Kentucky Coach Joker Phillips said he's considering banning his players from using Twitter after junior receiver Randall Cobb used the social network to criticize Wildcats fans after UK's 31-28 win over South Carolina.
"I've thought about it, banning them," Phillips said. "We'll continue to think about it and make a decision. One thing we've got to do is get our arms around it. I also want to give these guys a chance to express themselves but not in a way that they might harm someone else. We've got to be a little bit smarter in doing it."
The following was posted on Cobb's Twitter account Sunday morning:
"To all the fans: loved seein Yall come late, love hearing Yall tell us we suck during the game, love that we have to play against our own fans too! Love that we can't pack the house when we play the #10 team in the nation. It means that much more to me. I love my team! Brotherhood they got my back n I got they back. The rest of Yall can get ready for bball season! Don't say u support n do all those things! Yeah I'm level 9 pissed... so deal w it! Not blaming all but Yall know who I'm talking abt- Yall know I love #bbn but something needed to be said."
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Phillips spoke of Cobb's youth and passion and said the player is still in the process of learning how to handle criticism.
"Everybody knows and understands how passionate of a player he is," Phillips said. "He's passionate about this game, he's passionate about his teammates, he's passionate about UK football. He's a 19-, 20-year old who doesn't always understand how to deal with people not reacting in a way he thinks they should react. Me, I'm 47 years old, and I'm still figuring out how not to react to those things also. He's a young passionate player, and that's the reason he's so successful. He doesn't always understand when people criticize him or his players. I know he will be very apologetic. He does care about the guys in the locker room and across the state of Kentucky. With all the things he does in the state and the community, he will make this home. He just can't respond to things that he might not like that might happen out there."
Cobb eventually deleted the critical tweets and replaced them with one that stated: "To all the fans that has been true to this program throughout the years. Yall deserved a win like that last night! Let's keep it going!"
Phillips said he was pleased with how the Commonwealth Stadium crowd of 67,955 responded in the second half when the Cats erased a 28-10 deficit and scored the game's final 21 points.
"We've got to give people things to cheer about," he said. "Regardless of who you are, fans like teams that play inspired and play with heart. That's the type of football we've got to give our fans and this program. When you give them that, they respond the way they responded in the second half."