Football Recruits/Basketball Recruits, Obnoxious Fans, and Anonymous Internet Message Boards

Football Recruits or Basketball Recruits, Obnoxious Fans, and Internet Message BoardsThe growth of the Internet has been an outstanding vehicle to help publicize yourself.  It makes it easy for recruits to post video on You Tube, Rivals, Scout, build their own recruiting website as well, and contact college coaches via email.  And while there are so many positives, there are also a great deal of negatives.

One of the most difficult things that the Internet did is allow anonymous posters to tear down recruits on message boards.  With Scout, Rivals, and other sites, these people will hide behind the Internet and rip on the play of 16, 17, or 18 year old recruits.  And while that may be bad, it gets even worse when the recruit decides to pick another schools.  This is when these grown adults get vicious because they know that for the most part, they can hide anonymously behind the screen name that they picked on the message board.

A few years back, I had a chance to talk to a recruit who had multiple Division I scholarship offers for basketball.  He lived near the same college that his dad starred at years back and the obvious choice would be for him to go there.  In the end, he went out of state and is playing at a school in the same conference.  But part of the reason he said he picked this out of state program is because of the fans on the message boards.

At the time, two in-state athletes were excelling at the college. While they were limited physically, these players bled the team colors and did whatever they could to help their team win games. But if they didn’t have great games, fans would anonymously post about how bad they played and just ripped on them for no real reason.  This was not a huge factor for his college decision but it did play a role.  This was a few years back and it continues to get worse and worse over time.

The Indianapolis Star wrote an article previously entitled “Top recruits wary of message boards.”  As the title states, the newspaper had a chance to catch up with a few athletes headed to the Division I level.  In two of the kids that they talked to, both said that the best way to deal with it is to avoid it.  People are going to have their own opinions and will use the Internet as a way to not say it to the face of a recruit.  Here are what some of these athletes said:

Former Warren Central running back Jewel Hampton — one of a handful of players participating in Friday’s Grange Insurance North-South All-Star Classic headed to a Big Ten Conference program — realizes a Division-I college scholarship means increased scrutiny.  “I try not to pay too much attention to those sites,” said Hampton, who will play at Iowa. “Everybody has their own opinions. I just don’t worry about it and take care of what I can.”

Tandon Doss, a Ben Davis graduate and Indiana recruit, said the best way to stay off the forums is to steer clear of trouble.  “There’s always going to be people hating on you, no matter what you do,” Doss said. “But I stay in the house. I don’t go out.”

As these athletes said, what this means for you as a recruit is that users are going to talk about you non stop.  It is just something that you as an athlete are going to have to deal with.  If you are a highly rated recruit at just about any school, find the Internet message board for that school and in one way or another they will be discussing you.  The problem for highly rated athletes is if they don’t pan out, then the fireworks start with the fans.  For most athletes, it really does get to the point where they don’t want to hear about it.

Unfortunately this really is something that you have to deal with.  The Internet is full of college and high school message boards and the more success that you have, the more jealousy that you will create with other around you.  It just happens and is something that you should be prepared for as a great athlete.

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