University Of Michigan Athletes Sign Social Media Policy In Bid To Avoid Controversy As Twitter Incidents Multiply

Ann McClure's picture
Tuesday, October 30, 2012

For college athletes, social media use tends toward the extreme: It's either a blessing or a curse.

In the past year, two University of Michigan football players earned their team secondary NCAA violations by inadvertently tweeting at a recruit; a third-string Ohio State quarterback became infamous when he tweeted that classes are "pointless;" and a top-rated recruit lost his chance to play with the Wolverines after he authored sexually and racially charged tweets.

These few Twitter snafus eclipse the tens of thousands of 140-character notes sent each day that reflect well on college athletes. "When blaming others you give up the power to change," Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson tweeted to his 50,000-plus followers in September.

But such positive tweets are rarely the ones that stick with people — it's the mistakes that fans never forget. That's part of the reason U-M's athletic department formalized its social media practices this fall.

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