“@bookie3_FLYA: Swagg on bumish tonight.. But u kno wat Idc kno why I can Kill the scene in like 15 min. Wit Swagg.. Lol”
Was that tweet from Bookie Cobbins flagged for using one of the hundreds of keywords UK’s Twitter monitoring software looks for? If so, Joker Phillips received an e-mail in his inbox with the tweet. That’s how the social media monitoring works at UK and at UofL. The two schools use a system that searches for keywords, ranging from alcohol-related words to the names of sports agents, and then e-mails flagged tweets to the individual’s coach.
According to the Courier-Journal, all of Kentucky’s student athletes are required to use a system called Centrix Social, which cost the school $7,500 in 2011, but dropped to $6,000 this year. Louisville pays $6,450 for UDiligence, although football and men’s basketball players are not monitored. Only UofL golf, softball, baseball, soccer, swimming and diving, rowing, women’s tennis, track, and women’s basketball are required to use it. (Because the rowing team is always up to no good.)
Some say it’s an invasion of privacy, but one UK student, a former football walk-on, doesn’t see a problem with it.
“I feel like it’s OK to monitor to make sure they’re not representing the university in a bad way,” he said. “Monitoring, I think it’s pretty smart.”
The Courier-Journal discovered two of the words in the ‘P’ section of the keyword bank: “pony” and “panties.” Pony is one way of referring to crack cocaine; panties are what Georgia’s former athletic director keeps between his legs when he drives drunk.
The C-J’s report also included an example of one of the flagged tweets: “I thought I found the girl of my dreams at the strip club.” While that could be true, I believe the student was only using a lyric from Drake’s “Over My Dead Body”, but could’ve done a better job of making that clear.
It seems like this is just one more headache a head coach doesn’t need and should’ve have to deal with.