TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher has told his players they can't use their Twitter accounts for the rest of the year.
Fisher's move came after some Seminole players tweeted objectionable material on their Twitter sites in recent weeks, including one that quoted rap lyrics about killing police officers. The third-year Florida State coach wants his players to be as focused as possible and believes that social media can be a distraction.
"During the season, I think it's something we're not going to touch," Fisher said. "It's a lot easier when there are less distractions."
Fisher pointed out that the athletes are representatives of the university and must understand the responsibilities that come with it.
"It's a power that you must understand the implications of when you use it," Fisher said earlier this week at the Atlantic Coach Conference's annual football kickoff festivities in Greensboro, N.C. He said the shutdown wasn't optional and said he thought it would probably be January before lifting the ban.
Two seniors, quarterback EJ Manuel and defensive end Brandon Jenkins, told the Tallahassee Democrat that some players weren't happy with the decision, but understood Fisher's reasoning.
"We didn't have Twitter 5-10 years ago," Jenkins said. "We can live without Twitter."
It's not the first time that the issue has surfaced at Florida State since Fisher took over from Bobby Bowden. Many Florida State players shut down their participation on Twitter for a few weeks last year after an early three-game losing streak wiped out their championship hopes. That time, however, it was the players who wanted to shut off the outside noise in the wake of the losses — albeit with the blessing of Fisher and his coaching staff.
Florida State is a runaway preseason favorite to win the Atlantic Coast Conference this year behind fifth-year senior quarterback EJ Manuel and a veteran defensive unit that ranked among the nation's best last season. The Seminoles finished 9-4 last season after going 10-4 in Fisher's first year as head coach, following Bobby Bowden, now major college football's most winning coach with 377 victories.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.