Sunday, July 24, 2011

The freedom to twitter: A mountain west coach bans the use of twitter, is it in the cards for the Rebels?; Rebels land commitment from Daquan Cook closely eyeing others; 2011-2012 Non-Conference Schedule Finalized

(Updated 10:15 7/24/2011)

UNLV’s rival New Mexico Lobos’ Coach Steve Alford has banned his players from using Twitter, and has forced current ‘tweeters’ to close their accounts. In addition, Coach Alford allows players to have Facebook accounts, but has informed them they would be monitored by the athletic department. As far as consequences for indiscretions, any violation would warrant disciplinary action, a third violation would warrant pulling that student-athletes scholarship, suspending them, or removing them from the team. Coach Alford has not explained his rationale for doing so, but it is implied and obvious that Twitter could be seen as a distraction, a portal for trouble, and accentuates the individual over the team.

Could this be a trend in college sports, and specifically could Coach Dave Rice implement a similar policy? The UNLV Athletic department is no stranger when it comes to student-athlete trouble caused by ‘tweeted’ comments. Take the case of UNLV Football wide-receiver Phillip Payne. In October of 2010 he was suspended by Coach Bobby Hauck due to tweeted comments critical of the coaching staff. He was suspended for two games, which would be the equivalent of 4-6 basketball games due to length of schedule.

UNLV Basketball has not yet experienced such problems, a statement which I don’t mean to imply that they will in the future. Coach Rice has not formally announced a policy in the manner that Coach Alford of New Mexico has, but it is possible that players have been encouraged to curtail Twitter accounts or at least what they are tweeting.

Take the case of UNLV player Anthony Marshall. He previously had an active account , that has since been closed. While I didn’t officially log when the account ceased to exist, I would guesstimate it was sometime in May. Sadly, I had meant to take a screenshot of the twitter page because it featured a cool new team photo of the Runnin’ Rebels on a chessboard motif – possibly a leaked new wallpaper of the team. If anyone has a copy of that, I’d like to have it and display it. UPDATE: Anthony Marshall has opened another Twitter account,!/ant_marz3 (still cool backgound). Here is a twitter roster for this year’s UNLV Runnin’ Rebels:

Oscar Bellfield – None that I could fine

Anthony Marshall –!/ant_marz3 - protected (now)

Mike Moser -!/MoserM5  - last update September 21 (year unknown)

Chace Stanback -!/ChaceStanback  - very active, multiple daily posts

Reggie Smith -!/reggiesmith2  - very active, multiple daily posts

Justin Hawkins -!/Hawk_31  - protected

Brice Massamba -!/B_mamba12  - protected

Bryce Jones -!/B2nyce  - very active, multiple daily posts

Carlos Lopez – None that I could find

Kendall Wallace – None that I could find

Quintrell Thomas – None that I could find

Karam Mashour – None that I could find

Coaching Staff:

Coach Dave Rice -!/CoachDaveRice  - Coach semi-active, every few days

Asst. Stacey Augmon – None that I could find

Asst. Justin Hutson – None that I could find

Asst. Heath Schroyer -!/HSchroyer  - Hardly active, post 1 time a month

Given that two of the four members of the coaching staff themselves have and use Twitter, it would be hypocritical to ban it, unless of course everyone including coaches were banned.

The potential for trouble in the context of UNLV Basketball and twitter is very real, and many hypotheticals could cause problems. Here are some purely hypothetical but possible indiscretions: Coach / player posts something that raises the eyebrows of the NCAA compliance investigators, embarrassing photos tweeted (i.e. Congressman Weiner, Brett Favre), player trashes coaches or their decisions (Phillip Payne), strategic information leaked (injuries, starting lineup change), or off-color slur (see Tim Hardaway, Kobe Bryant, Kevin Garnett). But are there any positives beyond a player communicating with his friends and fans?

The benefits beyond those rely on the fact that Twitter is an addictive technology. It is commonly said that the perfect invention is the one you never knew you needed, but now somehow can’t live without it. Many say Facebook and Twitter fall into that category. Many advertisers, stupidly, believe that Facebook and Twitter are some kind of second internet and they have to be a part of it or be killed by the competition. Why does Glidden paint feel that it is a good business strategy to try and get people to ‘like them on Facebook’? Tangent aside, many high school ballers have taken to Twitter like syrup to pancakes. Should the trend of banning Twitter accounts spread among schools, but not be outright banned by the NCAA, it could be a real boon to those universities who continue to allow it – a Shabazz Muhammad could say, no thanks I don’t want to give up Tweeting to play ball at your university. We also know Muhammad is a very active tweeter:!/phenom15balla

This debate is likely to last awhile….

Rebels land commitment from Daquan Cook closely eyeing others

As widely reported, UNLV received a verbal commitment from Baltimore native Daquan Cook who is a 6’1” point guard. Besides other targets, Coach Rice and Staff may be locking up two others soon - Katin Reinhardt and Matt Willms. Not coincidentally, feature stories on both players recently ran in the Las Vegas Sun.

Incoming freshman and UNLV target Steven Zimmerman has turned down a scholarship offer from UCLA. This is good news for the schools who have already offered, Rebels included.

Here is some video of Reinhardt:

Here is some video of Matt Willms (caution, over 9 minutes):

2011-2012 Non-Conference Schedule Finalized

As mentioned in the newspapers and now officially publicized on the Rebels website, the non-conference schedule is now finalized. New additions include Canisius (remember when and where you heard about that one) and Cal State San Marcos.

As far as Cal State San Marcos goes, this has to be seen to be believed and speaks to the level of competition we’ll be getting:

Link you have to see!

Official Schedule:

Rebelreign's schedule page will be updated soon.

1 comment:

  1. UNLV is not on a verge of a commitment from Katin. I hope we get him and we have a good chance but to say we might lock it up really soon. No proof. Also its not hypacritical for the staff to have twitters. It's like all things. At your job the boss can do more things then you can. When you were growing up, your parents could do more things than you could. It's how it goes. Plus the players contract doesnt have the things about connecting with the community like the coaches do.