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USC football: Trojans embrace Twitter

August 29, 2012|By Gary Klein
  • Matt Barkley's Twitter page
Matt Barkley's Twitter page (twitter.com )

Showing its social media savvy, USC has taken the standard online football player biography a step further by including Twitter handles on its website and depth chart.

Is a program that closed practices to the public to keep out agents and runners now willingly making its players available for interaction with anyone with a computer or mobile device?

Tim Tessalone, USC's sports information director, said the comparison was "apples and oranges," citing the ease in tracking players through search engines.

"Those accounts are out there anyway," he said. "They’re all very findable. All you have to be able to do is put in 'Twitter Matt Barkley' and it comes up.

"We've told them that if they don't want to be out there and still have a Twitter account, keep it on [protected]."

Tessalone said Athletic Director Pat Haden thought it could be "a good idea" to embrace Twitter and that players have been counseled to use the platform responsibly.

Barkley, a self-described "tech nerd" and avid social media user, said players must be aware that fans put them on a pedestal.

"Little kids who look up to you are seeing those tweets and what you say," he said, "So just be mindful that you're a representative of the university."

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