For Amaker, preemptive education is not enough. He sends his players to a workshop on social media led by the athletic department at the beginning of every year, but he said that he has also enlisted his assistant coaches to make sure that what the players say represents the school and team well.
Co-captain Keith Wright said he was in favor of the team’s current practices, especially in contrast to the more restrictive policies in place for the teams that some of his friends play for. He said he would also support an outright ban on social media if the coach felt it were appropriate.
Junior point guard Brandyn Curry said that Amaker has expressed a desire to let basketball players keep their Twitter accounts active as long as he does not have a reason to act otherwise.
Amaker’s adversary at Yale has a similar monitoring policy. Starting this year, Bulldog basketball coach James Jones has begun visiting the online pages of his athletes to monitor what they are saying.
“We’ve become a cyber society, and more and more, everything is getting online, so we monitor and make sure guys are following the line,” Jones said.
Jones’ new policy debuted six months after Yale star Greg Mangano turned to Twitter to voice his displeasure about losing out on the Ivy League Player of the Year Award to the Crimson’s Keith Wright.
Princeton Associate Director of Athletics Jerry Price said that proper education and reinforcement should be sufficient to forestall problems. He said that Ivy League teams have players who understand the ramifications of what they say.
But as Amaker, Jones, and coaches at higher-profile programs push the boundaries, Svoboda acknowledged that the common Ivy League laxity about online monitoring may not last.
“We have constant discussions. Social media networking is here. It’s current. It’s something that’s always on the forefront of our minds,” Svoboda said. “Schools have to maintain constant discussion on these fronts to make sure they are evolving with how people consume information.”
—Staff writer Jacob D. H. Feldman can be reached at email@example.com.