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Cyber smack a cause for concern

10/17/2013, 9:43pm PDT
By Don Norcross

Coaches, recruiters monitoring content, volume of messages.

’all can’t be mad becos y’all lost the game tonight … it was bound to happen y’all use to that feeling by now right?

@ThatPeanutKidd

Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, doesn’t matter. Madison High football coach Rick Jackson isn’t a fan.

“Social media, to me, is scary,” said Jackson. “It’s like every inner thought is out there for public display. Nothing’s left for the imagination these days.”

Vincent Parrish is a 6-foot-2, 175-pound wide receiver at Madison. His twitter handle: @ThatPeanutKidd. His above tweet was directed toward a friend at Kearny High after a Komets loss.

“It was just a joke,” said Parrish, who averages nearly 20 yards per catch and is being recruited by Pac-12 schools. “I would never disrespect a team like that.”

Back in the day of leather helmets, football coaches lost sleep over bulletin-board material. A player popped off about an opponent, the quote ended up on a bulletin board and the disrespect angle spewed through a locker room.

Today, the concern is cyber smack, and the repercussions are much more serious. Players have lost college scholarships because of comments and pictures posted on Facebook or Twitter.

In 2011, San Diego High quarterback Khari Kimbrough suffered a compound fracture to his left leg against Morse. Cavers head coach Keir Kimbrough, Khari’s father, accused Morse of making threats against his son on Facebook leading up to the game.

No evidence was found to support Kimbrough’s claims.

“The coaches are desperately searching for a way to bench me

@Quinn Seau

Quinn Seau is a sophomore linebacker at St. Augustine High. He has been a starter since his freshman season and wears 55, the same number as his late uncle, Junior Seau.

Saints coach Richard Sanchez issues a 50-page manual to his players before the season. There’s a section on social media.

“During hell-week camp, we spend at least 40 minutes on it,” said Sanchez.

Occasionally, he has discovered players tweeting “some bad words.”

“I make ’em run for it,” Sanchez said. “That’s language unbecoming of a Saintsman.”

More than a half dozen coaches contacted said they regularly warn players to be careful what they post on Facebook and Twitter.

“Some of them get it, some don’t,” said Eastlake coach John McFadden.

McFadden, though, gave one of his former players creativity credit when an Otay Ranch fan tweeted something about the Eastlake rivalry. Otay Ranch has not defeated Eastlake.

According to McFadden, the player tweeted something along the lines of, “It’s not a rivalry until they beat us.”

Of the tweet, McFadden said, “I think it’s kind of an intelligent thing to say, but wow. That takes some (nerve).”

After I score a touchdown I’ll sign the ball and give it to you to save cos it’s gonna be worth some money one day

@KidColes_7

Madison quarterback Kareem Coles (you can probably guess his number) is a prolific tweeter. As of late Thursday afternoon, his tweets numbered 8,992. Most were of the innocuous variety.

Damn, I left my jersey in the dance room

I’m going to sleep now

My substitute teacher is a rapper

He did one time, though, take a shot at a rival.

Clairemont don’t got the best uniforms

“I was just tweeting what was on my mind,” said Coles. “I strongly feel they don’t have better uniforms.”

The subject matter of Coles’ tweets may not alarm college coaches, but the sheer volume might.

“It’s honestly as disturbing seeing how often a kid will post/tweet out messages than the actual content,” a Big Ten recruiting coordinator told the Chicago Tribune. “Some kids, I swear, never put their phone down.”

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