Assistant football coach fired over tweet sues to get his job back

So if I get drunk and post something stupid on Twitter my best course of action is to keep it up, roll with it and fight harder, lest my taking it down be seen as an admission of guilt. I think that poorly incentivizes things.

With government regulated speech, there must be a sharper line than “hurts recruitment efforts” because that argument could be used for anything. If he posted “Vote Biden” could the university say that as a deep red state he was hurting recruitment by posting that?

As far as being an asshole v. unpopular opinions, when you say someone is an asshole in this context, you are saying they are an asshole simply because they hold unpopular opinions.

I said I support the power of the school to fire him for what he said, but this and the other thread are excellent examples of how difficult it is to police the government when it comes to speech.

But if we assume that each had a First Amendment right to say what they did and keep their positions, wouldn’t the government organization have an obligation to keep their workplace/school organization tolerable? If the cheer girl showed up for practice and found her street clothes shredded, could she sue the school claiming that it didn’t do enough to find the culprits or if it did that the punishment was insufficient?

I think it has the perverse effect of then forcing the school to make the players be EXTRA respectful to the coach or the cheer teammate simply because of the comments.

Agree with this. With one small caveat.

There are borderline situations where higher management is not in fact gunning for the person who goofed; there is no “Resign quietly before we fire you publicly.” pressure. Instead, the message is “You’ve had your last promotion. If you’re ambition-free, you can serve out your years in a series of increasingly backwater jobs here. Or, if you still think you have a career ahead of you, you’ll have much better luck elsewhere.”

ISTM the real issue here is that the university may well be a government-owned entity, but it isn’t executing a fundamentally governmental function.

And this blurs the lines between “Management says your public persona is a liability and they want to remove you.” and “The government says your public persona is a liability and they want to remove you.”

My Fortune 100 employer would have no compunction about removing that guy for embarrassing the corporation. IMO the mere fact the eventual “shareholder(s)” that top management answers to is the state legislature rather than Wall Street shouldn’t really alter that.

For sure there should be strong protections for whistle-blowing, etc.

But anyone with any public exposure who works for anyone understands (or should) that they need to conform their public behavior to their employer’s desires. Working in a non-governing role for a wholly- (or partly-?) government owned entity should not be a get-out-of-jail-free card for harming your employer through ill-considered speech.

As a separate matter …
As I’ve said elsewhere, if I was the King of TwitFace, there would be no delete feature. You posted it, you own it for eternity. As Hemingway put it so pithily:

Always do sober what you said you’d do drunk. It’ll teach you to keep your mouth shut.