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Leavitt gives up Twitter and making his Top 25 ballot public

Posted Sep 8, 2009 by Brett McMurphy

Updated Sep 8, 2009 at 11:30 PM

Two days after University of South Florida coach Jim Leavitt learned at least three of his players were Tweeting messages during team meetings and in the locker room about 15 minutes before kickoff Saturday, Leavitt said he is giving up Twitter.

“I’m not going to use Twitter any more,” Leavitt said Tuesday. “I figured … if I’m going to ask my players not to probably do it during that time, then I’m just going to stop.

“My Twittering days are over.”

On Saturday before the Bulls played Wofford, starting wide receiver Carlton Mitchell, back-up quarterback B.J. Daniels and reserve punter Justin Brockhaus-Kann sent Tweets from their cell phones during team meetings, the pregame meal and the bus ride to Raymond James Stadium. Mitchell also sent two Tweets from the locker room 15 and 55 minutes before kickoff.

“I’ve never been in that situation and when I read in the (Tampa Tribune) and heard about some guys doing that, how do I respond to that?” Leaviit said. “It’s probably something I really don’t want, seems something you should do.”

USF senior quarterback Matt Grothe understands why Leavitt was upset.

“The biggest thing was Coach Leavitt wanted us to be focused and prepared,” Grothe said. “When that stuff goes on it makes you wonder, but at the same time, he (Mitchell) had a good game.”

Mitchell had a team-high six receptions in the Bulls’ 40-7 victory.

Leavitt had nearly 1,400 followers on his Twitter account and said he only Tweeted at “appropriate times,” then joking said, “like 5 in the morning on Sunday than the other times (during team functions).

“Just to be a role model I’m not going to do it (Tweet).”

Leavitt added he doesn’t have a policy against players having cell phones in team meetings.

“If their cell phone goes off in a team meeting, I get disappointed,” he said. “I don’t have (a team rule), maybe I’m from (the) old school or a different era. I don’t know why you would have cell phones around in a locker room or on the bus.

“I never had a policy, maybe I should. Maybe that’s my fault I didn’t tell them what they could and couldn’t do. I just assumed people wouldn’t do something like that. You can’t assume anything anymore.”

So for trivia buffs, here was Leavitt’s final Tweet posted at 5:11 a.m. Sunday. “It is amazing how peaceful it is now. Full moon and all. Congrats to MD for making it with the Bucs. I believe AH as well is in. Focus.”

Leavitt also said Tuesday he would no longer make public his Top 25 ballot. He made his preseason ballot and Tuesday’s ballot public, but he said that was it. The rest would remain private except for the final one that is released by the American Football Coaches Association.

“I thought it was important to make this one (Tuesday) public, but I don’t want it all about the Top 25,” Leavitt said. “I want it (publicity) about who were going to play and our practice and those things. Those are my reasonings.”

Men’s soccer now 3-0: USF’s men’s soccer team remained unbeaten with a 1-0 overtime victory against Valparaiso Tuesday night.

The only goal came from Bernardo Anor as the Bulls (3-0) extended their home unbeaten streak to 20 matches.

USF visits Virginia Tech on Friday. The Bulls open Big East play at home Sept. 18 against Marquette and Sept. 20 against Notre Dame.

Reader Comments

Por (kevin) on September 09, 2009 (Suggest removal)

Brett,

So let me get this straight. I don’t know much about Twitter.

Carlton Mitchell has a private Twitter page.  He gave you permission to view his private Twitter page.  You then report about his pregame Tweets in the Sunday paper in 2 different stories. 

Is this accurate Brett?

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Por (tws3) on September 09, 2009 (Suggest removal)

I really don’t care who is twatting, tweeting or whatever. This storyline is stupid

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Por (High Tech Bull) on September 09, 2009 (Suggest removal)

Kevin

The USF official football page republishes (or “re-tweets” if you prefer that term) the Twitter postings of football players.

So blame USF for posting private tweets of its football players.

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Por (Brett McMurphy) on September 09, 2009 (Suggest removal)

Kevin, yes, he gave me “permission,” if you will, along with 70-80 other individuals, including a St. Pete Times reporter, USF’s official football site and USF’s sports information director. Before I had even posted my blog item on Mitchell Tweeting from the locker room, the Times reporter on his blog already reported that “Carlton Mitchell is tweeting from the locker room, which is outstanding.” The only difference was I indicated exactly what Mitchell wrote. And High Tech Bull is correct, USF’s official website posts what coaches and players Tweet - not sure how many of those are “private” pages. Any other questions, let me know.

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Por (KoozeeKingdom) on September 09, 2009 (Suggest removal)

It won’t be long until Twitter is just an answer to a question in future editions of Trivial Pursuit.  It’ll go something like this:

“The term ‘twit’ was replaced by the word ‘tweet’ thanks to this social interaction site’s fall from grace in 2010.”

I look forward to the day when we can say R.I.P. Twitter.

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