In response to the ongoing NCAA investigation into UNC’s football program, UNC has updated its 2010-2011 Student Athlete Handbook.
North Carolina has updated its 2010-11 Student Athlete Handbook to stipulate that “each team must identify at least one coach or administrator who is responsible for having access to and regularly monitor the content of team members’ social networking sites and postings.”
The athletic department also reserves the right to have other staff members monitor athletes’ posts; and if any of an athlete’s online content violates the law or NCAA, university or athletic department policies, sanctions could range from removal of the posting to dismissal from the team.
North Carolina associate athletics director Steve Kirschner said the updated social networking policy has been in the works since last spring, “and it is not in response to any one thing.”
In regards to Kirschner, it is difficult to take anything he says at face value considering the contradictions we pointed out with his original comments about the NCAA scandal in Chapel Hill:
Anyone notice the difference in Kirschnerâ€™s explanation of UNCâ€™s silence and the actual email from the NCAAâ€™s Stacey Osburn? Kirschner says they arenâ€™t talking per the request of the NCAA, yet the NCAA told Decock that anyone can talk as long as they donâ€™t hamper the investigation.
Is Kirschner confused? Or is he purposely being dishonest? It may be in the best interests of UNC to have remained silent, so why not just state that it is UNCâ€™s policy not to discuss these matters until they reach some sort of resolution?
Kirschner says these new policies have been in the works since last Spring when he was apparently completely oblivious to Marvin Austin tweeting about his multiple escapades to South Florida and his activities in DC including cupcake shopping and who knows what else. We pointed out in an entry last week that UNC’s public relation nightmares with social networking sites dates back to 2007 and 2008 and included at least 1 of Butch Davis’ football players painting his face black. That particular entry from Statefans received many compliments, so if you haven’t already, then take the time to read this piece
Eyewitness News found the photos just months after showing pictures of football players from all three Triangle universities drinking under age to campus officials.
Back then(2007), UNC’s head football coach, Butch Davis, assured ABC11′s Rebecca Hall that his staff would better monitor what their players posts on all social networking sites.
So back in 2007, Butch assures WTVD that his staff will better monitor posts on all social networking websites, yet UNC apparently saw no need to update any policies.
In April of 2010 with Marvin tweeting about his travels between March and May, UNC’s Kirschner hosted a symposium that included a panel discussion that he participated in that included a segment on:
Thou Shalt Not Tweet: Athletesâ€™ Social Networking Legal Rights vs. Institutional Control.
Amazing…I know. Still, in April there was no update to UNC’s policies regarding the monitoring of social networking websites despite the enlightening discussions that were likely held during this “symposium”.
This new, updated policy isn’t implemented until several months after Marvin Austin’s infamous banter on Twitter and several weeks/months after the NCAA notifies UNC of an impending investigation into the UNC football program. In other words, Kirschner’s statement that “it(the updated policy) is not in response to any one thing” is ridiculous. Clearly, it was a reaction to the current scandal involving UNC’s football program.
Of course, this latest update to UNC’s Student Athlete Handbook isn’t really much of an update when you consider that each sport was already responsible for monitoring social networking sites according to Kirschner:
Kirschner said each sport is responsible for monitoring their playersâ€™ social media accounts.
So is this really an update to a policy or rather is it a case of UNC clarifying an existing policy that apparently Butch Davis and his staff didn’t follow with Kirschner asleep at the wheel?