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Michigan ‘catfishes’ its own players as a social media lesson

David Brandon AP

The Manti Te’o hoax story has more or less ended — though Ronaiah Tuiasosopo, the alleged mastermind of the dead girlfriend hoax, spoke to Dr. Phil in a two-part interview – but the lessons from it have been used by other schools.

Per Kyle Rowland of Eleven Warriors, Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon put together a little catfishing scheme — as in creating a false identity online with the intent of deceiving someone else — to teach Wolverine athletes about the dangers of social media.

(Note: Yes, we know the tweets are dated from the future. No, we don’t think we’re victim of some kind of inception-catfishing hoax by Rowland. Maybe.) 

Michigan coach Brady Hoke expanded on the idea (via):

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.

“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.”

Why certain players would ever respond to the following message: “Hi! I am new to YOUR AREA. I think u r cute message me back LOL xoxo!” from a girl named Rebekah6872<3<3<3 duckfacing in her profile picture is beyond me, but I guess weird situations require unconventional methods.

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13 Responses to “Michigan ‘catfishes’ its own players as a social media lesson”
  1. classyjacklambert says: Feb 1, 2013 12:48 PM

    That’s pretty much genius by the coaching staff.

  2. gr3710 says: Feb 1, 2013 1:13 PM

    Talk about being ahead of the game

  3. pacific123ocean says: Feb 1, 2013 1:19 PM

    This is great. More college and pro teams should do this.

  4. barnesaintnoble says: Feb 1, 2013 1:44 PM

    Leaders and best, even when it comes to catfishing.

  5. BrownsTown says: Feb 1, 2013 1:53 PM

    I think the athletic department misunderstood. I think they misunderstood Hoke when he said he “Wanted some catfish,” and instead heard that he “Wanted to catfish. I would give them a pass in that one little word can change the entire meaning of that sentence, but I’m fairly sure “deep fried” and “with a basket of onion rings” sandwiched “catfish” in that sentence. So not a lot of room for error. No excuses.

  6. guinsrule says: Feb 1, 2013 2:36 PM

    I think it’s a different story. I’ll bet the guys who responded weren’t looking for love…just sex.

  7. florida727 says: Feb 1, 2013 3:17 PM

    “Because some of them didn’t use their heads when communicating back and forth with that young lady.”

    Yes they did, Coach. But it was the ‘little head’ doing the talking, not the big one.

  8. bleedburgandyandgold says: Feb 1, 2013 3:37 PM

    That whole duckface thing is not attractive

  9. bucrightoff says: Feb 1, 2013 4:13 PM

    This kind of forward thinking is what great coaches are made of.

  10. takingbovadasmoney says: Feb 2, 2013 1:07 AM

    If only Brian Kelly had done this….

  11. scoregasmic says: Feb 2, 2013 2:15 AM

    I’m not sure why people are applauding UofM for this….that’s really creepy. If I was a player I’d be pretty mad

  12. classyjacklambert says: Feb 2, 2013 11:34 AM

    Wow so we know scoregasmic probably wouldn’t have passed this test. I’m sure the players were upset and embarrassed and hopefully learned the valuable lesson the coaches were hoping to teach. It’s better they learn this way than to all go the way of the redskins or Manti Two and become the victim of a real scam. If they don’t learn from this well there’s really no helping them then.

  13. letafan4ever says: Feb 2, 2013 4:51 PM

    Great way to learn from someone else’s unfortunate situation.

    Much more constructive than tearing someone else down and not realizing that in this day and age Catfishing can happen to anyone. Sports Figures are Prime targets!!

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