Michigan's John Beilein offers more Twitter caution after Nik Stauskas receives backlash
ANN ARBOR -- There are few players on the Michigan basketball roster as active on Twitter as freshman Nik Stauskas.
The 6-foot-6 freshman wing frequently interacts with more than 9,000 followers on Twitter, and has even held impromptu question and answer sessions a handful of times this season.
And until last weekend, everything was good natured. Stauskas was drilling 3's, Michigan was winning -- it was all love.
Until Sunday, that is.
"Can't even read my mentions because of all the negativity being thrown at me," Stauskas tweeted after Michigan's 56-53 loss at Ohio State, a game that saw him put together his worst performance of the season. "I'll continue to learn and grow as a player. Back to the gym."
Earlier in the week, Stauskas spoke with Eric Adelson, of Yahoo! Sports, about the almost instant backlash he received via social media, explaining how he was "kind of surprised these were Michigan fans."
Stauskas -- who had more than 9,000 followers as of Thursday morning -- never engaged in a back and forth with the negative action on Twitter, but his case is certainly not unique.
Michigan State coach Tom Izzo recently told reporters how destructive and non-productive Twitter can be by citing an example of senior forward Derrick Nix's postgame habit of searching for "hate tweets."
On Wednesday, Michigan coach John Beilein chimed in.
"We revisit (Twitter issues) often," Beilein said. "You've got to understand, when you're working to have 1,000, 5,000, 10,000 followers, there's going to be some haters in there.
"It's frankly, why, I'm not a big tweet guy. I gave it my best, but I think mine is used on an as-needed basis now. It's a lot. But today's generation puts their stuff out there. They break up with their boyfriend or girlfriend, they put it on Facebook and everyone knows. That's the way they are, but there's a downside to that where you have to experience it to understand."
Beilein has his own Twitter account, which has more than 15,000 followers, but he rarely uses it -- as only three tweets have been sent since Nov. 1.
Beilein's assistant coaches, Bacari Alexander, LaVall Jordan and Jeff Meyer also have Twitter accounts -- and all three coaches are much more active than Beilein.
Is Twitter damaging enough for Beilein to ban his players from using it?
No, not right now.
"We continue to educate them, and everybody's different," he said. "But we're not going to tie their hands and say 'you're not going to tweet.'
"We're going to say 'you've just got to understand that it's a good idea to be really conservative with some of the things you tweet, as far as your life.' "
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