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Sacramento State athletes use social media
With the emergence of Twitter, Sacramento State athletes have found a place to voice their opinion off the playing field.
There are many athletes at Sac State on Twitter.
In addition to the players, assistant coaches, head coaches and the Sac State athletic department also has accounts.
Senior center Josh McCarver of the men’s basketball team, @jmacc702, has been an avid Twitter user for about a year and he said he loves interacting with followers and showing them the side of him they probably don’t know.
“I like tweeting when you have a random thought and no one to tell it to, or when someone you’re with says something funny,” McCarver said. “It’s fun to share those types of things.”
Sophomore wide receiver Morris Norrise of the football team, @monoes13, said he likes to interact with fans, but he watches what he writes so he does not get in trouble.
“I tweet because I’m bored and because I like to let people know what’s on my mind,” Norrise said. “It makes me feel important if people are looking at it. I love talking to fans because it’s nice having people notice what I do on the field, but I try to keep all my tweets PG-13.”
There are no set rules by the athletic department for athletes to follow, but head coaches of each team have their own rules set for the players, so they represent the program in a positive way. McCarver said sometimes you forget this and can get in trouble like he did.
“Earlier in the year, I was tweeting some things that didn’t represent myself, my school or my team very well, but I definitely learned my lesson and have changed,” McCarver said.
“(Head coach Brian Katz) told me he was disappointed in me. As cliché as it may sound, that was much worse than being punished with sprints. I deleted it all on my own and was told to be more careful in the future.”
But the most controversy surrounds professional athletes who receive the bigger punishments for their poor choice of words.
Pittsburgh Steelers running back Rashard Mendenhall tweeted about the death of Osama Bin Laden in 2011 saying, “What kind of person celebrates death? It’s amazing how people can HATE a man they have never even heard speak. We’ve only heard one side…”
His comment did not get him fined because it did not break any NFL rules, but it sparked controversy throughout the sports world and raised a few eyebrows.
The NBA has strict rules about tweeting as well. A player may not tweet 45 minutes before or after games so the media has time to talk to them.
Milwaukee Bucks point guard Brandon Jennings was hit with a $7,500 fine in 2009 for being excited and tweeting about a win before the 45-minute limit had expired.
And one of the bigger fines for tweeting went to ex-Kansas City Chief Larry Johnson for his gay slur in 2009, which cost him a game’s pay of $213,000.
A lot of other fines for tweets have been handed out in professional sports and it is a mystery on why players continue to do it.
Freshman point guard Dylan Garrity of the men’s basketball team said he knows everyone is on it, but he doesn’t want to get stuck spending a lot of time on it or risk getting in trouble.
“I know the Twitter world is super popular and I would get hooked really fast if I got one, so I’m just trying to stay away from it,” Garrity said. “Also, we had some issues with it during the season with things being posted on there that got some people in trouble, so that also got me to stay away from it a little as well.”
One of the most effective uses of Twitter is by the athletic department, @hornetsports.
Ryan Bjork from Sac State media relations said he felt they needed to create an account to update followers on how all the teams were doing.
“We’ve had the account for a couple years, but have really started to use it more frequently over the past several months,” Bjork said. “Besides (hornetsports.com), Twitter is another good avenue to get our message out to students and fans.”
Other athletic departments in the Big Sky Conference post news and scores as well and the Big Sky Conference also has a twitter account itself, @BigSkyConf, which updates all sporting events from around the conference.
Freshman quarterback Garrett Safron of the football team, @gsafron12, follows the Big Sky and he said it is helpful to stay updated and know how the competition is doing.
“I will use them as a resource to see what’s going on in football season,” Safron said. “It’s a very simple way just to find out who’s winning and how each team is doing week to week. I consistently check my Twitter, so if I see a tweet from the Big Sky about football, I’ll definitely look into it.”
Twitter is growing and with many Sac State athletes already joined, there are plenty of opportunities for students and fans to follow and learn about their school’s athletics.
Safron said if you want to see what is going on in the life of athletes and learn about who they really are, Twitter is where you can learn about them.
“You can say what’s on your mind at all times,” Safron said. “Us athletes don’t really have much free time, so if you want to know what we’re up to, you got to catch us on Twitter.”
bY Josh Stanley, The State Hornet