Welcome to the age of Twitter and social media football fans and coaches. Fans and well honestly anyone can start vicious rumors, be them true or completely made up on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, or any blog. Ole Miss Coach Hugh Freeze has had enough.
Freeze launched an all out attack on fans via Twiiter last week. His tweet read as,” If you have facts about a violation, email firstname.lastname@example.org. If not, please don’t slander the young men.” The tweet has since been taken down.
Ole Miss has the 11th ranked recruiting class according to Rivals. They are still in contention to land No. 1 overall recruit Robert Nkemdiche, a defensive end from Georgia. With Nkemdiche and a few others still on the brink this could be a program changing class.
Opposing fans can use social media to help deter players from signing with schools. Starting rumors of NCAA sanctions, or wrong doing could make a player de-commit. This is a low life move by opposing fans, but it is the reality we live in. Football is king, especially in the SEC, fans will do whatever they can to help “their” team.
“Their” team, this leads me to those people that are talking about Georgia, Michigan, Ohio State, and the list goes on as “We”. There is no “We”, you are not on the team, do not coach the team, and you do not even wash the jock straps for the team. You are a fan, a person that either sits in the stadium rooting , or your house, or your local BW3’s. The term you should use is “they”.”They” need to do this, or “They” should do that.
Now back to the recruiting aspect of this column. Coaches, be it Head, Offensive, Defensive or Position coach work very hard to sell their program to young men coming out of high school. Decorum by fans needs to be maintained. Hugh Freeze is going against, Nick Saban, Les Miles, Steve Spurrier, and others in the SEC. His job to bring talent to Ole Miss is hard enough, let alone fans starting false accusations.
The lesson here is do unto others as you would want done unto you. Would you want some Georgia fan bad mouthing the Florida football program, or Michigan fans starting another tatoogate for Ohio State. Elite teams are elite for a reason. History, they recruited well and coached well before social media, before the internet itself, and before cell phones. Michigan, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Texas, Alabama, USC, they built themselves up through hard work and making the choices. Ole Miss and Hugh Freeze are trying to turn around a program that was once elite. Doesn’t he and their fans deserve the same chance to build as these other programs? By Steve Kish