Basketball coach bans Twitter, winning streak follows
|Written by Chris Vannini|
Posted by: Chris Vannini on February 26, 2013
Twitter has become a major issue coaches have to deal with in today's world.
They want to provide the freedom to players, but often, it negatively affects those players.
Social media bans get negative press and could be used by other coaches in recruiting, but now there's at least one example of it working out.
Illinois men's basketball coach John Groce banned Twitter for his players on Feb. 6. The Illini started the season 12-0, but then lost eight of their next 11. After the ban, Illinois upset No. 1 Indiana and won five straight before a loss at No. 7 Michigan on Sunday. The Illini went from out of the NCAA Tournament bubble to safely in the field.
"I believe in freedom of speech,'' Groce told the Chicago Tribune. "But you get off to a 12-0 start and social-media wise, it's like these guys are rock stars. Then you don't play as well, they're scum.
"I said, 'Fellas, that's the way of the world. The reality is you're not rock stars. You're not scum. You're somewhere in-between.' I wasn't sure we were staying level with social media stuff."
There's one example of a ban working. But not all coaches want to go that far.
Michigan State men's basketball coach Tom Izzo thinks Twitter has affected his team similarly, recently. He isn't going as far as a ban, but jokingly came up with another solution.
Chris Vannini is the lead writer for CoachingSearch.com and has covered Michigan State sports for The State News, The Oakland Press and MLive.com. He writes a weekly column for the Detroit Free Press on behalf of SB Nation. Vannini lives in Big Ten country, so his foot speed is far from SEC caliber, but his pulse on coaches is hard to match. Be sure to follow @CoachingBuzz on twitter and send your feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org
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