Posted: 12:35 pm Wednesday, September 15th, 2010

Randy Shannon: “It’s a free country” but no Twitter for players 

By Jorge Milian

Randy Shannon believes in the First Amendment. But when it comes to outside distractions, the constitution takes a back seat.

“It’s a free country,” Shannon said during Wednesday’s ACC conference call with reporters when asked why he decided to shut down his players’ Twitter accounts. “But sometimes you have to do what’s best for your team. As a team, we feel this is best for what we’re trying to get done. The players understand. You give them an opportunity to handle it. We’re all in it together. They understand what we’re trying to get done.”

Randy Shannon is no fan of Twitter.

Randy Shannon is no fan of Twitter.

Shannon didn’t say what tweets in particular bothered him. A couple hours before Saturday’s game against No. 2 Ohio State, quarterback Jacory Harris sent out a tweet reporting that the team was encountering, “Middle fingers everywhere.” Several other players including linebacker Jordan Futch, Damien Berry and Lee Chambers regularly tweet as well.

Asked if such distractions might have affected the Hurricanes’ performance in their 36-24 loss to the Buckeyes, Shannon answered; “Naw, it’s from the standpoint that when you’re at the University of Miami, like anybody, you represent your program or your firm or the business that your in. At the University of Miami we have standards that are held high and we want all the football players to understand that. And they understand it and that sometimes, when things happen, we’re all accountable for it.

“You talk to the players about it early in the season. You give them an opportunity to handle it. As a team, we make decisions together and we felt like at the present time…as a team we have to shut it down and get back focused on football.

Players are still allowed to use Facebook and other social media, according to Shannon. But that likely will also be monitored closely.

“Facebook hasn’t been a problem for us right now,” Shannon said. “If it becomes a problem, then we’ll address it when those things happen.”

Couple other notes;

….Shannon came out of the Ohio State game especially happy with the play of his top three offensive tackles. “I’m really excited about Orlando Franklin and [Joel] Figueroa and Jermaine Johnson,” Shannon said. “Those three, the first time they’re playing offensive tackle going against a good defensive line that Ohio State had, they really showed a lot of good things. They got a sack up the middle one time but for the most part the tackles did a phenomenal job of holding up for the first time in a big game [against] the No. 2 team in the country. We got a lot of football left to see if those guys are going to hold up…but I’m really happy with their progress.”

….Shannon disputes that that he’s getting good production from his receivers other than Leonard Hankerson. Hankerson has 13 receptions while no other UM receiver has more than six. “I think all of them have done a great job,” Shannon said. “Travis Benjamin had four catches. LaRon Byrd had some catches. But, for the most part, all of them have been catching the football well. Hankerson is the guy that’s been open a lot. When he’s been double covered then those guys have the opportunity to make plays and they have.”

….No worries regarding Harris, who threw four interceptions against Ohio State, as far as Shannon is concerned. ‘Jacory is fine,” Shannon said. “He’s bouncing around. You know, it’s a game. We’re going to learn a lot from this game. One game, second game of the season, you got a lot of football left. When all the mistakes happen early, it can make you really tune in what you’re trying to get done late in the season.”