Friday, May 31, 2013

Social Media Vs Freedom of Speech

You don't have to be a Washington, DC, leaker to have your ability to express yourself limited.  Let us consider the very different cases of Gordon Gee and Eric Reveno.

The men's hoops coach at the University of Portland and The President of The Ohio State might have more in common than you think today.  Both have said things they may soon (or currently) regret.  (LINK ADDITION:  Thanks to Patrick Netherton for the tip to the uncut Gee -- worth the read/listen)

Gee is almost old news now, but Reveno "broke" some news with his opinion of the NCAA's state of rules with the hashtag, "#stopinsanity".  We know how much the NCAA likes hashtags these days, and we have to wonder if Reveno won't be in for some extra scrutiny for calling out what he found to be a pair of very picayune violations.

His tweet says:

Just heard about two NCAA violations in WCC. 1) athlete using Univ. water to wash car, 2) coach text recruit 'who is this?

Both were self-reports by members of his conference and they were discussed at the West Coast Conference meetings.  I'm sure they were examples of how small secondaries are better to turn in than to ignore.

The paying for water is the one that gets the attention for high silly quotient, but the one that concerns me more is the second.  Prime example of not understanding technology.  Do we really believe a coach would get some kind of "recruiting advantage" for asking what phone number had just texted him?  Are we to infer it is better to be rude and ignore anyone who blind texts a coach?

The coach had to account for the number, because I'm betting the institution in question uses one of the nifty new spy programs -- um, excuse me, accountability tracking software -- to pour over coach's cell phone records.  And in explaining why he texted the number that someone else had identified as being a recruitable athlete -- bingo, violation.

Why the Gee comparison?  The President of The Ohio State is now out on his make-good tour of apologies.  Wonder if Reveno for expressing his on social media will be next.

No comments: