November 11, 2009

Blurring the Line

There was a time that athletes-both college and pro-were put on a pedestal. Perhaps it is still the case. But more and more, fans now have a ladder to reach that pedestal. In the form of social networking websites such as Facebook and Twitter, fans now have more access to athletes than ever before.

On a regular basis, tweets have sent organizations a-Twitter of late. Texas Tech coach Mike Leach banned all use of the site. The Kansas City Chiefs cut Larry Johnson, at least in part, due to his homophobic lashing-out on Twitter.

"We tell our players to treat everything like a press release," Gary Pinkel said on Monday.

That's all good. And such sites really aren't much of a problem as long as athletes are simply telling fans that they're studying for an exam or headed over to lift weights. But what happens when Twitter becomes an avenue for fans to go on the attack?

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