soft hands.

boys will be boys!

As if college coaches didn't have enough to worry about, they now find themselves holding their breath as they surf the Internet and discover athletes' personal diaries that would make Madonna blush.

With a few clicks of a mouse, coaches and athletic department administrators are exploring the underbelly of their student-athletes' social world, electronically snooping on things that until a few years ago remained guarded within the confines of locker rooms, dorm hallways and fraternity and sorority houses.

Much of what they're finding on social networking websites MySpace.com and Facebook.com is harmless, sophomoric collegiate jocularity. But they are also finding sexually explicit photos and recordings, an alarming amount of profanity, references to being ``crunk'' (crazy drunk), and images that could be embarrassing to their universities. The sites could also prove a particular headache for college athletes because overzealous boosters, agents, gamblers and the media have easy access.

It has become such a concern that college athletic departments across the nation are cracking down, demanding that athletes sanitize their profiles. The NCAA Student-Athlete Advisory Committee discussed at its recent meeting, and some Florida schools have already issued written warnings and policies.

The Miami Herald searched for more than 500 football players from the University of Miami, University of Florida, Florida State, Florida International and Florida Atlantic and found that more than half have personal webpages on one or both sites.

Seventy-six of 100 UM players have pages, 55 of 113 at UF, 51 of 92 at FSU, 59 of 93 at FIU, and 57 of 116 at FAU. Players interviewed said they join the free websites because it's an easy way to keep up with their friends. MySpace boasts 100 million members and the college-exclusive Facebook has 8 million users.

The sites also offer athletes a forum to trash-talk electronically with upcoming opponents. UM's Darryl Sharpton told a funny story about a Virginia Tech linebacker who last season jokingly ``poked'' several UM players - a phrase that means flirt in Facebook vernacular. ``After we won that game, we found that guy and had some fun with him.''

The football players all agreed they have to be cautious about what they post, but many of those same athletes have raunchy web profiles.

Scroll down the MySpace page of UM safety Brandon Meriweather (aka Hit-Stick 19) and you'll find dozens of provocative photos of his female ``friends'' in g-strings. There is also a series of photos of a woman stripping that ends with a shocking nude image of her with male genitalia superimposed over her crotch. Apparently, that photo made the rounds because it also shows up on the MySpace page of UF cornerback Lamont Sheppard.

FAU wide receiver Chris Bonner claims he is selective in what he posts. ``You don't want to make a bad name for your school,'' he said. And yet, he opens his MySpace profile with: ``I'm not gay, so homos stay away.'' He also includes close-up photos of women's bare buttocks, a cartoon of stick figures having oral sex, and a photo of two young men at a party with revolvers sticking out of their waistbands. [mercury news]


8:47 PM :: ::
  • I kind of find it amusing how many jobs/careers/relationships/marriages are destroyed by idiots posting personal information on their lj/blog/myspace and then getting all upset when people read about it.

    By Blogger Mr. Faded Glory, at 1:43 AM   <$BlogItemControl$>
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