half 2:37
Louisiana 22
Eureka 21 1st Half 8:33
Western Ill 26
Cornell 5:00 PM
(22) Syracuse
Temple 7:30 PM
Memphis

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Grade the Vikings offense

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close