DESTIN, Fla. - Tennessee football players have been and continue to be free to tweet to their heart's content, but that doesn't mean their coach has to like it.
Derek Dooley, speaking to a handful of reporters Tuesday before the SEC's spring meetings at the Sandestin Hilton beach resort, hinted that he's grown tired of the behavior of select players on Twitter, the wildly popular social networking and microblogging service.
"Some of our guys aren't managing it responsibly," Dooley said. "I'm not sure what value it brings to them or our program, other than serving their ego of seeing how many followers I can get."
Dooley, who has a Twitter account but hasn't said anything on it since the 2010 season opener, isn't big on all-encompassing policies, so he's yet to enact any major Twitter-related restrictions. His only request, which hasn't always been granted, is that players don't tweet on game days.
A number of coaches throughout college sports have enacted Twitter bans, including Mississippi State basketball coach Rick Stansbury and Boise State football coach Chris Petersen.
Dooley isn't ready to go that far - yet.
"I'd rather that players just learn how to manage it responsibly," he said. "How are they going to do it when they get out of college? Same thing with Facebook and everything else.
"When you have the policy that I have, inevitably you're going to have some times that they do something that's going to (make me) say, 'I wish I banned it.' "
No Comment: UT chancellor Jimmy Cheek declined to comment after Thursday's meetings with league presidents and NCAA president Mark Emmert.
The presidents will vote on a variety of legislative proposals today. Potential limits on the practice of oversigning has been the most prominent topic of discussion throughout the week, and Cheek said he would meet with UT athletic director Mike Hamilton early today to hammer out where the school stands on the issue.
On Wednesday, the SEC's football coaches voted unanimously to keep the signing cap at 28 players per season. On the table is new legislation that would limit schools to just 25 players and place restrictions on medical hardship waivers.
"We'd love the SEC to play a lead role in doing the right thing, but we would hope the NCAA would adopt whatever we do," South Carolina president Harris Pastides said. "I think that's where our ADs and our coaches - they don't want us to be so far out in front that we're the only league that clamps down on that."
Strength In Numbers: Dooley wasn't able to present his case for increasing coaching staff sizes Tuesday, but he apparently was able to have the floor for a moment Wednesday.
Dooley, upset over potential NCAA legislation that would put restrictions on non-coaching staff members, has stumped that football programs should expand their on-field staffs to tighten up the coach-to-player ratio, which is the highest in all college sports.
UT athletic director Mike Hamilton said he was aware of Dooley's platform before they arrived for the week's meetings. Like Dooley, he didn't think much progress would be made on the issue at this particular set of meetings, but was happy to get the discussion rolling.
"Obviously the statistics don't lie," Hamilton said. "On the ratio side of things there, there is a different ratio in football. As it relates to particular legislation, there's a time frame that you have to have that in place before you come to these meetings."
Martin Goes to Birmingham: Tennessee men's basketball coach Cuonzo Martin was one of a number of coaches from around the league invited to the SEC's headquarters in Birmingham for an orientation seminar last month.
All coaches who are new to the SEC, or have been away from the conference for more than four years, are required to attend.
Martin said the day trip was heavy on information about the league. Commissioner Mike Slive said he left the new coaches with a friendly reminder to stay out of trouble.
"I talk to them about mistakes, violations and how we recommend that they manage those in a very constructive way," Slive said. "Then I talk to them and tell them if they intentionally commit violations that there really is no room for them in our family."