The Daily Iowan

Twitter is for the birds, says McCaffery


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The remainder of the Iowa men’s basketball season will be without selfies taken on the team plane by Devyn Marble, daily zodiac readings from Peter Jok, and clever ramblings from Okey Ukah.

In the most Ferentzian coaching move by Fran McCaffery we’ve seen so far in his short tenure at Iowa, members of his team are not allowed to have Twitter accounts for the remainder of the season.

McCaffery said he told all his players to deactivate their Twitter accounts during his teleconference on Monday, a day before Iowa travels to Minneapolis to take on a reeling Minnesota squad. The ban is a response to all the negative attacks senior forward Zach McCabe received on the social-media site following his missing a 3-point shot that would have tied Iowa with Wisconsin with 17 seconds remained in an eventual 79-74 loss on Feb. 22.

Iowa players will be able to resume tweeting once the season over, which is merciful compared with Iowa football head coach Kirk Ferentz, who does not allow members of his squad to have any connection to Twitter as Hawkeyes. Ferentz has had the Twitter ban on his squad since 2010, when estranged wide receiver Derrell Johnson-Koulianos decided to exercise his First Amendment rights in a manner that Ferentz didn’t find becoming of his football players.

McCabe responded to negative criticism with his own expletive-filled outburst on Twitter. He deleted the Tweet nine minutes after posting, but the damage was done. It appears for now that players are still able to have presences on Instagram, Facebook, and Google Plus.

Nationally ranked Kansas, Duke, Arizona, and Iowa State all have players and/or coaches with active Twitter accounts.

Iowa now joins Minnesota as the only teams in the Big Ten where its players are on Twitter probation. Minnesota head coach Richard Pitino banned Twitter just last week for his players.

Iowa’s two assistant coaches who are on Twitter — Andrew Francis and Sherman Dillard — still have their accounts active as of this writing.