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Riley/Eichorst: OK with fans tweeting recruits

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Posted at 2:26 PM, May 14, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-14 15:27:03-04

Sometimes when zoning out, a word or phrase or even an unexpected repetition can give you the tilted dog head after hearing “W-A-L-K”. 

 

Coaches and administrators in sports are a stingy bunch when it comes to giving up information. Especially when you toss it through the Nebraska football vacuum where there is enough beat writers, radio hosts, and sports TV personalities to write a 200-page bio on every scholarshipped player. 

 

The smallest detail becomes the headline for the day. 

 

“There’s a new PA voice at Memorial Stadium!? Who’s voice will I not notice NOW because I’m too gorged on beer and Runza’s to care what press box man is saying?”

 

The content sometimes doesn’t matter, because if it deals with Nebraska football, it’s news.

 

Mike Riley and Shawn Eichorst stopped by the KMTV and AM 590 complex Friday morning and took some time to chat with OmahaSportsInsider.com about the offseason.

 

Interest level is of course high when either of these two are around, but after nearly 30 minutes of coach-speak divided into four separate interviews, I started to drone away contemplating if the second incarnation of Jon Snow was going to turn evil. And the Lady in Red should NEVER take off that necklace again.

 

Then, at the very end of their visit, I heard a talking point for the third time between Riley and Eichorst. 

 

Repetition. My canine ears perked and my head tilted. 

 

“The other thing that is absolutely real, with the way social media is: these kids that we are recruiting, and a lot of them from far away, they understand how much our fans want them.”

 

“…keep helping us!” Riley said with a chuckle while talking to Joe Quinn and Nick Handley from The Drive on AM 590 ESPN Omaha. 

 

(About the 3:30-4:55)

 

Did he just solicit Twitter engagement from fans to recruits? 

 

I’ve always been of the mind, don’t be the chump telling the dual-threat junior QB from Albuquerque how great the Haymarket area is. You look like a dope, and he doesn’t care.

 

But maybe I’m wrong. Maybe they do look at those tweets and in an era of self-gratification where everyone wants to feel needed and loved, tweeting something like…: 

 

“Hey @4StarHSQB, Keyshawn’s kid needs someone to toss him TDs. And the tunnel walk is awesome! #GBR #MakeTheRightChoice”

…could actually make a difference. 

 

Now if I was @4StarHSQB, I would tweet something back to the effect of:

“@TweetsAtRecruits, does your boss know you’re doing this on the clock?”

 

Alas, I’m 26 and a bit older now. I’d like to think I’d handle it the way I outlined, but at 17 or 18 years old, I probably would favorite it and reply with a #Humbled. 

 

Now where there is positivity comes negativity. What about the fans who tweet scathing remarks at recruits who decommit or don’t choose their school?

 

Well that’s where Huskers AD Shawn Eichorst played bad cop to Riley’s good cop in his interview on AM 590.

 

“…I need everybody on the same page being positive and unconditional in their support. And that will help our coaches not panic and not flinch, and it will help us in recruiting. These young people are really savvy consumers now, and Nebraska’s hot now because we have a community who’s uplifted by our football coach and the direction of our football program. If that gets negative, those kids aren’t going to come to Nebraska.”

 

(About 11:34-12:25)

 

Essentially, take the Mr. Rogers approach. If you don’t have anything nice to say, then don’t say it at all. 

 

I understand their sentiment and I don’t agree or disagree with Riley and Eichorst’s approach. The problem you find is that if you open Pandora’s box of inviting back-and-forths between recruits and fanatics, the fanatics are driven by emotion. The emotion is hard for them to suppress and hiding behind the egg avatar is just too easy to cast stones under the cloak of anonymity.

 

Do I think Eichorst and Riley should be doing this? No. 

Do I think they shouldn’t be doing this? No.

 

It’s impossible to completely stop anyway. @TweetsAtRecruits guy will always be there. 

 

Perhaps that’s the motivation for why that was a talking point during their visit to our building. If it’s going to happen no matter what, let’s try and quell the negative interactions and promote the positives. 

 

I’ll take a page from Nancy Reagan’s 1980s campaign and say when it comes to tweeting at recruits….just say no. 

 

Then again, I solicit Twitter interaction all the time. 

*cough* @BrettKaneRadio *cough*

 

So who am I to talk?

 

Contact:

Twitter- @BrettKaneRadio, Facebook- facebook.com/brettkaneradio

 

Brett Kane is a cross platform content gather for OmahaSportsInsider.com. He was previously a radio host and producer at AM 590 ESPN Omaha. Opinions are those of the writer.