Shortly after the Arizona Wildcats were upset by the Xavier Musketeers in the Sweet 16, Sean Miller deactivated his seldomly-used Twitter account.
Many thought he did it because of angry tweets he was receiving by people who were mad about the Wildcats’ early exit, but Miller told FOX Sports’ Jody Oehler that that’s not the case.
“I didn’t crash my Twitter account because people were saying bad things,” Miller said Wednesday on FOX Sports 910. “They’ve been saying things for a while. That’s part of the deal. Most of the people that are very emotional, they’re not going to be emotional in a good way. They’re going to be emotional in a bad way. You figure that out. That’s not exclusive to Sean Miller. That’s everywhere and everybody.”
So, what was the reason then? Miller wants to reduce distractions.
“I think social media for me within in our program, I’ve come to this point — you have to be a part of Arizona basketball and care as much about our team and this program as you do yourself,” he said. “You can have aspirations to be an NBA player. You can have aspirations to be an NBA player in one year, but you’re going to get the biggest support you’ve ever had. But while you’re with us, you have to embrace the team. You have to embrace the front of the jersey, the bigger picture. You have to play for a championship and you have to be locked in.
“And one of the things that allows you to be the most focused at the task at hand is you have to eliminate the clutter. And right now we’re in a period where how can you really eliminate the clutter when you’re consumed with your phone. And me, as the captain of the ship, it starts with me and moving forward I think that’s the one thing I want to make sure I’m clear with our players.”
Miller has noticed that players nowadays have become consumed by social media, and this year the Wildcats had a few players that were notorious for retweeting positive tweets about them (whether they were tagged in the tweet or not) after games.
That’s a problem for Miller.
“We have the ability through @APlayersProgram to reach our fanbase, but I think for me to be the best I can at getting each of our players to buy in to our family, culture, locker room, we have to get away from the individualized attention, the retweets,” he said. “If you start retweeting 27 things in one day about all the things people are saying that are good, what happens when they say things that aren’t good? And I don’t want anything to affect our ability to be the best that we can be. That’s what that (deleting my Twitter account) was about.”
Miller also said a team’s cohesiveness can be negatively affected by rampant phone use.
“I watch our guys when we go out to eat and you look at them, and you have 13 different players dealing with their phone,” he said. “A couple years ago that meal would’ve bred conversation and togetherness.”
Some college teams, such as Florida State and Clemson football, have implemented a “no social media” rule for their players.
Miller did not mention if he plans to do that — and some argue it’s unconstitutional —but he definitely won’t be on social media anytime soon.
That is devastating news for folks who are dying to know when to wish an Arizona basketball player a happy birthday.
You can follow this author on Twitter at @RKelapire