A couple weeks ago, Texas A&M assistant football coach Aaron Moorehead took to Twitter to express his frustrations with the recruiting process. Over the course of three tweets, Moorehead implicitly called out quarterback Tate Martell for decommitting and questioned the integrity and leadership of the current generation of student-athletes. His faux tough guy comments made him appear out of touch and, worse for Texas A&M, resulted in the decommitment of consensus four-star wide receiver Mannie Netherly.
Netherly, a rangy target with home run speed, did not feel comfortable playing for coach Moorehead and officially opened up his commitment on Twitter:
— Mannie Netherly (@yovng_netherly) May 5, 2016
After Moorehead’s tweets and Netherly’s response went viral, another big-time football recruit and wide receiver Tyjon Lindsey, who was leaning towards Texas A&M, decided that he would no longer be considering the Aggies.
Undeterred by the repercussion of his tweets, coach Moorehead continued to rant on Twitter, calling out “lots of tough typers” and even accusing student-athletes like Netherly and Lindsey of being “too sensitive” and “soft.” He has since deleted these tweets, but, as we all know, nothing can ever be removed from the internet.
Moorehead’s comments however costly for him and Texas A&M can become a lesson for student-athletes and coaches on the proper ways to use social media.
The golden rule of social media
Texas A&M has disciplined Moorehead and he has already publicly and privately apologized for his actions.
No matter the reason, it is never a good idea to personally attack someone else on platforms like Twitter or Facebook. We’ve all been told that if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all. This may be a cliché, but it should be the golden rule of social media.
Instead of putting down players who decommitted, Moorehead could have easily spun the narrative to celebrate those who were still committed to Texas A&M. No one would have objected if he tweeted something like: “We’re more than one player, we’re a team of champions #GigEm.”
Being responsible on social media — not just for student-athletes
Whether it’s on Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat or through your NCSA account, everything you put online is open for public consumption. And that’s true whether you’re a student-athlete, a parent, or a college coach.
Read more about how coaches use social media in recruiting.
We have tons of tips for the best ways to use social media during your path to college. The best way to get started is with a recruiting profile.