[UPDATE: According to the ASSOCIATED PRESS, in the least surprising coaching move ever, Mike Leach has banned his players from using Twitter. Expect this to be commonplace before the season is through.]
It’s pretty easy to have a certain amount of sympathy for Texas Tech after last weekend. After all, despite being an unranked team on the road against ranked Houston, the Red Raiders were still only one-point underdogs to the Cougars. It was a game for the taking, and Tech nearly did so.
(via TWELETED, which is an evil little website.)
Nearly doesn’t cut it, though, and Tech lost, partly due to Mike Leach’s questionable (yet ever-Leach-like) playcalling. 4th and goal at the 1 with a chance to put his team up by two scores in the fourth quarter? Best believe Leach is taking it. Unfortunately, the play failed, Houston took over only down five points instead of eight, and the final score was 29-28, Cougars. Whoops.
So the Red Raiders lost, and angry football player smash whenever that happens. The players’ decision to involve Twitter, however, likely spells the end of that privilege.
First, one of the worst fallouts from the loss was the subsequent suspension of (now former) captain offensive lineman Brandon Carter. His Twitter page is gone, probably due in no small part to the following message being sent after receiving a one-game suspension for an undisclosed violation of team rules:
I am not a captain anymore and will not be playing this week. Good luck red raiders ill still be cheering on my family from the stands!!:)
Fairly benign, yes, but according to DOUBLE-T NATION, that Tweet’s part of a curious timeline in which an apparent one-game suspension became indefinite:
Last night, I posted a FanShot about LAJ’s Don Williams who broke the news that RG was suspended for one game, probably based on the content of Carter’s Tweet.
I think for a period of time, it was one game, and then something happened last night, I have no idea what it was, and would appreciate it if no one tried to speculate at this time, which required the official Texas Tech site to send out a press release about Carter and his suspension and for Don Williams to revise his article to reflect the official press release.
But for Carter’s self-news-breaking, the real Twitter drama occurred last night when a team meeting was canceled, apparently without the knowledge of linebacker Marlon Williams. Hence, the (since-deleted) Tweet shown above:
Wondering why I’m still in this meeting room when the head coach can’t even be on time to his on [sic] meeting.
That’s about as wise to do around Mike Leach as meat-suiting is around starving grizzly bears. Meat-suiting, of course, is wearing fresh meat as a suit and asking the wildlife to kill you.
The players are undoubtedly frustrated, seeing as how none of them expected to be 2-2 at this juncture of the season. After all, Taylor Potts has been serviceable at QB for the team, and it was generally thought that while there’d be some step back without Graham Harrell and Michael Crabtree, they’d probably go as Potts goes.
But one lesson the coaches are sure to be teaching the team this week is that everything - suspensions, frustrations, the lot - gets handled in-house, and certainly not through social media like Twitter, where even momentary lapses of judgment and composure can last on the Internet forever.
Or - alternatively - if Leach thinks it’s healthy and wants his players to continue to overshare with the rest of the world, well, we won’t step forward to stop it. That’s probably as likely as Leach going conservative on the field, though.