PSA to Online Illinois Fans

#1
I’m using this tweet from Kedric as the impetus to post on this topic. I don’t entirely believe it, but that’s due to the source and not at all to its plausibility.

Don’t tweet at recruits or their families.

Or their teammates. Or their friends. In fact, a good rule that guides all of the rest of our social interactions - “don’t make unsolicited approaches to teenagers that don’t know you” - applies on the Internet, as well.

I know. I know. You think you’re the exception to the rule. You’ve got some great #content that will tip the scales, even the smallest bit, in favor of Illinois. Friend, I am sorry to break it to you - it will not.

Your joke about Mizzou is not very good.
Your reference to the Flyin’ Illini is turning 30 years old very soon.
Your photoshop with our uniform is creepy.
Your analysis of how someone will “fit in our system” with [insert someone else here] does not carry a lot of weight, because (see above) you are a middle-aged stranger on the Internet.
Your plea that someone will be the one to “bring us back” is kind of desperate and has the unfortunate side effect of reminding everyone how very “not back” we currently are.

Are we the only program that has this happen? Certainly not! Are we currently the worst revenue-sport school in the country that absolutely doesn’t need additional headwinds? INDEED WE ARE.

So please, as a favor - the next time you’ve got a hot take about the Mac Irvin Fire teed up and ready to go - take a breath. How many other scenarios in your life would you wholeheartedly jump into knowing the absolute ceiling - the best possible result - is that someone will think you’re mildly weird? Because that’s what this is.

Godspeed, and Go Illini.
 
#3
Is there a movie on this flight?
Elmhurst
Being too thirsty is a bad look. Overzealousness paints our fanbase as nuts. Sadly, some refuse to listen.
 
#4
Mad Scientist
Arizona, USA
I don't disagree with the idea of not tweeting at recruits, but in the replies to Prince's tweet, there was this:


Now, whether the issue is real or perceived, Prince's tweet would indicate that it is a perception that at least some recruits have so we need to address it somehow. I would be skeptical that there's any way to tone down the Twitter trolls for any fan base, though. Probably needs to be addressed during the recruiting process instead.
 
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#6
I think there are two totally different issues here getting mixed up. One is overzealous fans craving interaction with recruits and their families, which is entirely dumb. The other issue is the perception by some that Illinois fans are more negative than others and they are somehow unique. That is not true either.
 
#8
Mad Scientist
Arizona, USA
I think there are two totally different issues here getting mixed up. One is overzealous fans craving interaction with recruits and their families, which is entirely dumb. The other issue is the perception by some that Illinois fans are more negative than others and they are somehow unique. That is not true either.
You're right on the money. The Prince tweet was about the level of negativity directed at players and coaches, which seemingly has little or nothing to do with what @mattcoldagelli is saying to start this thread. Also, just like the overall level of negativity, I highly doubt our level of interaction with recruits on social media, creepy as it is, is much different than any other highly-engaged fan base. It's a problem, sure, but it's everybody's problem, not just Illinois' problem.
 
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#9
You're right on the money. The Prince tweet was about the level of negativity directed at players and coaches, which seemingly has little or nothing to do with what @mattcoldagelli is saying to start this thread. Also, just like the overall level of negativity, I highly doubt our level of interaction with recruits on social media, creepy as it is, is much different than any other highly-engaged fan base. It's a problem, sure, but it's everybody's problem, not just Illinois' problem.
Yes, and it has more to do with the level of engagement in athletics at different school. Obviously, in schools where athletics/sports teams are not a big part of the academic life, there will be less intensity and incidents. But within same level of overall engagement, fan bases are not exactly unique.
 
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#13
I think there are two totally different issues here getting mixed up.
"Totally different" is a pretty huge overstatement. They converge at warp speed when, say, Iowa State is boatracing us and people start directly mentioning current players, their families, future potential recruits, etc.

Griping about losses is pretty universal fan behavior, and not a problem. It's surprisingly easy to do it without taking the extra steps to make sure people in and around (and considering) the program get direct exposure to your personal butthurt.
 
#14
Stylin' and Profilin'
Twitter trolls possibly aren't even part of the Illinois fan base, unfortunately, though they purport to be...
 
#15
A parent sent him that message ("I want to use you as a platform") and he is forwarding it to the masses. The son/sport is pretty irrelevant.
I clearly miss understood the first part of his message, my bad. The only reason I asked about son/sport was that I thought it was Kedrick's kid and was interested from a recruiting standpoint, not that it changed how we should interact with these kids on social media. I agree with the original post in the thread in that regard.
 
#16
"Totally different" is a pretty huge overstatement. They converge at warp speed when, say, Iowa State is boatracing us and people start directly mentioning current players, their families, future potential recruits, etc.

Griping about losses is pretty universal fan behavior, and not a problem. It's surprisingly easy to do it without taking the extra steps to make sure people in and around (and considering) the program get direct exposure to your personal butthurt.
I think the losses both on the field/court and recruiting are scrutinized even more because it is happening in both Football and Basketball at the same time. While I don't like to watch either team lose, I can get over a bad football game late in the year pretty quickly when the basketball team is good. Or the recruiting misses this fall for the hoops team don't sting as much when the football team is locking up a bowl appearance. We just need something to break our way to get a lot of fans to step back and take a deep breath and feel good for a moment.
 
#17
In fact, a good rule that guides all of the rest of our social interactions - “don’t make unsolicited approaches to teenagers that don’t know you” - applies on the Internet, as well.
Thank you thank you thank you for calling this out. This has been a problem for far too long. Honestly, if they're bad enough, I have no qualms reporting tweets of our own fans. Somehow, someway, this message needs to get across.
 
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#18
You're right on the money. The Prince tweet was about the level of negativity directed at players and coaches, which seemingly has little or nothing to do with what @mattcoldagelli is saying to start this thread. Also, just like the overall level of negativity, I highly doubt our level of interaction with recruits on social media, creepy as it is, is much different than any other highly-engaged fan base. It's a problem, sure, but it's everybody's problem, not just Illinois' problem.
Eh, disagree. There's been a pretty well-documented but casually tracked trend of relatively higher activity amongst Illinois fans than other programs, particularly compared to programs of similar stature (i.e. bad). And when all those active engagers with recruits get upset when some recruit spurns the Illini, it isn't surprising that we have a relatively higher incidence of poor-taste tweets. I think the two points are definitely connected. More users + lots of recruiting letdowns = tons of opportunities for tweets that reflect poorly on Illinois.

Now, I don't have stats on this of course, because that would be a next-level waste of time. But anecdotally, our twitter activity does seem to be higher than say a Wisconsin, Minnesota, etc.
 
#21
"Totally different" is a pretty huge overstatement. They converge at warp speed when, say, Iowa State is boatracing us and people start directly mentioning current players, their families, future potential recruits, etc.

Griping about losses is pretty universal fan behavior, and not a problem. It's surprisingly easy to do it without taking the extra steps to make sure people in and around (and considering) the program get direct exposure to your personal butthurt.
I think they are different issues, overzealous fans craving interaction with recruits and their families can be both positive and negative, but is still dumb. Leave recruits and families alone, leave recruiting to coaches.

The negativity is not unique, pretty much the same in schools with same level of sports engagement and I agree with Alex Roux's tweet. Negativity actually has more to do with results.

Results also influence fan engagement. When results are better, negativity tends to go down (re: Ked's post), but internet engagement with recruits tends to go up. You have more general population fan following, more passion for the team, and by default there are more lunatics who feel they can influence recruits. Even in eras when internet was not as prevalent but Illinois was doing well (e.g., 1999-2006) the level of activity and engagement on message boards was a lot more. Some recruitments and games will generate tens of pages in no time. Now, we play Notre Dame to a close 2 point game and we struggle to get on page 10 in 5 days. The Illinois fan base is pretty "passive" and not growing right now. When momentum changes in a positive direction, fan following will increase and so will (unfortunately) the fan craving for interaction with recruits.

I am certainly happy that twitter did not really exist during the Shaun Livingston recruitment. While the general mood on Illini boards was very positive back then towards current players and coaches (Weber, Dee, Deron, etc.), some of the things that were said about (and to) Livingston, even on third party websites, were the worst I have honestly seen in my 30 years of positing on message boards.
 
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#22
I think there are two totally different issues here getting mixed up. One is overzealous fans craving interaction with recruits and their families, which is entirely dumb. The other issue is the perception by some that Illinois fans are more negative than others and they are somehow unique. That is not true either.
Agree 100%
 
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#25
Twitter is full of negativity and haters period. Not specific to a school, sport or other topic. Unfortunately it it reflective of the growing vitriol in society. Everyone just needs to chill but if someone is on Twitter they surely know rather quickly that a lot of crap exists there.

My son is a teen. He uses snap chat and I have no idea what happens there. He’s also on Instagram and I monitor it daily. I block bad things and people from outside his circle. We discuss negative comments from people inside his circle. The discussion provides insights and lessons to how friends should interact.

His biggest interaction with strangers happens on Fortnite. Ended up playing all summer with a football player from Miami trying to make the Saints. I think the kids get along fine. I do agree that most older people need to avoid commenting to young people they don’t know. As a dad, I wouldn’t want my kid talking to you and I certainly have nothing to say to someone else’s kid.
 
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