McCaffery tells players to shut down Twitter

Coach calls McCabe incident "a learning process"

Scott Dochterman
Published: February 24 2014 | 8:49 am - Updated: 29 March 2014 | 4:04 am in
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IOWA CITY -- Iowa Coach Fran McCaffery has told his players to shut down their Twitter accounts until the end of the men's basketball season, he said Monday morning.

Senior Zach McCabe received multiple negative comments directed to his Twitter account after he missed a 3-pointer at the end of Iowa's 79-74 loss to Wisconsin on Saturday. McCabe lashed out with his own response, which he later retracted. McCabe then put out a statement apologizing for his comments and thanked the fans.

McCaffery said he talked to his players after the incident, calling it a "healthy discussion, one that I think made sense to everybody."

"First and foremost I’m going to support Zach," McCaffery said Monday morning on the Big Ten weekly teleconference in a response to a question from The Gazette. "I think I’ve said many times about how I feel about him. I love everything that he brings to this program. I support him 100 percent. I think it can be very upsetting when you’re getting attacked. I think you can have the impression that the entire fan base is attacking you, and that is not the case. I think the good thing that’s come out of this is how much support he’s gotten in return from so many different people.

"You’re going to have people who are upset after a loss and they’re going to blame and normally they’d blame the coach, and that’s what I’d prefer that they’d do. Just blame me. We lose, just blame me. And when we win, let’s cheer on the players and be happy for them and they were the reason."

McCaffery does not use social media and the original incident was brought to his attention. He called the incident "a learning process" for McCabe and his impression of social media is negative.

"What I’ve done is I’ve told all the players to shut down their Twitter accounts until the season is over," McCaffery said. "They’re not going to be on Twitter, they’re not going to be tweeting or getting tweets, and I think that’s probably the smartest thing to do. Focus on these last few games and the Big Ten Tournament and go from there. Then when the season’s over, they can all put it back up."

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