Clarification and update at the end of this story
It appears as if North Carolina's players got a talkin' to about what is, and what's not, acceptable on Twitter.
About 5 p.m., rising sophomores Dexter Strickland and John Henson, plus rising junior Larry Drew II, all posted variations of the same message on their individual Twitter accounts: "well coach just talked to us about twitter and told us we offend some people n what not so this is a farewell to bein' myself..lata tweeps."
Strickland also added: "They told me I gotta watch wat I say..so I'm sry if any of my tweets offended anybody that follows me.."
Then Strickland and Henson later tweeted, "yeah these people be emailin coach n stuff smh....'self expression is a birthright and something you did PRIOR to hoopin...'"
The trio, who all have more than 4,000 followers apiece, are three of the most prolific tweeters on the team, commenting on everything from basketball to what they eat to what music and movie they enjoy -- all, usually, in shorthand-twitter-slang.
But some of the team's tweets this season have also gotten individuals into hot water.
Team spokesman Steve Kirschner, for example, in April told a panel discussing social networking that one Tar Heel tweeted that freshman Travis Wear may have broken his ankle – which could, he said, have broken HIPAA violations and brought on a lawsuit. After the College of Charleston loss during the season, Henson tweeted that the Tar Heels had just made a guy's college career. Both posts were later erased.
Clarification on the HIPAA story: Kirschner called to clarify the HIPAA story that he discussed during the panel in April. When the player tweeted injury, he said, he told the player that it wasn't his job to discuss injuries -- that was up to Coach Roy Williams, the player and the head trainer. Kirschner further pointed out to the player that if Kirschner discussed the injury without permission from the injured player, he could be subject to HIPAA violations. He was trying to make a point to the player who tweeted the injury, he said.
Kirschner also said he didn't know the details of the players' meeting today with the coaches, or who who they met with. "But we've always told them to be careful about twitter."