North Texas Daily

Canales lifts social media ban for football team after win

Canales lifts social media ban for football team after win

Canales lifts social media ban for football team after win
November 06
08:04 2015

Jesse Brackeen | Staff Writer


When Mike Canales took over as the interim head coach Mean Green football on October 11th, he immediately took steps to change the culture of a reeling program. One of the more noteworthy moves was placing a ban on social media amongst his players.

Canales inherited a team that was 0-5, and had recently parted ways with head coach Dan McCarney following a 59 point loss to FCS Portland State on October 10. As a result, social media websites like Twitter were full of negative comments directed towards the university and football program. Canales said the players had nothing to gain from any form of interaction.

“People were taking shots at our program, at our coaching staff, at our players,” Canales said. “Our players were responding in a way that came across negatively.”

In an effort to avoid any negative backlash, Canales enacted the ban – one he followed along with his team.

Saturday marked the first win for the Mean Green this season, as it defeated the University of Texas at San Antonio 30-23. In response to the win, Canales lifted the ban, while sticking to his initial message of spreading positivity while avoiding negativity.

“I told our guys yesterday, ‘When we took the ban off, you can tweet anything you want as long as it is positive about our team, positive about the team we are going to play, but nothing negative,’” Canales said. “If somebody says something negative about our coaching staff or our players, don’t worry about it. The people that talk behind our back are there for a reason.”

Junior offensive lineman Kaydon Kirby said players were receptive to the idea of taking a collective break from social media.

“At first we were kind of confused, but everyone immediately bought into it,” Kirby said. “We were all into not tweeting or anything. Now all the guys are really happy to be back on, especially after that win.”

Kirby celebrated the victory over UTSA and subsequent end of the ban by thanking his interim head coach on Twitter.

Junior defensive tackle Sir Calvin Wallace said the ban, while challenging to some, was necessary in light of the circumstances.

“I know for a lot of guys it was kind of hard,” Wallace said. “People are going to say what they want to say. It was a hard time for all of us, and we didn’t want to bring any unwanted attention to ourselves or the university.”

The Mean Green is 1-7, and the next few weeks will be a test for the team as they travel to face Louisiana Tech University Saturday, Nov. 7th and the University of Tennessee Nov. 14th.

Canales said regardless of how the Mean Green finish the season, he will continue to positively represent the University of North Texas.

“I am an ambassador for this university, I have got to make sure I send out a positive things about this campus, about this university, our program, our staff, our team,” Canales said. “That’s what my job is, and that’s just what I believe we have to do.”

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