Jim Mora’s Twitter habits offer a lesson for all

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When it comes to Twitter, I am of the belief it is whatever you make of it. You follow the people you want to follow and interact with the people you want to talk to. For most, that is just fine. Others have to live by a few more rules though, and that includes UCLA head coach Jim Mora.

At the end of UCLA’s Alamo Bowl victory against Kansas State, Mora rushed a handshake with Kansas State head coach Bill Snyder, and later worked his way back to the Wildcats coach to seemingly explain his displeasure with Kansas State attempting to leap over the pile as UCLA quarterback Brett Hundley was taking a knee to run out the clock. Asked about the handshake routine during the postgame press conference, Mora chose not to get into it, but he did take to Twitter to suggest he would go to any length to defend the safety of his players. That tweet, and the account that shared it has since been removed. Mora’s Twitter account was the target of plenty f social media attacks and criticism for his postgame handshake. This is Twitter after all, where anyone with an account has access to just about anybody else on the service. The reason for shutting the account down may be unconfirmed, but the timing would suggest the attacks and criticism were so overwhelming that Mora, or somebody else, decided the only way to stop the criticism was to shut down the account. But that only makes things worse.

Whether you side with Mora or not on his stance regarding Kansas State’s late-game strategy to try and break up a quarterback kneel (I, for one, see no issue with it as Kansas State was simply trying to win a football game), there are lessons to be learned by the Bruins coach and his Twitter habit.

Twitter is a great tool for coaches to share information about the program they lead. It is a terrific recruiting tool and a fantastic outlet for promoting the program, yet even as we break in 2015 it seems that so many are still unsure how to handle the social networking resource properly. For all the good it offers, it can be equally as devilish if used improperly or unwisely. Some people have to use Twitter differently than the rest fo the world, because some professions have a certain demeanor that needs to be presented 24/7. The head coach of a major college football program, fair or not, falls under that profile, which means someone like Mora (or whoever it is that has access to the coach’s Twitter profile) has to have a grip on the impact any one tweet can have, as well as the patience to deal with the mentions that are sure to come fired in the account’s direction at any given time.

So in light of Mora’s recent Twitter issues, I serve up these free bits of advice (these are NOT rules) for any college football coach out there who may be reading this, and perhaps you find it helpful for your own Twitter habits as well if you are not a coach;

1. Before you tweet anything, type it out and read it aloud before hitting the Tweet button. If there is anything you hear that could remotely be considered controversial by anyone — fans, media, bosses — then perhaps it might be wise to remove the tweet

2. Do not tweet at high school recruits. Ever.

3. Have fun with Twitter. Don’t use it to release your frustrations and vent your bitterness.

4. Do not be a jerk. Just don’t.

5. Do not tweet at high school recruits. I felt that deserved a second mention.

6. People are going to attack you on Twitter. These people are not to be given the time of day, so you absolutely should not be giving their messages any merit by responding or acting in a defiant way. Let them have this small victory, because it may be all they have to live for.

As it turns out, there is reason to believe Mora has returned to Twitter, although under a private account for now. While this may sound like a wise move after being attacked on Twitter, it actually should be a cause for alarm as he is unable to be monitored by the NCAA unless he approves the NCAA of following the account. No coach should own or operate a private coaching account.

7. If you are a coach on Twitter, do not use a private account.

If you have other rules and words of advice for college football coaches and Twitter, feel free to offer them in the comment section.

Ohio State CB Sevyn Banks to wear No. 7

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George Costanza was never much of a college football fan. He was a New Yorker, after all. But he was a fan of the No. 7, and so he would have a new favorite college football player in 2020.

A product of Orlando’s Jones High School, Sevyn Banks has been a member of Ohio State’s defensive backfield since 2018. The former 4-star recruit has received limited playing time in the Buckeyes’ loaded defensive backfield, but figures to compete for a starting spot in 2020.

And now he’ll do so in his namesake number.

Banks announced Monday he will switch from No. 12 to No. 7 for the upcoming season.

The No. 7 had been claimed by linebacker Teradja Mitchell, who is now switching to No. 3, opening No. 7 for, well, Sevyn.

Banks appeared in all 14 games for Ohio State last season, collecting 11 tackles and one interception.

He’ll hope to get more burn in 2020, with some support from a fictional New Yorker.

NCAA could approve all athletes to transfer without penalty as soon as April

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Presently, all college athletes except those in football, basketball, baseball and men’s hockey can transfer to another institution and play immediately. That could soon change.

The NCAA on Tuesday announced the Division I Transfer Working Group will consider granting all student-athletes a 1-time waiver to transfer without penalty, and if approved the change could come in effect in time for the 2020-21 academic year.

“The current system is unsustainable. Working group members believe it’s time to bring our transfer rules more in line with today’s college landscape,” said working group chair Jon Steinbrecher, commissioner of the Mid-American Conference. “This concept provides a uniform approach that is understandable, predictable and objective. Most importantly, it benefits students.”

The news comes on the heels of the Big Ten proposing the current rules be scrapped, a proposal that was endorsed by the ACC this week.

If approved, the NCAA would now allow athletes to transfer without penalty as long as they: A) receive a release from their current school (and the NCAA has greatly restricted schools’ ability to restrict transfers in recent years), B) leave their outgoing school academically eligible, C) maintain eligibility at their current school, and D) are not suspended by their outgoing school.

The NCAA in 2018 liberalized its waiver process on a case-by-case basis, but those cases ended up boiling down to whose families had the money to hire the right lawyer, and often had nothing to do with the merits of their case. Rather than try to officiate that byzantine process, the NCAA is moving toward scrapping it.

“More than a third of all college students transfer at least once, and the Division I rule prohibiting immediate competition for students who play five sports hasn’t discouraged them from transferring,” Steinbrecher said. “This dynamic has strained the waiver process, which was designed to handle extenuating and extraordinary circumstances.”

The Transfer Working Group will solicit feedback from NCAA membership in advance of a vote by the Division I Council in April.

 

Texas’ recruiting director Bryan Carrington undergoes successful surgery

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One non-playing member of the Texas Longhorns football program is recovering from a surgical procedure a few months in the making.

During summer camp last year, Bryan Carrington was injured in a car wreck.  In a lengthy Twitter post Tuesday morning, Carrington explained that he recently underwent surgery to repair damage to his hips.  Per Carrington, he “tore both of my labrums that surround my hips” in that automobile accident.

Despite the injuries, Carrington continued his duties as the recruiting director for the Longhorns.  The staffer stated that he had “postponed my surgery until after the February signing period.”

I’ve been sleeping in and out and on medication for the last 24 hours, so I apologize I haven’t made an update sooner. Long story short, when I was 13, I broke both of my hips, also dislocating the right. Doctors put one screw into my left hip and two in my right hip. After an 18-week rehab, I was fully healed and free of any complications. I went on to letter in four sports in high school. This past August I was in a car accident that gave me a plethora of complications. It tore both of my labrums that surround my hips, which was painful and made me very unstable standing or sitting. I had trouble positioning myself to be comfortable when sitting, laying down or driving. I couldn’t stand or sit for long periods of time without pain and discomfort. I basically felt immobile and handicapped in my lower extremities.

“Similarly to athletes, I fought through the pain, discomfort, psychological and emotional stress for the [duration] of the season and postponed my surgery until after the February signing period. Yesterday, I had hip arthroscopy on my right leg with labral repair and osteoplasty to remove the impingements. Despite the hardships, I remain positive and in good spirits. I’ll be back better than ever. Thanks again.

Carrington was hired away from Houston not long after Tom Herman was named head coach in November of 2016.  This past National Signing Day, Texas Longhorns football finished with the top-ranked class in the Big 12 and the No. 9 group nationally on the 247Sports.com composite board.

Clemson, Georgia to open 2021 season in Charlotte

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The good news is that the rivalry between Clemson and Georgia will resume earlier than previously anticipated.  The not-so-good news?  It’ll be played off-campus.

Monday, both Clemson and Georgia announced that the two football programs will kick off the 2021 season against each other.  The game will be played at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, N.C. on Saturday, Sept. 4.

“This is another great opportunity to schedule a national non-conference game with a top-level opponent,” said UGA head coach Kirby Smart. “Playing a regular-season game in Charlotte will give our fans the opportunity for a completely new experience in a great city and top-level stadium. I know our coaches and players will be excited for the challenge to kick off the season in this kind of environment.”

To make room for this non-conference game, Clemson canceled a previously-scheduled matchup with Wyoming while Georgia did the same with one against San Jose State.

Along with the addition of a new home-and-home announced in April of last year, the Tigers and Bulldogs are now scheduled to face each other six times between 2021 and 2033, including the 2024 Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game.  There’s also a previously announced home-and-home series scheduled for 2029 (in Clemson) and 2030 (in Georgia).

The two football programs have met 64 times previously, the first in 1897 and the most recent in 2014.  UGA leads the all-time series 42-18-4.

“The eyes of the nation will be on Charlotte as we start the 2021 season,” said UGA athletic director Greg McGarity. “It is yet another opportunity to strengthen our schedule and provide an opportunity for our supporters to enjoy another huge matchup. We will now have at least two Power 5 opponents on our schedule through 2033.