Tag Archives: Twitter

Conspiracy Theories, Scandals and Public Trials: The Houston Astros Investigation on Twitter

By Griffin Olah

Griffin is a second-year undergraduate BGSU student from North Ridgeville, Ohio. He is a Sport Management major and a Journalism minor. His primary sports interests are baseball and football, both collegiate and professional, but he is also interested in basketball, MMA, boxing and hockey

The Houston Astros are a topic that has been discussed ad nauseam within the sports world. Everyone is focusing on the punishment, the crimes, and the reactions. The investigation, however, is no longer the focus. If you remember back to the middle of January, however, you may remember the craziest day in recent baseball history. This is the day that social media handed down the confirmation of the Astros cheating scandal that the MLB was looking for. Instead of a private investigation, the Houston Astros were tried by the public eye for the world to see, spawning some of the greatest stories in recent memory.

Once allegations came down, a relatively unknown podcast host and Yankees fan by the name of Jimmy “Jomboy” O’Brien saw his following grow faster than he could ever imagine. O’Brien, the proprietor of Jomboy Media, was best known for posting the video of Aaron Boone’s now-infamous “Savages in that Box” rant on Twitter (Young, 2019). When he saw the Astros allegations, however, he transformed into internet sleuth. When the world was in disbelief of the claims of the Astros cheating, O’Brien delivered a bombshell packed into a simple 2:20 video on Twitter. O’Brien cracked the code and found video proof the Astros cheated.

O’Brien’s initial tweet was retweeted over 37,000 times and liked more than 100,000 times. A lesser-known media man was now an internet sensation and the leading authority on everything Astros related. Then, the talk about buzzers leaked and Jomboy Media again went to work to expose the latest scandal. O’Brien found a new image containing what may have been an electronic buzzer on Astros catcher Robinson Chirinos’s batting glove. 

At the same time as O’Brien’s image came to light, a new account vied for interest. After the Astros fired manager AJ Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow, the Red Sox firing manager Alex Cora and the Mets firing their manager Carlos Beltran, it seemed like the scandal was done. Then, the buzzers came to light. 

A private account on Twitter, @S0_blessed1, began a tweetstorm that changed the landscape of MLB. The anonymous account accused Astros superstars Jose Altuve and Alex Bregman of wearing buzzers under their jerseys to relay signs to them. Curiously, the account apologized to their “tio,” which means uncle in Spanish. Speculation immediately ran as to who the uncle was and why this person was exposing more possible methods used by the Astros on their way to a now tainted World Series victory. 

As the identity of @S0_blessed1 was being searched for, many reputable sources agreed with the account’s claims. Cincinnati Reds pitcher and noted critic of the Astros Trevor Bauer confirmed that he had heard talk within MLB about the Astros wearing buzzers. O’Brien also confirmed he was hearing similar things from sources in MLB. 

Amid this media storm, many people were looking for the identity of the anonymous account. Based on the “tio” comment, many pointed to Carlos Beltran, the disgraced former Mets manager. Since the account broke the news of Beltran’s firing days before the Mets formally announced it or any other major media outlets carried it, many believed the owner of the account was close to the former player and manager. 

Twitter then took the bait from Beltran’s “niece” and ran with it. Kenny Ducey found the home run in the ALCS that was mentioned in the “niece’s” tweets and slowed down the end of Altuve’s trot. The slow-mo video seems to show Altuve holding his jersey tight against his body and telling the mob of teammates at home plate to not rip off his jersey. Then, there is the disputed audio of Altuve possibly saying “I’m wearing a wire.” 

That last part, as already stated, had been disputed. Some have said that it is Altuve speaking Spanish, which many people would not be able to lip read and equate to a wire. Altuve himself did not dispute the fact that he didn’t want his jersey torn off, telling dugout reporter Ken Rosenthal that he, “got in trouble with [his] wife” for taking his shirt off on television in the past (Garro, 2019, para. 9). In the past few days, Carlos Correa came out and confirmed that Altuve’s wife was not happy with him for taking his shirt off and also mentioned an “unfinished tattoo that looked kinda bad” on his collarbone that he didn’t want to show on television (Anderson, 2020, para. 7). 

Obviously, possible proof that Altuve was wearing a wire in the 2019 postseason, which was not part of the Commissioner’s Report, would make the scandal grow even more with possibly worse repercussions. While immunity was granted to the players in relation to the investigation into the 2017 iteration of the sign-stealing scheme, a new investigation may not be so kind. The potential ramifications are mind-numbing to think of, and the accusations themselves destroy any possible respect or goodwill for the team. 

Without Twitter and the dedication of the public to get to the truth, none of this would come to light. While the Commissioner conducted his own report, the findings are limited when compared to the scope of the Twitter investigation. Clearly, all Twitter sources are not to be trusted, and some here are untrustworthy. As the days wore on and the tweets from @S0_blessed1 became more and more ludicrous and eventually disappearing, the account’s credibility was called into question. Eventually, it was determined that the account was run by a noted Twitter troll, or someone who dispenses false information for comedic or personal value, and almost none of the information was considered true. But if the account made up all its claims, why is there so much evidence supporting it? 

Twitter is often seen as a cesspool of false and fake information, which is true in part. Some believe that it has no value in modern society, which can also be true. Nobody, though, can diminish the role that social media, and Twitter, in particular, played in the investigation into the Astros’ nefarious ways. One of the main principles of journalism is to be the watchdog for larger government entities, corporations, and organizations. On January 16. 2020, Twitter took on that role and conducted its own investigation. Without internet sleuths like Jomboy, Kenny Dacey and so many others, the full extent of this scheme may never have been realized. Maybe in the future, Twitter and the public as a whole can solve more of these mysteries and bring to light the wrongdoings of teams, organizations, corporations and other massive entities like the Houston Astros.

References

Anderson, R.J. (2020, February 16). Astros’ Carlos Correa fires back at Cody Bellinger, reveals new reason why Altuve didn’t want jersey removed. CBS Sports. Retrieved from: https://www.cbssports.com/mlb/news/astros-carlos-correa-fires-back-at-cody-bellinger-reveals-new-reason-why-altuve-didnt-want-jersey-removed/

Bauer, Trevor [@BauerOutage]. (2020, January 16). I’ve heard this from multiple parties too, for what it’s worth…[Tweet]. Twitter. https://twitter.com/BauerOutage/status/1217888647468310528?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1217888647468310528&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fsports.yahoo.com%2Fa-new-astros-cheating-conspiracy-theory-has-set-twitter-ablaze-205503577.html

Ducey, Kenny [@KennyDucey]. (2020, January 16). Altuve making sure he keeps that jersey on (via r/nyyankees)[Tweet]. Twitter. https://twitter.com/KennyDucey/status/1217888139072745474

Garro, A. (2019, October 19). Congrats to the Astros for clinching a trip to the World Series in the most adorable way possible. Cut4. Retrieved from: https://www.mlb.com/cut4/jose-altuve-keeps-jersey-on-after-winning-alcs-with-homer

Jomboy [@Jomboy_]. (2019, November 19). Astros using cameras to steal signs, a breakdown[Tweet]. Twitter. https://twitter.com/jomboy_/status/1194348775965437952?lang=en.

Jomboy [@Jomboy_]. (2019, November 18). I have no idea what an electronic buzzer looks like but someone just sent me this as a ‘maybe that’s[Tweet]. Twitter. https://twitter.com/jomboy_/status/1196525061659906050?lang=en

Oz, M. (2020, January 16). A new Astros cheating conspiracy theory has sent Twitter into a frenzy. Yahoo! Sports. Retrieved from: https://sports.yahoo.com/a-new-astros-cheating-conspiracy-theory-has-set-twitter-ablaze-205503577.html

Young, D. (2019, August 17). Jomboy is obviously good for baseball, and the Yankees should lighten up. New York Daily News. Retrieved from: https://www.nydailynews.com/sports/baseball/yankees/ny-jomboy-savages-mlb-bill-simmons-20190817-hho4pn2mlvcghjdmlozroxh4se-story.html

Reflections on Laremy Tunsil’s Historic Draft Slide

by Brendan Ripley-Barasch

The 2016 NFL Draft was held this past Thursday night in Chicago and there were some surprises to say the least. A couple of things that may have shocked some fans included linebacker Myles Jack falling out of the first-round, CB Eli Apple being drafted at No. 10 by the New York Giants, and the mind-boggling amount of former Ohio State Buckeyes taken in the first-round. But one thing that took everyone by surprise was how far offensive lineman Laremy Tunsil fell.

                                                                                    Image via http://www.clarionledger.com

A dramatic series of events led to Tunsil falling all the way to the Miami Dolphins at No. 13. This player, who was once seen as the number one overall prospect in the draft, saw his downfall begin moments before the draft. Exactly thirteen minutes before the start of the draft, a video was posted to Laremy’s verified Twitter account that showed the former Ole Miss Rebel smoking what is assumed to be weed from a gas-mask bong. After a couple of minutes the video was taken down and the account was then deactivated. The video may have only been up for a few minutes but the damage was done and once again the power of social media was demonstrated.

Even after Tunsil had been selected by the Dolphins the mayhem continued. After the pick, an image was uploaded to Laremy’s Instagram account that showed text messages supposedly between Ole Miss Assistant Athletic Director John Miller and Tunsil. The conversation consisted of Tunsil seeking money from Miller to pay his mother’s rent and electric bills. Last season at Ole Miss, Laremy served a seven-game suspension stemming from similar accusations where he was found guilty of accepting improper benefits.

When it was all over, Laremy was still drafted in the top twenty but his fall cost him millions of dollars. In an article from ESPN titled Video kept Ravens from drafting Laremy Tunsil with No. 6 overall pick, writer Jamison Hensley discusses how the video impacted the Baltimore Ravens evaluation of Tunsil. The author writes, “The Baltimore Ravens would have taken Ole Miss offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil with the No. 6 overall pick were it not for the gas mask video that surfaced.” Even though he only talks about one team, it is probably fair to say the twelve other teams that passed on the prospect were thinking similarly. In the same article, Hensley writes something that ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported, “According to Schefter, Tunsil lost $7 million by falling seven spots in the draft.” Not only did this social media blunder tarnish the player’s image, but it also caused him to lose a lot of money.

It was very hard to watch this young man’s life just unravel right in front of us on one of the biggest stages in professional sports. But this is just the latest case of athletes suffering at the hands of social media. Recently it has been reported that the Dolphins believe Tunsil’s former financial adviser is who hacked into these accounts and posted the image and video. During the draft, ESPN analyst Jon Gruden gave his opinion on the issue, “We live in a glass house these days. … There’s a lot of money and people’s futures at stake. I hope this doesn’t come back to haunt Tunsil. Hopefully it’s a learning experience for him. He’s gotta clean this up if he wants to play in this league.” With this statement, Gruden echoes mine and surely many others opinions.

Following the draft, Laremy Tunsil admitted to the media that he had in fact taken money from an Ole Miss coach and that the screenshots were real. It is unclear whether the NCAA had already been aware of these actions since they had already suspended the player last season for the same reason. Now that Tunsil had admitted such a thing to an audience of millions, the NCAA will surely continue their investigation with the university.

This event is one of the most publicized examples of an athlete being punished for things that had been posted to their social media accounts. Obviously it is unfortunate for Tunsil to fall all the way to No. 13, but he is saying all the right things starting with accepting full responsibility for his actions. The player has a bright future ahead of him in the NFL but this will follow him for many years to come. It cannot be emphasized enough how big of a role social media plays in forming a person’s image and it is crucial for athletes as well as regular people to realize how to properly use these platforms. It is my hope that other athletes learn from this and don’t make the same mistake Tunsil did.

 

 

 

 

 

 

LeBron’s Social Media shouldn’t be Media…

By Nate Flax

For the last week or so, the sports world has paid extra close attention to future Hall of Famer, LeBron James. While it’s no surprise that James is once again in the spotlight, the reasoning behind his recent hype is quite frankly ridiculous. After a blowout win against the Denver Nuggets, a reporter, seemingly against all his journalistic instincts, asked LeBron why he had unfollowed the Cleveland Cavaliers’ twitter page to which James replied with a very blunt “Next question.” The brief interview immediately went viral, being broken down by blogs, twitter, and just about every show featured on ESPN. Sure, James’ reaction could have been better and more polite, but did it really deserve a00week-long critique?

Since the infamous decision to return to Cleveland after abandoning the team for the Miami Heat, things have not gone as planned for James and the Cavaliers. His glorified return was spoiled by a loss in the NBA finals to the Golden State Warriors, and the team can’t seem to avoid locker room drama. The twitter fiasco only added to a long line of recent off the court problems for the Cavs, as well as more rumors of another LeBron James departure from Cleveland. James shrugged off the unfollow as simple preparation for the playoffs, an understandable mindset for a man who has made it a mission to bring a championship to his hometown.

It was not as if preparing for the playoffs was not already on James’ mind. A new entrance song as well as a cut down on all social medias were already announced as part of his plans to get set for the postseason. Even if the unfollow spree the superstar went on that week was not about prepping for the post season, it doesn’t really matter who he follows. As Sporting New’s Jordan Greer put it, “LeBron follows Victor Cruz, so is he going to play for the Giants? He also follows Bun B. Time to start that rap career. Or maybe James doesn’t need to follow the Cavs on Twitter because, you know, he’s physically there with his squad. It’s not necessary to receive your news and updates online when you can just say “Hey, Kyrie, are you going to play tonight?”

Though the Cavs are probably the lone bright spot in Cleveland sports, its ridiculous to blow such a minor, non-basketball issue, into a week-long drama show. Let the man do his job and be the brilliant basketball player he is without over analyzing every off the court action he makes and appreciate the greatness without creating a story where there isn’t one.

Mo’ne Davis Teaches People How to Rise Above the Haters

By Ellen Chlumecky

March 30, 2015

As my father once said, “Any idiot can have a Twitter account.” Unfortunately in this day and age, this is all too true. Twitter is at people’s fingertips at any moment during the day. They can tweet any thought, any picture or video, any comment, any idea whenever they feel like it. It’s a great tool, in theory. Unless you put that tool in the hands of someone who feels comfortable bullying, sharing inappropriate comments, or someone who genuinely wants to do some permanent damage. This is the case with Bloomsburg University baseball player, Joey Casselberry.

Joey Casselberry took to Twitter when he found out that Disney was going to be making a movie about Mo’ne Davis’ life. He said, “WHAT A JOKE. That slut got rocked by Nevada.” His tweet without fail went viral. On Saturday, Casselberry tweeted an apology for what he said. He tweeted, “An example that one stupid tweet can ruin someone’s life and I couldn’t be more sorry about my actions last night. I please ask you to forgive me and truly understand that I am in no way shape or form a sexist and I am a huge fan of Mo’ne. She was quite an inspiration.”

While he desperately tried to take back what he said, it seemed to no avail. Casselberry is no longer on the baseball team’s roster. Bloomsburg University has also issued a statement regarding the matter. They stated, “Bloomsburg University is deeply saddened by what was written about Mo’ne Davis by one of our student-athletes. His words do not represent us. We take matter very seriously; addressed the issue with the student-athlete (who has been dismissed from team), coach, and the team.” This seems to be well-deserved justice in most people’s minds. However, Mo’ne Davis did not feel the same way.

Mo’ne Davis wants Joey Casselberry to be reinstated by his school. Davis believes that Casselberry deserves a second chance. She stated, “Everyone makes mistakes and everyone deserves a second chance. I know he didn’t mean it that type of way. I know people get tired of seeing me on TV, but you just gotta think about what you’re doing before you actually do it. I know right now he’s really hurt and I know how hard he worked just to get to where is right now. I was hurt on my part, but he’s hurt even more.”

The team said Casselberry violated the athletic department’s social media policy and the school’s code of conduct. While Bloomsburg says they respect Davis’ opinion and praise her for being incredibly mature about the situation, the school will not reinstate the baseball player. They are standing firm. Cyber bullying has become a major issues over the past few years and I believe that standing firm makes it clear that no matter who it is, a derogatory statement is unacceptable.

While it is very noble and mature of Mo’ne to issue such a statement, Casselberry should be punished regardless. Twitter is no longer a consequence-free world. People think that just because it’s a faceless forum on social media, they have no rules and they can’t get in trouble. There should be consequences for what people say.

 

Jozy Altidore’s Tweeting Mishaps

By Alex O’Connor

Jozy Altidore is currently dealing with a Twitter dilemma following several rumors of Altidore potentially leaving his current team. Altidore currently plays for Sunderland A.F.C., which is an English professional soccer team that plays in the English Premier League. Altidore’s career path has taken him on several pit stops in his young twenty-five year-old life. He has played for the New York Red Bulls, Villareal CF, Hull City, Bursaspor, AZ Alkmaar and Sunderland. This boils down to six teams in his young eight year career. On Saturday, rumors of Altidore leaving Sunderland for the MLS and The Los Angeles Galaxy were clarified on Twitter. However, the manner in which it was clarified was not in the best light. Altidore tweeted: “@LAGalaxy really? Stop blowing up my agents phone then. No means no.” There has been some consideration among media that Altidore was not the person behind the tweet, and would be the absolute wrong way to conduct a formal transaction of this nature.

Twitter is never the way to convey a message that is usually secret and professional. Though TheGuardian.com has acknowledged that Altidore may be leaving Sunderland this past January, this tweet harshly quieted those rumors. In an already hectic career for Altidore, it seems strange that he would personally latch out publically to the entire Galaxy organization and in such a manner as Twitter. The Galaxy organization also may have simply tried too hard to lure Altidore away from Sunderland. Altidore is known for being a generous and kind athlete, as he has aided citizens of the 2010 Haiti Earthquake. In addition, in honor of the twenty-six Sandy Hook victims, he wrote their initials on his cleats in a game against FC Twente on December 21, 2012.

However, this tweet comes only days after Team U.S.A. lost to Columbia by a score of 2-1. There could be an underlying factor of bitterness that carried over to his message. In another opinion, NBCSports.com’s Kyle Bonn questions whether or not Altidore sent out the tweet himself. Athletes simply do not negotiate with other organizations over social media. Bonn connected the “no means no” excerpt of the tweet to the recent incident of Colt McCoy’s post-game interview on Monday Night Football after his win against the Cowboys. A PR employee with the Redskins refused an interview request by yelling “no means no” to ESPN reporter John Sutcliffe. Though the two instances are not related it is interesting to see two distinct media connections using the exact same phrasing.

NHL’s Team’s Tweet Gives Insight Into Growing Social Media Interaction

By McKenzie Whiteman

The world is commonly shaped by the words and opinions that social media platforms post for millions of viewers to comprehend. Whether it’s celebrity drama, natural disasters, or political updates, you can find information on literally anything without having to turn a page of a newspaper or type into a search engine. Because of the influence these sites have, some posts produce certain emotions. The quick response…a combative post. Twitter proved to be a platform for this kind of interaction when ESPN’s post rubbed the Columbus Blue Jackets’ media team the wrong way.

After the Blue Jackets’ 4-7 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning, ESPN’s Twitter account read “Hey Columbus. Think you’re the best fans in the world? Prove it.” Below it read, “Apply now to the #FanHallofFame” and listed a link. It seems as if ESPN’s simply trying to promote some type of fan promotion. The Blue Jackets, however, didn’t see it as so. They responded by tweeting to ESPN with, “@espn Who is this?”. Some believe this is in reference to the television series, Seinfeld, and it’s popular bit in which its main character, Jerry, replies to phone calls with “Who is this?” in response to ridiculous comments stated by the caller. Whether or not this is true, the Jackets were obviously upset enough to tweet in attempt to show they care very little about what ESPN had to say.

While this may not be the biggest Twitter battle society has seen between major sport organizations, it’s certainly one of the most recent. Media is beginning to mean more than television broadcasts and radio reports. The public is beginning to gain insight on news on a more personal level through the use of social media. Because of the growing popularity of these sites, any post that is related to your particular organization is handled thoroughly or defended aggressively…thus these growing Twitter battles.

No matter if it’s on a large or small scale, teams are beginning to take a particular interest in what their social media accounts say about their organization. If an account posts something negative in regards to your organization and your account doesn’t counteract, your organization is deemed passive. If your respond with an overly aggressive post, your organization is seen as ruthless. How you post gives followers insight on how you conduct business.

This particular example between ESPN and the Blue Jackets gives off the assumption that the Jackets don’t particularly care about what the media has to say about their fans, (whether it was in regards to a promotion or not). It may not be the most aggressive social media battle the world has been exposed to, however it does provide an example of how organizations are interacting through social media. As social media is beginning to become the public’s main source of news and information, it’ll be interesting to see how sport organizations define themselves through their accounts.

Trouble On Tinder

By Kate Roth

In the past few years social media has emerged as one of the top go to methods for retrieving any sort of news around the world, including sports. No matter what sport you are interested in, there is always something happening on social media to keep you updated with your favorite teams and players. Often fans can even stay connected with the players by following their personal social media sites.

This has proven to be both good and bad for athletes. Yes it is great for them to be able to share some their personal life with their fans, but social media can also lead to negative situations for athletes all too often.

Twitter and Facebook seem to be the normal sites that we find athletes getting themselves in trouble with by their comments, but now even the popular social media dating app, Tinder is causing some trouble for two young athletes.

Greg Betzold and Jake Marchment two young players both only 19 years old playing in the Ontario Hockey League, part of the junior Canadian Hockey League, have found themselves suspended for 15 games after sending abusive comments to women through the social media site.

The two players who originally though the conversations they were having would stay private, quickly saw them go public all over the news after the women took screen shots of their conversations and posted them online for all to see.

Once the OHL was informed of these incidents they acted quickly and informed the players, teams and press that even though these were private actions in the two players lives it was still unacceptable behavior and they would have to serve a 15-game suspension as consequence.

Betzold and Marchment took their own private Twitter accounts to apologize for their actions. Both stated that they wanted to make clear that they thought these were private conversations, but none the less it was childish and unacceptable behavior.

With the amount of off-field drama that college, semi-professional and professional sports have had this year, it is clear to see why the OHL acted so quickly.  Not only did the league serve up a pretty heavy suspension for first time offenders, they also made sure to alert the media of the issue right away and assure them that the situation was being handled by the league.

The OHL is a league designed to develop young players as they prepare to enter into the NHL. By acting quickly on this situation and making an example out of these two players, the OHL is showing that they care about their players and are there to help develop them not only as players, but also as young men.

Hopefully other athletes, especially young ones, can learn from the mistakes made by these two players and all other players who have found themselves in some trouble through their actions on social media. While it can be a great way to stay connected to the fans, the athletes need to know their limits and realize that nothing they post on any of these sites is private.

Johnny Manziel Faces Media Scrutiny

BY LORI RAUDIO

After becoming the first freshman to win the Heisman Trophy and leading Texas A&M to a Cotton Bowl victory, Johnny Manziel has gained celebrity-like status. His celebratory off-season has garnered much media attention via his Twitter page, and not all of it is good.

It all started when Manziel had courtside seats to both a Houston Rockets game and a Dallas Mavericks game on consecutive nights. TNT analyst Steve Kerr saw Manziel and publically questioned how an amateur college football player could afford such good seats. Manziel took to Twitter to say he bought them as a birthday present to himself.

Manziel has also been questioned for pictures he posted on Twitter. These pictures include him holding a stack of cash at a casino, celebrating Mardi Gras in New Orleans, and partying in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. It has also been revealed he takes online classes at A&M and drives a Mercedes. None of these things are against NCAA regulations, but have led to increased media scrutiny of his seemingly extravagant lifestyle

Recently, Manziel sparked controversy when he posted a picture on Twitter of what appeared to be a Texas Longhorns tattoo. He later said it was fake, but also took the opportunity to respond to some negative tweets he received. He replied with “you suck” to one follower as well as other mean-spirited responses, including mocking fellow Heisman candidate Manti Te’o.

I’m sure he gets thousands of negative tweets a day, but this is not the way to respond. There is nothing wrong with Manziel having fun, but now that he is a public figure, he needs to be more careful. It’s unfair, but it comes with the territory of being an elite athlete. He represents Texas A&M and the NCAA, and what he does reflects those institutions.

Texas A&M should have a publicist working with Manziel, who can show him how to better represent himself in the media and reign in his social media posts.

Social media speeds up National Signing Day

BY ALEX KREMPASKY

Feb. 1 is one of the most exciting days in college football.  But why?  It is National Signing Day. This day is the day in which most high school recruits sign their National Letter of Intent to the schools they will attend in the fall. National Signing Day has also become a very big event with full-day coverage on ESPNU and all over the Internet. However, one tool that was used a lot this year was social media. Facebook and Twitter feeds “blew up” when signees were announced throughout the day. The cool thing about this new technology is every school had a different way to utilize social media to announce the signings.

Facebook was a popular medium for many schools including the University of Idaho. On National Signing Day, Idaho kept Facebook followers informed on each recruit who committed to become a Vandal in the fall. Beginning with their first commit, quarterback Andrew Williams from Elk Grove, Calif., they posted the names, positions, and hometowns for each new player along with a picture of an Idaho Vandal football helmet. Throughout the day, 24 players committed to play for the Idaho Vandals in the fall and each were given a spot on the official Facebook page of the Idaho Athletic Department, which is followed by over 14,000 members. This was an excellent way for Idaho to promote their new recruits as a mid-major program. Their followers were able to keep receive up-to-the-minute updates on the new Vandals commitments.

Twitter is another mode of communication athletic departments all over the nation utilized for announcing their new athletes. The University of Southern California was one of many of the programs that tweeted the news on National Signing Day. USC began the day by tweeting “#USCSigningDay is here! Text USCSIGN to 51234 to have each official announcement sent directly to your phone.” Not only were they using Twitter as a form of quick announcements, but also for Trojan fans to get even faster updates with a text service. USC’s tweets blew up feeds with announcements of every recruit who signed to become a Trojan this fall. There were also links to a profile of each recruit on the official USC Athletics website, and updates on head coach Lane Kiffin’s press conference he held at the end of the day that was telecasted on ESPNU. USC fans were also treated to up-to-the-minute experience via Twitter that many other programs also used.

Social media has made a lasting impact on sports on all levels but college sports have benefited greatly from it. Normally on Feb. 1, fans would have to wait until the evening edition of Sportscenter to get the news on their favorite team’s signings, at best; most fans would have to wait for the next morning’s local newspaper. Now fans can literally find out only seconds after the official fax comes into the athletic department’s office. As social media advances, information will become more instantaneous and more accessible to the everyday fan.