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MSU cautioning athletes about Twitter use, coach doesn’t get the Twitter

I think this may be a first for the Chronicle. Twitter is the subject of a story in the paper.

Today, sports editor Colter Nuanez writes about [the Montana State University Bobcat football team and its concerns about players using Twitter](

Nuanez writes that 42 of the 94 players on the team’s active roster have accounts, at last count. We included a list with the story linked above, and I created [a Twitter list that you Bobcat fans can follow](!/bozchronsports/bobcat-football-players) if you like.

The story is mostly about how head coach Rob Ash and the rest of the coaching staff urge the athletes to be careful out there, not to tweet too many personal or inappropriate things that could reflect badly on the program or on the university — or put the players at a disadvantage on the field in any way.

It’s a solid story about MSU having to talk to its players about something they’ve never really had to deal with before, but I can’t get over some of the silly things that people who lack familiarity with Twitter will say about the service.

For example:

**”Every tweet is public.”**

Unless it’s not, of course. Private accounts exist on Twitter, ones that only broadcast to a select group of followers. In fact, if you go through the list of Bobcat Twitter users, you’ll find that a half dozen or so are private accounts.

Of course, putting any information on the Internet is a risk. It is a public network, after all, but not everything uploaded or posted to it is automatically or easily “public.”

Then there’s this from Ash:

>“What happens is they forget how public it is. Sometimes guys think it’s like a text message. They will ask each other, ‘hey, you want to go to the movie?’ Well, do you want 1,000 people to go to the movie with you? It’s just crazy.”

I’m not sure if he believes 1,000 people are going to drop what they are doing and rush out to a movie that a player is going to or if Ash thinks that a public @reply on Twitter is akin to asking 1,000 people to the movies.

Our own reporting is no less innocent about festishing Twitter. Nuanez refers to players joining the Twitter “craze” twice in his story, despite the service being around since 2007 (That’s almost six years now, people.) and the fact that Twitter is so mainstream that I would argue any “craze” over it died years ago.

To top it off, though, is Ash, being the stereotypical 61-year-old guy, saying things like “I’d rather have a guy studying his playbook or watching film that Twittering. Or is it tweeting?”

Check [definitions three and four](, coach.