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Basketball

Fred Hoiberg goes off on Twitter trolls

AMES — In a state as small as Iowa that doesn’t have a professional sports team in it, if a major news story breaks in Iowa City, a coach is going to get asked about it in Ames (and vice versa). That’s just the way it is. 

After the University of Iowa lost to Wisconsin on Saturday, senior forward Zach McCabe was reportedly attacked on Twitter by select fans. This led McCabe to allegedly post a negative tweet (that he later deleted) toward the fans that had come at him via the social media network. 

On Monday, Iowa head coach Fran McCaffrey instituted a Twitter ban toward his team for the rest of the season.

During his Monday press conference, Fred Hoiberg was asked about this specific topic. The Cyclone head coach then went off on a quick-tempered speech about the issue. 

“Social media has taken over so many young people’s lives and I think it is a disgrace,” Hoiberg said. “I think that social media is going to be the end of us. I really do. It is a joke that people can sit behind a computer and take a stab at a young kid that is out there doing the best that they can. It has obviously gotten a lot of play here in this last week but it happens everywhere.”

Hoiberg and Iowa State saw its fair share of social media turmoil earlier this season when freshman Matt Thomas was receiving negative tweets from Cyclone fans. In return, Hoiberg told Thomas to say off of Twitter and away from the negativity. 

“It happens to players in every conference,” Hoiberg said. “They are going to get shots taken at them if they don’t go out and play a good game and I think it is really sad.”

Hoiberg, who is now 42 years old, never experienced this during his playing days at Iowa State or in the NBA. 

“I would not have been able to function with that when I was playing,” Hoiberg said. “I was so mental that I would have taken to heart everything that was said to me. It is too bad that that is the world we live in right now but it is what it is. You have to block it out the best that you can and try to play. I haven’t done that with our guys. I’ve talked to them about being careful not only with what they say and also with what they read.”

The moral of the story: Think before you tweet.