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Origins of social media fiasco surrounding Ohio State football team unknown

Chris Poche / Design editor

Members of the Ohio State football team began their first day under new coach Urban Meyer Tuesday in a cloud of social media confusion, and it still hasn’t been sorted out.

After a 7 a.m. Tuesday meeting with Meyer, several OSU football players tweeted that they were told they were banned from Twitter, a social media platform. Players backtracked and said there was no ban just hours later, but the origin of the supposed ban remains unclear.

Junior tight end Reid Fragel tweeted from his account, @FRAGEL88, around noon Tuesday, saying: “New staff new rules. No more twitter, not a big deal and probably for the better. Love our fans, love this place. Go Bucks #2012.”

By about 4:45 p.m., Fragel issued the following tweet: “Just now finding out the whole twitter thing wasn’t exactly true. #hearsay.”

OSU athletics representative Jerry Emig, who was present at the football team’s Tuesday meeting, told The Lantern that Meyer never informed him of a Twitter ban for the players.

“All I know was I was not made aware of a ban,” Emig told The Lantern in a Wednesday email. “I have no idea where this all originated or how it originated.”

David A. Goldberger, professor emeritus of law at OSU’s Moritz College of Law, said Tuesday that a complete ban of Twitter, or another social media platform, would be unlawful.

“I have my doubt about this, but there may be topics that the coach can put out of bounds, but to say that you can’t use a social media is far too broad,” Goldberger said. “It’s like saying you can’t talk.”

From his Twitter account, @king_hyde34, OSU sophomore running back Carlos Hyde said Tuesday: “Well guess its been real twitter ima miss all my followers.”

Later that day, Hyde tweeted: “Coach didn’t tell us this morning that twitter is banned guess the media likes to make up things. #GoBucks!”

In an Oct. 26 email to The Lantern, OSU athletics spokesman Dan Wallenberg said not every OSU team institutes formal policies on social media use.

“Each (OSU) team, if it has a policy, handles on its own,” Wallenberg said.

Wallenberg also confirmed that the OSU men’s basketball team, currently the No. 6-ranked team in the Associated Press Top 25 poll, does not have a formal policy.

Players, including junior tight end Jake Stoneburner, wasted little time returning to their accounts.

From his account, @STONEYeleven, Stoneburner said Wednesday at around 3 p.m.: “Can’t wait to get going in this new offense!”

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