Georgia Football Coach Dropped Recruit Due to Twitter Activity
Last week, Pennsylvania State University offensive line coach Herb Hand revealed that he had halted his recruitment of a student-athlete because of offensive content the player posted on Twitter.
As it turns out, he wasn't the only coach to cop to such a move in recent days.
During the University of Georgia's media day on Friday, head football coach Mark Richt revealed that he, too, had a negative experience when it came to a recruit's social-media activity. Richt went one step further than Hand, however; he rescinded a scholarship offer because of what the recruit was posting on Twitter, as Michael Carvell of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution relayed:
I can't publicly say, 'Hey, we dropped this guy.' But there's guys that we drop from the recruiting process because of things that we may find out on a visit. They may come and one of our current players will say, 'Coach, he's not going to make it around here.' Or we had one kid last year because of what he had on social media. He had some stuff on social media that we didn't like. We keep an eye on all that.
We told (the kid and) we told his coach (that) we don't condone that, and he was a guy who was already committed to Georgia. And he persisted. Well, actually he changed his (Twitter) handle and continued to do that kind of thing thinking we wouldn't find out. And we found out about it, and we cut him.
We rescinded that offer to him, because if he's not going to do what we say to do at that point then what's going to make us feel like he's going to do it when he gets here. There's definitely a vetting process that we're very serious about.
Neither Richt nor Carvell revealed which of Georgia's six public de-commitments from the Class of 2014 was the guilty party in this particular instance. However, a poll posted on the Journal-Constitution's website suggests that a grand majority of the public agreed with Richt's decision to cease the player's recruitment due to his offensive social-media content.
At this point, it should go without saying that posting derogatory content online is about as ill-advised as it comes for student-athletes who hope to continue their athletic careers past high school. Coaches are openly admitting to reporters that they're checking their recruits' social-media accounts as they attempt to gather more background information about players. If they're greeted with a litany of offensive content, it's a major red flag. That goes double for a situation like the one Richt described above, in which he specifically told a recruit "we don't condone" the type of behavior, and yet the recruit continued on with it (after some attempted deception) regardless.
If anything, recruits, just take after former Kansas Jayhawk and new Philadelphia 76er Joel Embiid. You don't have to be vulgar to be a Twitter All-Star, as Embiid has proven in spades in recent weeks.
Every time I learn a new English word, I use it all the time for at least a month.-- Joel-Hans Embiid (@JoelEmbiid) August 4, 2014
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