An athlete on the Bloomsburg University baseball team has been dismissed from the team after posting an offensive tweet about 13-year-old female Little League World Series star Mo’ne Davis.
After learning about the post on Twitter, Bloomsburg announced the player’s dismissal from the team on Twitter, saying they were “deeply saddened” and “his words do not represent Bloomsburg University.” The decision for the player’s removal from the team was determined after reviewing Bloomsburg’s social media and networking policy for student athletes.
The player, Joey Casselberry of Eagleville, Pennsylvania, issued out an apology on Twitter before deactivating his account. Casselberry wrote “An example that one stupid tweet can ruin someone’s life and I couldn’t be more sorry about my actions last night. I please ask you to forgive me and truly understand that I am in no way shape or form a sexist and I am a huge fan of Mo’ne. She was quite an inspiration.”
Slippery Rock University Director of Athletics Paul Lueken said that social networking policies for athletes at schools are extremely important.
“Athletics have the ability to bring either positive or negative attention to a university,” Lueken said. “It’s important to have social networking policies in place and for the athletes to know that it is truly a privilege to be a student-athlete. People will watch their actions and it is important for them to understand that whatever they say or do reflects on themselves, their family and their university.
Like Bloomsburg, Slippery Rock has a social networking policy for student athletes, a contract which players are to review and sign. The policy states that student athletes may not post anything that may embarrass them, their family or the university. If student-athletes fail to honor this Code of Conduct, then Slippery Rock University has the right to suspend or dismiss them of their athletic duties and, if applicable, revoke them of their athletic financial aid.
“As a student-athlete, they live by a stricter Code of Conduct than just a normal student,” Lueken said. “The social networking policy is reviewed with all of our athletes at the beginning of the year, and we do monitor what they post online. We ask our coaches to always remind their student-athletes of how quickly they can lose their opportunity just by making a bad choice.”
Despite being the target of the incident, Davis and her coach, Alex Rice, have contacted Bloomsburg University President David L. Stoltz, asking to reinstate Casselberry. Bloomsburg acknowledged that Davis showed upmost maturity and class in forgiving Casselberry, but announced Monday that it will not reconsider his baseball status at this time.
“Bloomsburg made the right choice for their university,” Lueken said. “If warranted, we probably would have made the same decision.”