Everyone can’t handle Twitter and Facebook. Several athletes have been criticized for their use of the social networks in a negative way. Just recently North Carolina defensive tackle Marvin Austin provided NCAA investigators a potentially incriminating piece of evidence with a Twitter message he sent in the early-morning hours of May 29.
Austin’s message "I live In Club LIV so I get the tenant rate ... bottles comin like its a giveaway.” This immediately got the attention of the NCAA and the investigation began.
LIV is a nightclub in the upscale Fontainebleau hotel on South Beach in Miami.
The investigation and its link to the popular social networking sites have put players on heightened awareness about what they "tweet" on their Twitter feeds or the types of updates they post on their Facebook pages.
Many of the players who attended SEC Media Days talked about using caution not only with what they posted, but also in deciding what "friends" to give access to view their pages.
The message to the players should be simple: "Don't put anything on there you wouldn't want your mom, dad, or coach to see."
Half of the SEC's coaches maintain active Twitter feeds as a way of communicating with fans and recruits. But coaches also use the sites to monitor what players and recruits are doing.
Arkansas is one of the few schools that requires all of its players with Facebook pages to be "friends" with director of football operations Mark Robinson. The "friend" status allows Robinson to view players' pages that may not be accessible to the public.
So when Arkansas receiver Cobi Hamilton wrote about his thumb surgery on Facebook last year, his coaches saw it - and were not happy about Hamilton sharing information they did not want out.
Schools warn players about the potential consequences of posting incriminating pictures or comments online. At Kentucky, new players were told about a college athlete who lost his scholarship because of a picture on his Facebook page of him posing next to a line of beer cans.
Mississippi coach Houston Nutt said he reminds players the things they post on Facebook are a reflection of them, their families and their school.
Still, not everybody gets the message.
"You can learn a lot about a person when you get on their Facebook page," Mullen said. "We certainly have crossed a recruit off our board because of the different things I've seen them post on Facebook. Maybe that's not the type of character player, the type of person, we're looking for (based on) what they're doing in their social life."
Facebook and Twitter also provide another avenue for agents, or their runners, to contact players. Kentucky senior tailback Derrick Locke said when he gets a message from an agent on Facebook, he tells them to send him literature about their agency but makes it clear he is not going to choose a representative until season's end.
Kentucky receiver Randall Cobb deleted his Facebook page two months ago, although he said an impostor created a page claiming to be him. Cobb was not concerned about agent contact or getting in trouble on Facebook; he just got bored with it.
"Now I'm Twitter all the time," he said.
He is mindful that fans or media members might form an opinion about him based on what he tweets about in 140 characters or fewer.