For now, Arizona Wildcats fans will have to be content with the Fake Mike Stoops.
The real Mike Stoops has no intention of following his athletic director, Greg Byrne, into the world of Twitter. We’ll just have to do without Stoops dispensing 140 characters or less on the Wildcats, life, instant replay, wine or his newest pair of designer shoes.
“No. No Twitter for me,” he said with a laugh.
“Nah. I’m not one of those social media guys. I get texts and e-mails. That’s as far as I go.”
While Byrne is one of the most prolific tweeters among athletic directors — breaking news, giving away goodies and otherwise just pumping up the product — neither of the Wildcats’ most visible coaches have joined the Twitterverse.
There is instead the account of the Fake Mike Stoops (satirical, wickedly funny at times and extremely profane — you’ve been warned) and a page devoted to the Fake Sean Miller.
Miller certainly is in no hurry to sign up after the Twitter kerfuffle last spring while he was kicking the tires on the Maryland job. His wife tweeted about her desert allergies, which led to the assumption she was unhappy in Tucson, which fueled the speculation that Miller was going, going, gone.
At his press conference to explain his decision to stay at Arizona, Miller joked — and by “joked” we mean he was deadly serious — that his wife was no longer allowed to tweet. Indeed, her old account is gone.
Stoops lets his players tweet, and Miller does, too, although he banned the use of the site while his team was in the postseason in order to cut down on distractions. UA athletes’ accounts are monitored by the athletic department’s compliance staff.
Byrne clearly sees the value of the interaction on Twitter and other social media but won’t pressure his coaches to dive in.
“I haven’t pressured them at all,” said Byrne, mentioning Stoops, Miller and women’s basketball coach Niya Butts.
“We’ve left it up to each individual coach. The important part is that if they do it, it needs to be structured in a manner where there is some consistency. I have broken news on Twitter at certain times, but we were all on the same page before I sent something out.
“So I think you need to pay attention to the fact that you don’t want somebody going off all on their own, handling something without anybody in the department having any knowledge of it whatsoever.”
Byrne added, “Other than saying, ‘I like chocolate ice cream.’”
I like chocolate ice cream, too, but I’ll mostly talk Arizona Wildcats on my Twitter account.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the 13th installment of our 24 Hours of Arizona Football Blogging — one post at the top of every hour. Keep checking back at TucsonCitizen.com through Friday at 11 a.m. or follow the entire series with the “24 hours of blogging” tag.