UP athletes Tweet away with freedom

By The Beacon | February 13, 2013 9:00pm

(Ann Truong | The Beacon)

By PJ Marcello, Staff Writer marcello13@up.edu

Twitter has made a dramatic impact on the world of sports. Coaches, players and entire organizations are under a microscope.

Although some are able to maintain a positive image, the risk that goes along with allowing your thoughts slip into the ether of the Internet can be hazardous.

However, the world of Twitter is not foreign to the UP athletics. Although some coaches at other campuses have strict guidelines or ban social media, UP coaches are active users, especially men's basketball Head Coach Eric Reveno.

"A lot of high school coaches follow me for practice and game prep advice," Reveno said. "I love to follow UP stuff like The Beacon, Villa Drum squad. A couple nights ago I was keeping up on the ASUP senate meeting. I don't know about any of that stuff, and it only takes a small amount of time to look it up."

This is not uncommon for coaches across the country, but what makes Reveno unique is his complete trust in his players who also use the site. In fact, he believes that it can even be useful for players trying to build an image and connect with fans.

"They have to figure out how to use and manage it now. I remind them that it's permanent and an opportunity to build a brand," Reveno said. "I tell them to imagine talking to a room full of people who can all hear what you say. It requires a sort of new-age common sense."

Athletes on campus from every sport are active Twitter users. About half of the men's basketball team is on Twitter. Players like Kevin Bailey understand the values and risks of owning a Twitter account even though they do not get much oversight from coaches.

"It's nice to be able to talk to everyone at once and get information or share information, like when our games are, or letting friends know when I'm back in town," Bailey said. "The dangers are when people don't watch what they post. If I wouldn't want my mom to see it, I don't post it."

So far the team has used it constructively to get fans out to big games, like Gonzaga and St. Mary's, while refraining from getting into any trouble. Although Reveno is comfortable allowing his team to use Twitter without much oversight, one thing he does like to remind his players is that he is the original Twitter man on campus.

"I've had a Twitter long before any of [my players]. How hip and cool can it be if I did it before them?"