META: Knock It Off (or how I learned to stop worrying and avoid the Twitter)

Submitted by BiSB on July 6th, 2012 at 4:21 PM


[WARNING: Mod abuse of power and unrequested opinion contained herein. Consider yourself warned]

Stop it. 

Twitter is great. Facebook is swell. MySpace is... maybe still a thing? But for the love of all things holy, and in the name of all that is non-douchy, I beg of you... Leave. Recruits. Alone. 

That's Me

This is about David Dawson, but it's not about David Dawson. It's about Kyle Kalis. It's about Shane Morris and Kyle Bosch and Yuri Wright. It's about 17-year-old kids. They're trying to decide where to go to college. They're deciding on a group of people with whom they want to spend 5000 hours per week for the next four to five years. (Attn: Mike Rosenberg, that's called 'hyperbole.' Put the pen down). This is a big-ass decision.

Remember when you debated this for 10 minutes? Yeah. Kind of like that.

The good news? You don't have to be involved. The recruits can do this ALL by themselves. In fact, your involvement is not welcomed. You're not helping. You're making it worse.

So, with that, I would like to propose that we come up with a few ground rules. 

  1. No tweeting @ recruits: It may be an NCAA violation, though I tend to think it's not. But it's creepy as hell. It does no good, and it can cause huge harm. 
  2. No Facebook friending recruits: They are not your friends.
  3. No commenting on recruits' Facebook walls: See #2 above
  4. No tweeting @ recruits: still no. 
  5. No following recruits on Twitter: This is a gray area, but the bottom line is that these are kids, so err on the side of not being creepy.
  6. No talking shit about recruits on the internet (MGoBlog or otherwise): what part of "these are kids" did you not get.
  7. No obsessing about recruits' every tweet: This is the toughest one, because even if you don't follow recruits, stuff gets retweeted or posted to MGoBlog. I struggle with this one as much as the next guy. But yeah.




July 6th, 2012 at 5:14 PM ^

Some people are just too into recruiting on this site's a little creepy. It's one thing to be excited about a commitment, but it's another thing to worry and bicker about every last offer, tweet, or tidbit on where a recruit is leaning. Some of the too-involved recruiting analysts freak me out a bit, too (not Ace). Neg away.

Kilgore Trout

July 6th, 2012 at 7:16 PM ^

These kids have just finished their junior year of high school.  I've said it before, but I really believe that there are people that legitimately are more interested in recruiting new players than in the performance of the players who are actually on the team.  Recruits change schools all the time and highly rated ones flame out when they get here.  It's a toss up in every circumstance.  We should all be much more concerned about how it works out with Jerald Robinson than with Treadwell.  Robinson can actually make a difference in wins and losses right now.


July 6th, 2012 at 5:21 PM ^

My 2 cents:  My main mgoblog usage is to laugh at the funny, learn about football, and learn about the players and recruits. I'm not especially prone to pulling my hair out over recruits, although I did walk around goofy the day we pulled 8 (or 4 pairs, if you will) in the weekend that Ace's fingertips bled.

That being said, I asked myself back in the Jordan Diamond and Josh Garnett days, is following every twitter step something that is adding or decreasing my enjoyment of life and mgoblog? The answer was "yea, veritly it is decreasing my enjoyment, except when I see Shane photobombing Ohio."

I still click on the threads titled "David Dawson" knowing I'll get some twitter info, but when I find out he's wearing a florida bracelet or whatever, I shrug my shoulders even though I want him to play for UM. I was 17 once and I did basically whatever my friends/TV/darth vader/eminem convinced me was cool or not cool, whichever was cooler at the time.


July 6th, 2012 at 5:47 PM ^ need not follow recruits if you have the ability to restrain from tweeting at them and freaking out about everything they say.

See, it's not really Twitter that's the problem. It's the obsession with recruits and their allegiance to [insert school name here]. RB Recruit A says he's interested in Michigan, everyone here makes him their favorite RB Recruit. RB Recruit B who's comparably ranked says Michigan's in the mix but all indications are they really aren't, everyone dismisses him and makes assumptions about his motivations and values. Before Twitter exploded, we had plenty of rumors about these same things that ended up on various message boards the difference is that we have thousands of people consuming the stray thoughts of these 17 yr old kids instead of a few recruiting insiders who then peddle the info on pay sites.

So show some restraint if you see a tweet from a recruit who says something like: "Worst day of my life. Rethinking things." That tweet doesn't necessarily mean the same thing as the conclusion your brain jumped to. What's going to happen next is several recruiting analysts will contact that kid and he'll respond to one or more of them and say:

  • My girlfriend cheated on me.
  • Mom yelled at me.
  • HS coach yelled at me.
  • Realized the emptiness inherent in pursuing a degree in business and decided that a major in philosophy is the way to go.
  • ...
  • Realized Michigan isn't the place for me and I'm going to pull chocks for East Lansing/Columbus/South Bend/State College/Kalamazoo.

The only thing that board meltdowns accomplish is to prove that the Michigan fanbase is just as deluded as all the ones that we accuse of being delusional. 


July 6th, 2012 at 5:46 PM ^

If this has EVER looked like you when you were on the internet:

Stay away from social media. I will find you and berate you in person if I see you on the twitters. You know who you are. I went to the HTTV release party. I'm not afraid of internet people.

If you have ever looked like this when you were on the internet, and you were not reading about a dead cat/dog/sad panda:

Stay away from social media. Your intense mood swings are liable to leave you a sputtering, sobbing pile of human flesh pleading with an impersonal HATE MACHINE (and that is what the internet is) for relief that will not come. Johnson and Johnson couldn't find a way to leave you with no more tears.

If you have ever looked like this when you were on the internet and you were not looking at videos of Kate Upton et al:

Stay away from social media. Seriously. I do not have the money to bail you out again.

I hope this has been helpful.


July 6th, 2012 at 5:51 PM ^

I just can't help but think we (the Michigan fan base) may end up pushing him to Florida. While watching Sam Webb interview Dawson, I couldn't help but think that Dawson was getting really annoyed. I honestly think that the best thing that fans and even other recruits can do is let him be. If he has a bad time at the Opening (something any of us would love to have the chance to do), he's gone. I hope everyone just leaves him the hell alone. If he wants to be blue, he will be. If not, best of luck to him.


July 6th, 2012 at 5:56 PM ^

I wouldn't read too much into that.  Dawson is always annoyed.  Talk too much at a camp?  He's annoyed.  Get in his way on a football field?  Annoyed.  So on and so forth.  He's not one of the more gregarious recruits we've had, and I have no problem with that.  But if he looks annoyed in an interview, it might just be because that's how he is.


July 6th, 2012 at 6:07 PM ^

BiSB thank you, thank you, thank you.  I've been thinking the exact same thing for quite a while but didnt know quite how to say it.  Your words were spot-on and I sincerely hope that the over zelous idiots who risk pushing our recruits away wake up and take notice.  This admonishment was WAY overdue.

Of course I realize that in no way does this apply to me personally.  I am God's "special snowflake" so I'll continue to tweet the recruits unabated because i KNOW that my interaction is always warmly received.

But thanks for letting those other idiots know how the cow ate the cabbage.  Somebody needed to stop them and fast!


Everyone who read this post that actually tweet recruits


July 6th, 2012 at 6:17 PM ^

So I completely agree with the majority of your bullet points (I think following recruits on twitter is OK as long as you have the control not to tweet at them).  But if the people on this site (and others) really want people to chill out about recruiting, maybe it makes sense to cut down on the recruiting reporting a little bit.  I count four posts just this week dedicated to the minutiae of recruiting, and not much has really even happened of note.  I would never suggest that Brian, Ace, et al condone or encourage the type of ridiculous irrational emphasis people place on the recruiting process but one has to admit that the up to the minute reports on what every recruit is doing and thinking feeds into the ridiculousness a little bit.


July 6th, 2012 at 7:00 PM ^

and this post rationally. His post has reached the level of objective truth and there is no legitmate opinion against it. Ok well IMO if you are the same age or younger than recruits, some of this is ok. Otherwise it is either 1-truly creepy, or 2- a sign that you take football and recruiting WAY too seriously and need to stop.


July 6th, 2012 at 7:52 PM ^

I have already gotten into this with Ace before but I can't stand being talked down to about how I'm incorrectly being a fan.

I only go on twitter two or three times a month. I follow some recruits and I also follow former Michigan players. I also follow other random people if they either have something in common with me or have funny things to say. I do not act like they are my real friends. I am not creepy nor do I act creepy towards them. I take everything they say with a grain of salt. I am only friends with the Michigan recruits because they have Michigan in common with me.

I am also doing nothing wrong and hate that people are assuming I am.

True, you shouldn't be telling a recruit about how they need to come to Michigan or criticizing anything they do or getting mad at them if they commit or visit somewhere else but if they don't like what you say they can block it at any time or choose not to go on twitter. I call BS if you say you HAVE to be on twitter to survive nowdays if you are in high school. Maybe facebook, but it's incredibly simple to set that up so it's only your friends (which by the way you have to accept if someone adds you) can talk to you.

I think it's great that future Michigan players are opening themselves up to the fans and there's nothing wrong with being encouraging if they want to join in on something I care about so much. I don't care if they are 17 years old and I'm in my mid 20's. If they were 6 years old and I was 50 and they were a big Michigan fan on twitter I would still throw them a Go Blue!

It works because I'm NOT creepy. I'm not into little kids or ever been a sex offender or have any reason to not be talking to a certain group of people especially when they share something with me that is such a huge part of my life.

So, 1. Don't be creepy 2. Don't BOTHER recruits and keep interactions to a minimum 3. Remember you aren't really friends with them 4. Remember they are high school students. 5. Nothing wrong with paying attention to what recruits say but you also can't hang on every word someone says. Relax, it will all work itself out without you help and you will find out soon enough.


July 6th, 2012 at 10:11 PM ^

In fact, I'd guess that many people can handle Twitter without ending up like Creepy Ohio State Stalker Guy.  But it's the kind of thing that, in the aggregate, leads down a dark path to a bad place.

I am under no illusion that I can stop fan/recruit interactions. I'm only one man (and not a particularly impressive man at that), and the internet is a vast place. People will continue to follow and tweet at recruits, and some will do so responsibly. I'm just hoping to ebb the tide a little bit.

I Bleed Maize N Blue

July 6th, 2012 at 8:39 PM ^

When you obsess about recruiting, you sign up for Twitter.  When you sign up for Twitter, you follow recruits on Twitter.  When you follow recruits on Twitter, you see tweets that they're not coming to Michigan.  When you see tweets that they're not coming to Michigan, you get angry.  When you get angry, you go blow off steam.  When you blow off steam, accidents happen.  When accidents happen, you get an eyepatch.  When you get an eyepatch, people think you're tough.  When people think you're tough, people want to see how tough.  And when people want to see how tough, you wake up in a roadside ditch.

Don't wake up in a roadside ditch.


July 6th, 2012 at 9:02 PM ^

Twitter is the new age, but some take it too far. Shouldn't be tweeting at them. 

I use it for news cause news breaks uber-fast with Twitter, but I wouldn't use it or social media to harass athletes. 

Blue boy johnson

July 6th, 2012 at 9:09 PM ^

We hold these truths to be self evident.

I think the beginning of this cesspool was the hiring of  Tom VH to MGO? To me it's unnecessary to  hire people to be in constant contact with teen age kids. Especially when the main motivator to do so, unfortunately, is to make a buck. Do we really need to be up to the minute on this stuff? Once the LOI's are signed, these relationships wane, and it's on to the next years class, to find new "friends" to tweet and text with.

The tipping point for me was when the boys over at Tremendous stalked Josh Garnett in the final weeks of his recruitment, leaving Garnett open to suggestions of being disingenuous by his new "friends". Geez I wonder why Garnett felt the need to tell Tremendous anything 

Leave the kid alone. IMO opinion the only reason the "professional adults" are befriending these kids is to make a dollar, but these kids are aware of it, and some like Dawson appear to like to like to yank the chain a bit.

MGo has made a professional decision to go down the path of following recruits in the social media's and admonishing others not to do it rings hollow.


July 6th, 2012 at 10:00 PM ^

MGo has made a professional decision to go down the path of following recruits in the social media's and admonishing others not to do it rings hollow.

The views expressed in the OP are mine and mine alone, and do not represent those of MGoBlog or Major League Baseball. I don't set policy here. This is simply a rant.

As for TomVH, et al communicating with recruits, I'd compare it to media coverage of a celebrity. Media members requesting an interview with The Situation may seem weird, but fans calling his cell would just suck.


July 7th, 2012 at 1:26 AM ^

Media members wanting to interview The Situation makes "fans" want to call or be involved in everything. They help create hype where it wasn't before to make a buck.

And even the Situation has agents and crap that weed out some dude that only is part of the media because he started his own blog and has a cell phone and twitter account, versus Entertainment Tonight. Teenage recruits have no one often. (Though admittedly the Situation's representation isn't that good if they can't weed out calls from Michigan State athletic directors).

And Wendy's spicy chicken sandwich.

Waters Demos

July 7th, 2012 at 8:47 AM ^

A [mostly] impressive string of posts here capped off by the always no-bullshit thoughts of OMGS. 

I remember reading about an interview that guy did with a high school kid's mom, and I felt like the guy in one of those network sales scams looking around at everyone else as if to say, "does this strike anyone else as outrageous bullshit?" and getting no response. 

I suspect that BISB, who cuts an intelligent figure, says what he says about TVH et al because he is effectively compelled to do so. 


July 7th, 2012 at 5:14 PM ^

I suspect that BISB, who cuts an intelligent figure, says what he says about TVH et al because he is effectively compelled to do so.

I'm not sure what you mean by 'compelled.' I've never met, nor spoken with, TomVH. I don't get paid by MGoBlog, and I have no stake in its success or failure. In fact, if Brian were struck down by an asteroid I would have a lot more free time on my hands. I disagree with Brian/Ace/Heiko/Seth/etc. from time to time, and have felt no qualms about saying so. 

Your points about the relationship between recruiting gurus and kids are perfectly valid, but they are beyond the purview of my post.  Sufficed to say that tearing down the infrastructure created by Rivals/Scout/247/ESPN/MGoBlog/Eleven Warriors/The rest of the internet is a little above my (non-)pay grade, but encouraging Michigan fans to not act like jackholes in the public sphere seems like something I might (given my exalted role as "guy who can drop the banhammer on spammers") be able to affect.

Waters Demos

July 7th, 2012 at 10:12 PM ^

1) I respect you BISB; in my strange way that comment was a complement.  I'm saying that I think you have more to say on the matter than you let on because you're smart.  I'm accusing you of employing irony.  I could be wrong in some respect, and that's fine. 

2) When verbs are preceded by adverbs, the adverbs serve as deliberate modifiers.  I put the word "effectively" there for a reason.  I'm not saying that you're explicitly or actually compelled; I'm saying that you wouldn't feel comfortable criticizing [arguably] the very foundation of the blog.  And I think I'm right - you can disagree.  I know you're not paid; I know you have no stake; I assume that Brian tolerates dissent admirably (for example, my post [along with others] still stands more than 12 hours later - I understand the significance and admire that fact).  I use modifiers carefully.

3) I agree with your sentiment, but also think it serves the interests of those who do have a stake in the blog - you can monopolize your craft under the guise of discouraging jackholishness [I agree it's jackholishness; in fact I'd use stronger terms].  You may not have intended this at all because you have no stake (and I believe you when you say so), but the point remains that it is salutary to those who do have a stake.  And I wouldn't care about that unless I thought that people get somehow harmed in the equation - which I do, thus my post.


July 7th, 2012 at 11:49 PM ^

1) I am familiary with the concept of the adverb. I are can reading too, very much good.

2) Offering a point of view with which Brian may agree doesn't imply that Brian's opinion (or anyone else's for that matter) factored into my point of view. Correlation does not equal causation.

3) The blog really does tolerate dissent very well. In fact, one mod lost his modding powers for refusing to allow dissenting opinions to be posted after a particularly ugly incident. I think M-W is right; Brian largely doesn't care what people think, as long as they debate in a civil manner and STOP POSTING PICTURES OF BOOBS.

4) I'm really not holding back a view of the whole recruiting thing as a nefarious bane on our society.  Recruits can essentially opt out of the system, and choose not to do interviews/camps/whatnot. But for some kids, this stuff is the only way they get to get themselves noticed . It's also an irreversible result of the times in which we live... though I humbly submit that the sense of entitlement you referenced earlier existed LONG before our current era (**cough cough CRAIG JAMES cough PONY EXPRESS sniff REMEMBER THE FIVE**)


July 8th, 2012 at 7:35 PM ^

(after the first two "never talk about...")-

If you don't think you'd want Brian's mom to read it, don't post it. Best "I know it when I see it" request Brian has ever made. I just have to remember he meant HIS mom, and not mine....


July 7th, 2012 at 7:42 PM ^

BiSB is a mod, not a paid employee. A kind, trusted volunteer. Yeah, I don't imagine people who constantly yank Brian's chain get offered mod duties, but in the past mods have had parting of the ways with Brian and given up mod duties. But they were never stopped from having their own thoughts. Now is it possible that people hold back because they might piss off the powers that be? Sure, but I think you are far outweighing the "perks" of being a mod vs. the efforts put into it. But we all do that to some extent. We don't post naked women. Or say and do things in extremely poor taste. Though it is our 1st amendment right to, it doesn't mean you trash someone else's house rules. It's still his place, and disagree with him on the points, methods, or views....but Brian's never been uptight on letting people view their thoughts. Just how one conveys it. Frankly, I think people overrate how much Brian even cares what any of us think. We're not changing his mind; he doesn't care if he changes ours. He's not being's just not worth his time. He gets people who have similar viewpoints, and then let's them work without micromanaging it.

I think TomVH was a lot more respectful than a lot in his business. Does that make him the nicest used car salesman, or cleanest hooker? Maybe. But it's certain that something that was already ridiculous has gotten more so with the Internet and social media. It was always some of hose 30 for 30's...but it's gotten insane. And the NCAA is no better with free for all tweets and texts. But they're just throwing up their arms and saying it's impossible to enforce, so might as well not just restrict the honest guy. But the idea of some coach "proving his love" by sending 300 texts in 5 minutes is just another step getting further away from what it's supposed to be about.

steve sharik

July 7th, 2012 at 9:34 AM ^

...and say, "Mgoblog shouldn't do this b/c it's in the name of earning a buck," but it's a fine line.

  • How does the site provide top content?  By having an owner and contributors who do this full-time.
  • How does the site have an owner and contributors do this full-time?  By paying them a living wage/salary.
  • How can the site afford to pay several people a living wage/salary?  By earning enough revenue to cover its costs, both technical and labor.
  • How does the site generate revenue? By giving customers what they are willing to pay for.
  • What are customers willing to pay for?  Overzealous, extremely detailed recruiting coverage.

Now, I know the members here don't pay a fee, but they do at rivals, etc.  And mgoblog is competing for hits with those sites.  

Bottom line: It's hypocritical to want this site to be as good as it is and turn around and criticize it for making sound business decisions.



July 6th, 2012 at 10:43 PM ^

AHM16 It's all about who happens to be on the blog at the time really.

"MGo has made a professional decision to go down the path of following recruits in the social media's and admonishing others not to do it rings hollow"

Probably the truest thing said. What bothers me more is that I don't remember TomVH doing this. I'm sure he realized it would make him sound like a hypocrite.

There's nothing wrong with saying make sure you be careful what you say to recruits on twitter and that you're representing Michigan and could even be violating rules if you happen to qualify as a booster.

But you have to trust that adults and University of Michigan supporters and alumni are going to have more class and smarts than to say or do something stupid on twitter.

Of course you'd be wrong, but what fan base doesn't have their idiots.


July 6th, 2012 at 11:44 PM ^

Oh, right. Because you checked the spelling of "you're" before you posted. 

Anyways, I think the most important thing to realize is that the way that students use Twitter is completely different from the way that adults use it. Adults use it as a tool to advance what they consider important and to convey a message. See: the guy who promotes his business by tweeting "30% off beer, propane, and fireworks, now through Wednesday".

If a student were to tweet the same thing, though, he'd probably be expressing his delight at being able to engage in self-immolation at a new lower price. Students talk about everything on social media; it's the way they've been raised. There's no consistent "storyline" because their social media use is meant to share experiences, not to promote a specific agenda

[full disclosure: I'm somewhere between the two groups; I use Facebook but I think that Twitter is the only thing dumber than Lindsay Lohan]

Waters Demos

July 7th, 2012 at 8:24 AM ^

But this doesn't do much for me.  Recruiting press/hype contributes to the ruining of many of these kids and the entitlement mentality they develop (IMHE), and this blog and others like it certainly share plenty of plenty of blame.  But I understand that this post can't go any further without disturbing the fundamental fabric of the site. 

As it is, this reads like a "look, but don't touch" bit.  I'm fine with the latter part (which will inevitably be misconstrued by some member of a lower iq cohort), but also think we should stop looking altogether. 

The whole thing is way overdone.  [Give your time/money to someone/something elsseeeee.] Dissent will be based on interest/feeling, which will only be justified (never examined) by reason. 

I do agree with the basic sentiment here though; I just think it needs to go further because as it stands now it's nothing more than an interest-based compromise/half-way house. 

Waters Demos

July 7th, 2012 at 10:08 PM ^

I understand your point.  Based on your posts generally, I happen to believe that you're leaving something concomitant to the topic unsaid, which is to say - remaining silent about the fucking huge elephant in the room.  I could be wrong, and that would be fine. 

His Dudeness

July 8th, 2012 at 8:27 PM ^

I deleted my facebook account about a year ago. Great choice. All it is for is stalking out ex GFs and future GFs and apparently pissing people off in real life. I am on the Twitter though just to stay up with news type things. That this post even had to be typed is humbling. We like to knock ND fans and OSU fans , but our "walmart" faction is among the worst in sports, IME.

Waters Demos

July 9th, 2012 at 10:32 PM ^

I don't know about "worst in sports" as I'm unfamiliar with most fan groups.  But I've often thought that if I was a M grad, I would distance myself from this faction because, while it is a huge source of revenue, it's also a huge source of embarassment, e.g., what you point out. 

I hear very few M grads echo this sentiment, which is perplexing.