IOWA CITY — Social-media drama, according to Lisa Bluder, is inevitable.
“It’s just a matter of time until we have issues, too,” the University of Iowa women’s basketball coach said at her press conference Tuesday morning at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. “I’m not naïve enough to think that we’ll avoid it completely.”
Men’s coach Fran McCaffery has mandated that his players shut down their Twitter accounts until the end of the season, in the wake of senior player Zach McCabe receiving multiple negative comments directed to his account after the Hawkeyes’ loss to Wisconsin on Saturday.
McCabe lashed back with his own response, which he later deleted. He then put out a statement of apology for his comments.
“I can’t believe some of the shots that (McCabe) has been taking,” Bluder said. “I admire Fran for how he stood up for his player. He handled the situation very well.”
The vast majority of the Iowa women have Twitter accounts — Samantha Logic and Bethany Doolittle are two notable exceptions. For now, the Hawkeyes’ accounts remain active.
“It’s hard not to hear about what’s been going on,” Melissa Dixon said. “It’s a reminder to be careful what we put out there. I think we’re all pretty smart about what we can and can’t say. We are role models, and there are a lot of people out there that look up to us.”
Bluder said that assistants Jan Jensen and Lacey Goldwire do most of the monitoring of her players’ social-media activities and that issues have been minimal at most.
Logic (who does own a Facebook account) and Dixon both said their experiences with fans have been positive.
“I’ve never had anyone say anything negative to me,” Logic said. “That’s where fans have truly been fans.
“The deal with McCabe, I don’t get it. Why are they ragging on him? He doesn’t deserve that. If somebody does that, they’re not a true fan. People are going to have bad games. Putting down an amateur athlete … I just don’t get it.
“Everybody has bad games. Melissa, she had a shooting slump earlier this year. We don’t care. We knew she was going to snap out of it.”
Bluder joined the Twitterverse last year and tweets only occasionally. Jensen has the most followers of the coaching staff (2,221 as of 2 p.m. Tuesday). Of the players, freshman Ally Disterhoft has the most followers (1,927).
“Kids love their social media,” Bluder said. “Like I tell my staff, it’s just another thing to live with.”