With gusto, Coug players re-embraceTwitter

THE REACTION WAS fast and furious. The ban on Washington State football players from using Twitter was lifted Thursday and a number of players have leapt at the new-found freedom. Darryl Monroe and Gabe Marks, for instance, quickly requested shout outs from @COUGFANcom, while Teondray Caldwell, Dominique Williams, Tracy Clark and Theron West seemingly started shouting out to just about everybody.

Between them, the foursome fired up nearly 300 tweets in the first 20 hours of Twitter freedom.

When sent a direct message asking if the lifting of the ban was here to stay, or just until fall camp opens in August, Marks was succinct: "Don't know lol free for now."

Bill Stevens, WSU's sports information director, said today he didn't know for sure whether the ban lift was here to stay.

While Caldwell & Co. were tweeting up a storm, other Cougs took a slower approach.

Sophomore safety Taylor Taliulu proclaimed "The homies are back on twitter! Get at us!" late Thursday morning but has written just five more Tweets since then. Quarterback Austin Apodaca Tweeted "back on the twitter game! Wassup folks." But seven Tweets and 20 hours later he announced "twitter is kinda boring now a days."

Senior kicker Andrew Furney used the opportunity to reconnect with Marquess Wilson. Of his 11 Tweets since the ban was lifted, three were to the controversial old Coug. The first of them chided Wilson for leaving him off a welcome back shout out that included Apodaca, Leon Brooks, Beau Glover and Damante Horton.

Senior safety Nolan Washington was ironic in his first tweet of the post-ban era: "I don't know what to say."

Meanwhile, junior slot receiver Rickey Galvin was simply thankful. His first Tweet said "Thank you" and his second said "Twitter is really gonna help me get through summer in Pullman."

Junior quarterback Connor Halliday, who was fairly prolific in his Twitter heyday, has been strangely quiet in the early going of this new era. He's authored just five Tweets in the last day and his first one displayed some gallows humor: "Well got twitter back will see how long this lasts lol."

The lifting of restrictions ended a seven-month embargo on Cougar players that head coach Mike Leach imposed last season shortly after student reporters with the Murrow College News Service approached him for comment about what looked to be racially insensitive and misogynistic remarks on Twitter by some of his players.

"Twitter is now banned around here so don't expect anything on Twitter," Leach said after a practice on Oct. 23. "Twitter's banned and quite frankly if after today you see anything on Twitter from our team - and I don't care if it says 'I love life' - I would like to see it because I will suspend them."

The decision generated headlines and cyber chatting across the country. In fact, a Google search of the phrase "Mike Leach" twitter ban generates nearly 54,000 results. Leach had done the same thing at Texas Tech in 2009.

Senior linebacker Eric Oertel greeted the ban removal with humor, likening it to the return of a long, lost love. "I took you for granted baby …I'm sooo sorry!! I'm going to cherish you with every ounce of my being! Every tweet will be GOLD!" he wrote Thursday.

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