For some college football coaches, like Lane Kiffin, social media is an effective tool for going viral and spreading the word about your program. For other college football coaches, it’s a scourge they have to deal with because they’ve been told it’s good for recruiting.
Following their loss to BYU last weekend, Arkansas Razorbacks head coach Sam Pittman deleted his @CoachSamPittman handle on X, formerly known as Twitter.
Monday, he explained why he decided to at least temporarily step away from social media, and his explanation was a well-reasoned and thoughtful argument for all of the negative consequences that come with fans and supporters having so much direct access to coaches and players.
"You can talk about my coaching all you want but attacking me, guys on the team, it's not right."
Good view on how harmful social media today can be. pic.twitter.com/8ahlqw6NWY
— Jacob Seus (@5NEWSJacobSeus) September 25, 2023
“I’ll be honest with you, I just got sick of it,” Pittman told reporters on Monday. “The only reason I had it in the first place is for recruiting. I’m told it would do well for the university if I bring it back. I do not believe that you can hide behind a phone and address people as personally as what people do. I don’t think it’s fair. I don’t think it’s right. I don’t think it’s right for the kids.”
Pittman explained that he’s had to spend an inordinate amount of time counseling some of his players over the comments and abuse they’ve received on social media.
Beyond the way it impacts his football program, Pittman also pontificated on the bigger picture when it comes to the way people interact on social media.
“Everybody knows I’m fat. Everybody knows I’ve got a big chest,” Pittman said. “To do that, who does that make feel better? It’s not right. And people say well, you make a lot of money. That doesn’t have anything to do with people bashing me personally. You can talk about my coaching all you want and this, that and another. But going and attacking me, and guys on the team, it’s not right. I’ll never feel like it’s right.
“As a coach, you can’t have a political affiliation, you can’t have a religious affiliation, you can’t do anything. But you can take it. Well, I got tired of taking it. I closed my Twitter account… that’s how I feel about it. All that’s gonna do is get more people bashing me. So, go right ahead, cause I don’t have Twitter.”
Arkansas still has their official X account for the football team, so it’s not like recruits won’t have a place to reach the team. But it sounds unlikely that Pittman will do much interacting on there even if he does eventually have to reactivate the account.