The North Carolina football program instated a new team policy Thursday that bans all players from using Twitter accounts, team spokesman Kevin Best said.
Quarterback T.J. Yates addressed the team’s newest rule shortly after its reveal with a farewell Tweet about his departure from the site for the rest of football season:
“ @JTsetay: To tweet or to play football???? That’s an easy decision…. Bye Bye twitter I am really gonna miss you guys….see you in about 3 months.”
The NCAA investigation into UNC football players receiving improper agent benefits has brought serious attention to individual comments on the social media site.
Former UNC defensive tackle Marvin Austin’s Tweets were the center of media speculation at the start of the investigation. His Twitter account disappeared shortly after the NCAA arrived in Chapel Hill in July.
Before the team adjusted its policy, fullback Devon Ramsay was just the latest football player to add a deleted Twitter account to his list of team consequences circling the investigation.
“Devon and I have had a conversation about it, and he is undergoing some things within the program and he’s not going to play for a while,” UNC coach Butch Davis said in a Thursday press conference.
Ramsay’s account, @DRams45, was pulled after he tweeted, “My whole team gettin money I just call it gang green @williamRfay @rlchris89.”
The junior sat out of the Tar Heels’ 21-16 victory Saturday against Clemson after new information was discovered that required UNC to hold him out of competition.
The athletic department changed its social media policy in August as the NCAA investigation was in full swing, leaving 13 players out of UNC’s first game against LSU.
“We’ve always told (athletes) on the outset that they should come at social media as they would with the press,” athletic department spokesman Steve Kirschner said before Thursday’s policy change.
“That what they say, because they are student athletes, they are representatives of UNC and are public figures.”
The athletic department’s policy requires each team to designate a coach or administrator to regularly monitor the players’ postings.
It also details student athletes’ responsibilities to portray themselves, their team, and the University in a positive manner at all times.
“Getting them used to the idea that the outside world, whether it’s the media or others, will be looking at their social media posts to see what they post — not just friends and family — getting them to understand that has been more challenging,” Kirschner said.
Senior writer Eliza Kern contributed reporting.
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