D.J. Gardner Learns the Reality of the Social Media Era the Hard WayPosted by nvr1983 on August 27th, 2011
Over the past two years few programs have had to deal with as many major issues related to eligibility and suspensions as Mississippi State has had to. From the initial investigation and year-long suspension of Renardo Sidney to the nine-game suspension that Dee Bost had to serve last year and finally the ugly fight between Sidney and teammate Elgin Bailey in the stands at the Diamond Head Classic in Hawaii last December the program has had a difficult time getting out of its own way and putting its best possible team on the court. This time it involves a player, D.J. Gardner, who was not even going to be on the team this year.
On Thursday, Rick Stansbury, announced that Gardner, a highly touted recruit who was considered a top 20 shooting guard in the class of 2011, would be redshirting. According to Gardner’s mother, her son approached the staff about redshirting after finding out that he would be part of a three-man shooting guard rotation rather than receiving the majority of the playing time that he had reportedly been promised during his recruitment to Starkville. In addition, she reports that the decision as to whether or not her son would be redshirting was not supposed to be decided on until November. However, when Stansbury announced that Gardner would be redshirting, D.J. fired off the following tweet (edited for our family audience):
These b***es tried to f**k me over.. That’s y I red shirted .. But I wish my homies a great as* season.. I don’t even know y I’m still here
It’s not quite Shakespeare, but Gardner was very effective in expressing his thoughts in 140 characters. It appears that Gardner didn’t think that those 140 characters (technically 139) were enough and sent out another tweet to make his point even more clear:
Call em and tell more… I can’t stand liars and that’s all they did since I started being recruited.. R.I.p. To that contract I signed
Unfortunately, Gardner may have been a little too effective in expressing his feeling as he was soon kicked off the team and then kicked out of the program permanently making him the fourth player to leave the program since January as he joins Bailey, Twany Beckham, and John Riek. Gardner’s mother says that D.J., who chose Mississippi State over Memphis, will explore his options and plans to enroll at another school this year.
Interestingly, this is not the first time that Stansbury has had issues with Twitter as he initially banned any players from using Twitter after Ravern Johnson sent out the follow tweet in February after a loss at LSU:
Starting to see why people Transfer you can play the minutes but not getting your talents shown because u watching someone else wit the ball the whole game shooters need to move not watch why other coaches get that do not make sense to me
In addition to suspending Johnson, a senior who averaged 17.6 PPG last year, for a game, Stansbury issued the following statement:
It’s a new world we live in with Twitter and all the things you can do on the Internet,” Stansbury said in a statement released Thursday afternoon. “After the game last night, we had a frustrated player that gets on Twitter and says things that aren’t appropriate. In the heat of the moment, some young men just don’t understand once they put something out there for everyone to see, there is no taking it back. That’s why I’m banning the use of Twitter at this point.
Stansbury maintained that ban until the end of last season at which point he allowed players to use Twitter again. After the latest incident we wouldn’t be surprised to see that ban go back into effect for a very long time.