I fully support the decision of Illini hoops coach John Groce to ban Twitter from his players. From February 6th till I’m guessing the end of the college basketball season, Illini hoops ballers will be prevented from tweeting. You can still follow all the regular Illini basketball official accounts, and the Fighting Illini athletics accounts, which are still active. And when you see 140 character expressions in the vein of this one by Illini leading scorer Brandon Paul, you can only imagine what types of hostile tweets he’s received.
And why it’s best just not to get involved. #alwaysagooddecision
I've blocked tons of so called "illini fans" throughout this rough stretch..if any more of my followers want to join them, step forward
— Brandon Paul (@BP3) February 4, 2013
BP did the right thing with the haters, don't engage them. The Illini have had a very up and down season; and their passionate fan base often has a tendency to overreact. #emotionalrollercoaster
"I believe in freedom of speech,'' Groce explained to David Haugh of the Trib. "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.''
Senior forward Tyler Griffey had one consistent hater in particular, and he wisely took the high road when defending himself.
Now there are indeed times when Tyler Griffey does kind of play like a 6'10" shooting guard (reminiscent of Mike Tisdale before him), but there's no reason to be vulgar and low brow in expressing such frustration over it. And there's more:
Again, this is the reason for the Twitter ban. Engaging with the critics doesn't help you make a deep run through March.
A Fulbright scholar, author and MBA, Banks has appeared on the History Channel, as well as Clear Channel, ESPN and CBS radio all over the world. President Barack Obama follows him on Twitter (@Paul_M_BanksTSB)