Texas Tech players beware: Big Brother is watching, and it's in disguise.
Red Raiders coach Kliff Kingsbury recently told The HawkCast, hosted by former Packers and Bengals linebacker A.J. Hawk, that his staff has created fake social-media accounts, in which staffers pose as women, to follow players and get an idea of which players need to be educated about appropriate social-media posting.
"We have fake accounts with cute girls that they add right now, so we can kind of see who is tweeting what," Kingsbury said, via CoachingSearch.com. "Those are heavily monitored, for sure. (The staffers are) posing as cute co-eds. I think (players know), but they can't resist that. A friend request from a cute girl is an automatic follow."
For unsuspecting football players, is it fair? Is it unfair? Either way, it's a reality they would be wise to recognize. And it might not be an uncommon tactic.
Kingsbury said his staff tries to make the program's social-media monitoring into an educational experience.
"Once a year, we'll capture the most absurd posts that our team makes, and we have a big presentation and have a lot of fun with it," he said.
College football players frequently have Twitter followers numbering in the thousands, and for higher-profile players, often in the tens of thousands or more. Like it or not, the level of public exposure associated with social-media accounts of that size can be far-reaching, particularly for star players and draft prospects.
And at Texas Tech, and perhaps many other schools as well, there is cause for players to be extra careful.