Michigan players catfished

by umer | 12:54 AM in |

Michigan players catfished, Michigan players catfished, “Catfishing” became a household word a couple weeks ago when the nation learned of Manti Te’o and his fake/dead girlfriend, but Michigan was well ahead of the curve. In early January, coach Brady Hoke was telling a group of the state’s high school football coaches how the university perpetrated a similar hoax on several of Michigan’s players.
The university hired an outside consultant to speak with the team about social media responsibility, but wanted a real-life situation on which to draw. So he set up some of Michigan’s players. "Before he came in, we gave him 20 Facebook accounts of guys on our team," coach Brady Hoke said earlier this month while speaking with hundreds of the state's high school football coaches. "He had his assistant -- she tried to talk to our guys. 'Hey, what are ya doin'?' Whatever it might be......sports.yahoo.com

"Well, two months later we're in a team meeting and we're on the topic of what you put out there in the cyber universe ... you should have seen 115 guys when that young lady -- she was hot, now; a very, very nice looking young lady -- when she walked into that meeting room, and the guys looking at each other.

"Because some of them didn't use their heads when communicating back and forth with that young lady."
Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon said Friday that some of the responses to the young lady were not “wholly appropriate.”

But what’s even more interesting about this exercise is that Michigan did it before Deadspin released its article claiming Te’o’s girlfriend – Lennay Kekua – to be a fraud. It turned out Kekua, who supposedly died in September, was actually a hoax created by Ronaiah Tuiasosopo, a man who had a crush on Te’o. Tuiasosopo fabricated Kekua’s voice and ultimately killed her off in September.
At the time, Te’o, who also lost his grandmother on the same day, became a polarizing figure in college football. Many outlets chronicled the pain of playing the season while dealing with such tragic events. It made him one of the most beloved and inspiring players in the game. But it was all a lie.

So Michigan’s “catfishing” was a good lesson at the time, but one that was driven home after Te’o was attacked my media and fans for both being gullible and for possibly being part of the hoax. Of course as the story unfolded, it looked more and more like Te’o was duped, which should put any athlete on alert when dealing with social media.
Hoke said Michigan’s players learned from the entire ordeal.

"The tweeting deal, I still don't understand, to be honest with ya, and the different things the guys will do," Hoke said. "But, my point is this: Be aware of it. Watch what your kids are doing."