Mike Maniscalco

Recruiting shows the uglier side of fans on Twitter

Posted May 16, 2013

Andrew Wiggins Pic

Think back to when you were making your college decision. Odds are thousands of people weren’t anxiously awaiting the word on which place of higher learning you would be off to. Unless, of course, you were a highly touted athlete with a fan base eagerly awaiting your arrival to deliver yet another national title to their school.

The latter is the case of Andrew Wiggins, the extremely talented basketball player from Huntington, WV.

Wiggins had narrowed his list down to the University of North Carolina, Florida State, Kentucky and Kansas. The small forward, ranked by almost everyone as the No. 1 high school recruit in the nation, chose the Jayhawks.

There were no magic tricks or Skype shows or marching bands. He made the decision at a private ceremony at his school, Huntington Prep, and that should be the end of the story until he hits the floor at Phog Allen Fieldhouse in Lawrence, Kan.

But recruiting has become a much more public and much more vicious event than in years past. It is no longer schools and boosters trying to sway a high school player to ‘their’ school, it is everyone with a Twitter or Facebook account, praising the talents of the player and how good he would look in the uniform with their favorite colors. It can be a bit overwhelming to be sure and making a decision that you know is going to disappoint people is hard enough to make without the public scrutiny.

In Wiggins' case, both his mother and father were tremendous athletes at Florida State, so there is letting mom and dad down. North Carolina is the school that spawned Michael Jordan and countless basketball greats. Kentucky, well not many recruits have said no to John Calipari lately. Wiggins had to decline the invite to play at those schools and I’m sure it was tough to tell those coaches 'no'.

This should not be taken that Twitter and Facebook are evil. In fact, both of those sites are useful tools to connect with the world, friends and stay on top of information.

However, when a teenager decides to go to a school not of a follower’s choice, it becomes a vile place that shows a dark side of fans that really should never be exposed.

The hate and venom thrown at Wiggins by the fans of the universities he passed on is stomach turning. I am pretty sure that if I cited specific examples on this website, I’d get fired.

For Wiggins, a day that should be one of the happiest of his life turned sour if he decided to check his twitter feed. His timeline was filled with people wishing terrible things to happen to him. Why? Because he didn’t choose their school? That is crazy.

Doesn’t it seem just a bit creepy that people feel the need to call a teenager names or hope that he suffers a catastrophic injury or worse just because he didn’t come to their state to play basketball?

What does it say about the person typing that kind of message? That behavior takes me back to the great William Shatner skit on 'Saturday Night Live' where he admonished fans at a Trekkie convention to “Get a life!”. And to the people who say it is just a joke, or shouldn’t be taken seriously, why bother to write that? It makes you and, by default, the program you were touting as the place to be look oafish.

Just think back to the most important choice you had to make in your life and how you would feel if complete strangers wished you the worst, and not in the most polite terms. I highly doubt that you would find it amusing, and I am sure your family would be more than upset to have someone tell you that you should suffer harm or that you have made the biggest mistake of your life.

So the next time you are about to hit send on that Tweet, just think if you would want that sent to you. If the answer is 'no', then do the smart thing and hit cancel. Maybe I am aiming too high with that thought, at least based on what I read on Andrew Wiggins' Twitter feed.

35 Comments

Please to add a comment.

Newest First
View all
  • NCSU84 May 16, 11:55 a.m.

    Yup, Some of those UNC fans at it too. The high and mightycome down to earth after being spurn by Wiggins. Shame on them and the other univs not getting Wiggins....

  • PackisBack May 16, 12:12 p.m.

    This guy has never read the forums on here!

  • Dookbballskidmarked May 16, 12:34 p.m.

    I have seen nothing from UNC fans but plenty of garbage from ABC'ers about it.

  • FE_ORA May 16, 12:35 p.m.

    I have seen nothing from UNC fans but plenty of garbage from ABC'ers about it.

    — Posted by Dookbballskidmarked

    You're not looking very hard. Stay klassy Kerliner!

  • kingoftrolls01 May 16, 12:39 p.m.

    ^This one had his baby blue blinders permanently attached to his face.

  • kornfan2448 May 16, 1:30 p.m.

    Some fans, from all fan bases, just make it too personal. At the end of the day, it's a game and that's it. If a player not choosing to attend and play at the university or team you cheer for causes you to feel any hatred or resentment towards that individual to the point you have to bad mouth them, then you clearly have your priorities out of whack.

  • arfamr1008 May 16, 2:31 p.m.

    I personally look forward to UNC stomping a KU with Wiggins this year

  • kmorsreturn May 16, 2:38 p.m.

    I have seen nothing from UNC fans but plenty of garbage from ABC'ers about it.

    — Posted by Dookbballskidmarked

    yeah, you didnt look. we already talked about this and a link was provided....so yeah, nice try. Heck they boo their own players on Senior Night, imagine what they say when they get turned down over and over again.

  • NCSU84 May 16, 2:49 p.m.

    I personally look forward to UNC stomping a KU with Wiggins this year

    — Posted by arfamr1008

    lol

  • kikinc May 16, 2:51 p.m.

    This is what happens when people feel all big and strong because they can hide behind a computer screen. A similar thing happened when Rodney Purvis announced that he was transferring to UCONN. The racial epithets and slur words written on his Twitter feed were disgusting. Write what you want, but when all that comes out is filth, don't be surprised if people feel you're an imbecile. Things may get a heated on here, but at least there's a filter!

More...

 

 

  • ACC: Clemson at NC State

    Tonight at 9:00 on WRAL-TV

  • ACC: NC State at Georgia Tech

    Saturday at 12:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • SEC: Arkansas at Florida

    Saturday at 2:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • PGA: Waste Management Phoenix Open

    Saturday at 3:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • ACC: Duke at Notre Dame

    Tonight at 7:30 on 620am

  • ACC: NC State vs. Clemson

    Tonight at 9:00 on WRAL-FM

  • SEC: Kentucky at Missouri

    Tomorrow at 9:00 pm on 99.9 The Fan

  • NHL: Hurricanes vs. St. Louis

    Friday at 7:00 pm on 99.9 The Fan

Scoreboard
Local
Final
CAR 4
TAM 2
7:30pm Tonight
ND
DUKE
 
8:30pm Tonight
SAN
CHA
 
9:00pm Tonight
NCSU
CLEM
 
9:00pm Tonight
MEM
ECU
 
Final
IND 91
TOR 104
Final
DET 95
CLE 103
Final
MIA 102
MIL 109
Final
DAL 90
MEM 109
Final
GSW 111
CHI 113
Final
LAL 92
WAS 98
7:00pm Tonight
PHI
DET
 
7:00pm Tonight
CLE
POR
 
7:30pm Tonight
TOR
SAC
 
8:00pm Tonight
MIN
BOS
 
8:00pm Tonight
ATL
BRK
 
8:00pm Tonight
HOU
DAL
 
8:00pm Tonight
NOP
DEN
 
8:00pm Tonight
NYK
OKC
 
8:30pm Tonight
SAN
CHA
 
9:00pm Tonight
UTA
LAC
 
10:30pm Tonight
PHO
WAS
 
Final
AKR 59
BST 47
 
Final
KSU 63
CMICH 53
 
Final
VCU 72
GWU 48
Final
TOL 70
UMO 65
 
Final
MICH 58
NEB 44
Final
BGU 56
NILL 46
 
Final
EMICH 76
OHIO 40
 
Final
VT 70
PITT 67
Final
LAS 53
STJOE 48
Final
TULA 55
TULSA 62
Final
UGA 70
VANDY 62
Final
KYST 59
WVU 65
Final
BUF 77
WMICH 71
 
Final
GEOR 53
XAV 66
Final
EVAN 89
INDST 78
 
Final
ORU 94
TABOR 53
 
Final
OKST 64
BAY 53
9:00pm Tuesday
PROV 0
DEP 0
 
Final
ALA 50
UF 52
9:00pm Tuesday
RUTG 0
MSU 0
 
Final
ARK 69
TENN 64
Final
AUB 61
TEXAM 71
Final
UTST 56
WYO 44
Final
SDST 58
FRES 47
Final
CALST 79
SDCHR 54
 
Final
NEV 62
UNLV 67
Final
BSU 82
COLST 78
7:00pm Tonight
VERM
GTDNS
 
7:00pm Tonight
NAVY
AMER
 
7:00pm Tonight
UMBC
BING
 
7:00pm Tonight
JMU
DEL
 
7:00pm Tonight
RICH
DUQ
 
7:00pm Tonight
UNCW
ELON
 
7:00pm Tonight
USB
HART
 
7:00pm Tonight
WMARY
HOF
 
7:00pm Tonight
COL
LAF
 
7:00pm Tonight
PSU
MINN
 
7:00pm Tonight
MAINE
UNH
 
7:00pm Tonight
DREX
NE
 
7:00pm Tonight
FORD
RIU
 
7:00pm Tonight
SFLA
SMU
 
7:00pm Tonight
MARQ
SHU
 
7:00pm Tonight
LSU
SCAR
 
7:00pm Tonight
UCF
TEMPL
 
7:00pm Tonight
LONG
UNCA
 
7:00pm Tonight
FSU
WAKE
 
7:00pm Tonight
CCAR
WINT
 
7:00pm Tonight
OU
WRST
 
7:30pm Tonight
ND
DUKE
 
7:30pm Tonight
GHND 0
HC 0
 
7:30pm Tonight
CSOU
RAD
 
7:30pm Tonight
OKLA
TTU
 
8:00pm Tonight
BRAD
DRAK
 
8:00pm Tonight
BUCK
LEH
 
8:00pm Tonight
WICHS
LOYC
 
8:00pm Tonight
ILLST
MIZST
 
8:00pm Tonight
PEAY
MORE
 
8:00pm Tonight
SDKST
NEOM
 
8:00pm Tonight
ARST
ORST
 
8:00pm Tonight
HOU
RICE
 
8:05pm Tonight
SILL
NIOWA
 
9:00pm Tonight
NCSU
CLEM
 
9:00pm Tonight
MEM
ECU
 
9:00pm Tonight
MIAMI
GT
 
9:00pm Tonight
PURD
IND
 
9:00pm Tonight
TCU
KU
 
9:00pm Tonight
BC
LOU
 
9:00pm Tonight
MISS
MSST
 
9:00pm Tonight
CREI
STJ
 
10:00pm Tonight
SJST
AFA
 
10:00pm Tonight
ARZ
OREG
 
11:00pm Tonight
WASH
STAN
 
Final
PHI 4
ARI 3
Final
NYI 4
NYR 1
Final
CLB 4
WAS 3
Final
PIT 5
WIN 3
Final
MON 3
DAL 2
Final
FLA 4
DET 5
Final
CAR 4
TAM 2
Final
NAS 4
COL 3
Final
CAL 4
BUF 1
Final
EDM 1
MIN 2
Final
VAN 0
ANA 4
7:30pm Tonight
NJD
TOR
 
8:00pm Tonight
WAS
PIT
 
10:30pm Tonight
LOS
CHI