In this age of college athletics, a player hears cheers when he succeeds and the buzz of their cell phone when they fail.
Iowa forward Zach McCabe ended up on the receiving end of some nasty tweets from people who claim to be fans.
His reaction prompted Coach Fran McCaffery to ban his players from using social media for the remainder of the season.
“My overall impressions of social media are negative,” said McCaffery.
Iowa State running back Jeff Woody has been in McCabe’s shoes.
“Noone feels worse about the poor performance than the one actually doing the performing,” said Woody.
After a goal line fumble in the Cyclones’ final home game of 2012, Woody had to put his phone down before his emotions got the best of him.
“If you have something negative to say, keep it to yourself, or talk about it with your friends. Don’t say it to that athlete,” Woody told Channel 13 News.
Social media hasn’t always been a part of the game, but former Iowa Hawkeye Wade Lookingbill says that even in the 90’s fans tried to get under his skin.
“I had to change my home phone number one time because some people would call at midnight and say something stupid over the phone,” said Lookingbill.
Phone numbers can remain unlisted, but anyone can find a person’s twitter handle and send nasty messages to Coach Fred Hoiberg’s players.
“Social media has taken over so many young people’s lives and it’s a disgrace. I think it’s going to be the end of us. I think it’s a joke that people can sit behind their computer and take a stab at a kid whose doing the best they can,” said Hoiberg.
Players are asked to rise above it and in Iowa City, avoid it completely.
“They’re not going to be on twitter. They won’t be receiving tweets,” said Coach McCaffery.
If players and coaches had their way, fans would do the same.
“I’m one of those guys who gets one hundred positive comments and remembers the one negative one,” said Hoiberg.
“It’s just that one percent that can really be hurtful,” Lookingbill told Channel 13 News.
Coach Hoiberg says he’s warned his players to be careful on Twitter, but doesn’t plan to block his players from social media.