Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Franklin Takes Hard Line on Twitter Use

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Franklin Takes Hard Line on Twitter Use

Article excerpt

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- James Franklin puts together daily PowerPoint presentations for his team, using examples of other athletes to reinforce to his players what they should and shouldn't say, do and tweet.

He also talks about blocking, but not the kind that relates to football.

"I'm a huge blocker," Franklin said of his approach to Twitter. "I want them to do the same thing. If you get anything negative on Twitter, do not respond and once you start reading and it's negative, don't keep reading it. ... They're welcome to have their opinion, and you're welcome to block them."

Franklin is an optimist, moving ahead at full speed and trying to keep the message coming from inside and outside his team as positive as possible. Active on social media with 90,000-plus Twitter followers and sending daily birthday tweets to players and staff members, Franklin also knows just how messy words can get in the Twitter-sphere.

Trying to keep his players and staff away from the public narrative of the Nittany Lions (6-4, 2-4 Big Ten) is a point of emphasis Franklin refers to as "blocking out all the noise." It's not easy, though, given all the pieces of information popping up daily on the Internet.

Some of the younger players were used to being active on social media throughout high school and the recruiting process. Four-star defensive tackle Adam McLean, a regular on Twitter, decommitted from Penn State earlier this week and was bombarded with positive and negative responses from people he has never met.

Some players stop getting recruited by Penn State and other schools because their social-media persona is simply too much or downright inappropriate. Penn State's staff sends out a popular '#WeAre...Better' tweet every time the team picks up a verbal commitment, sparking interest for fans.

But the negative use of Twitter doesn't bother as many of the upperclassmen, Franklin said. …

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