On the first day of Florida State's camp, one thing that wasn't on the minds of players and coaches was social media. After an eventful offseason that saw many players across the country- both collegiate and professional- run afoul of social media sites like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, Florida State wasted little time banning the Seminoles from that realm of the internet.
But it didn't come from the top this time.
“That was from our unity council,” said head coach Jimbo Fisher. “That was not me. [The team leaders] liked it and they thought we’d eliminate the clutter and other things that go on, that was their decision.”
From shouting slurs at concert security to visceral reactions over parking tickets to getting caught on camera fighting a bouncer, there are plenty of ways social media gets athletes in trouble these days. This past summer saw Heisman winner Johnny Manziel get into worlds of trouble on Twitter and Instagram, oftentimes through no fault of his own, but rather by just being filmed and photograhed, then uploaded by other users of the sites.
Florida State is no stranger to these kinds of controversies either. Tyler Hunter got himself into trouble on Twitter before last season and a slew of other 'Noles have reputations for being loose cannons on social media sites.
In an age where interactivity between athletes and fans is at an all-time high, there are a great many drawbacks that come with being so exposed. The Seminoles are going to try to go out of their way to avoid that this year.
"It's just a focus thing," said senior Kenny Shaw. "It doesn't really affect the team, we've got each other. We don't need the tweet world. We got a family right here. It worked last year, it was banned last year and it worked in a positive way.
"I mean you had some guys that were all like 'oh, man!' but at the end of the day we're all trying to get the same thing [done]."
The ban extends to all social media platforms.
Players will not subject to punishments if they tweet or send photos or update a facebook status while it stands though. This was a move made by the players in solidarity. A voluntary ban.
If it holds up all season that's a good sign for Florida State.
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