University of Iowa basketball coach Fran McCaffery has reportedly ordered his players to shut down their Twitter accounts for the rest of the season.
The order follows some recent unpleasant exchanges between some players and fans who are critical of the team.
Center Adam Woodbury gave his own fans a “shush” gesture after he dunked against Michigan, and many interpreted the gesture as an answer to critics who said Woodbury cannot dunk.
Senior forward Zach McCabe took some recent heat as well, from fans who jumped at the chance to go online and critique his ability after he aired out a potential three-point shot at Wisconsin. The Hawkeyes lost that game, 74-79.
“There were other options in the play, but that was an option we liked,” said UI head coach Fran McCaffery of McCabe’s miss. “We thought he would be open.”
McCabe reportedly lashed out at critics on Twitter. Almost as quickly as he vented his frustration in a tweet, McCabe took down the offending post and offered an apology tweet. That didn’t seem to satisfy all of the fans on Twitter, and the topic quickly became ugly. McCabe’s Twitter account was shut down a short time later.
McCaffery has instructed the rest of the team to follow suit.
During the weekly Big Ten coaches teleconference, McCaffery defended McCabe as a valuable player on his team, saying, “I love everything he brings to this program.”
McCaffery said the distraction and potential negative input from social media wasn’t something he thought would help his players.
“I think it’s the smart thing to do,” McCaffery said. “Let’s just focus on these games and when the season is over they can go back on.”