Jim Mora’s Twitter habits offer a lesson for all

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When it comes to Twitter, I am of the belief it is whatever you make of it. You follow the people you want to follow and interact with the people you want to talk to. For most, that is just fine. Others have to live by a few more rules though, and that includes UCLA head coach Jim Mora.

At the end of UCLA’s Alamo Bowl victory against Kansas State, Mora rushed a handshake with Kansas State head coach Bill Snyder, and later worked his way back to the Wildcats coach to seemingly explain his displeasure with Kansas State attempting to leap over the pile as UCLA quarterback Brett Hundley was taking a knee to run out the clock. Asked about the handshake routine during the postgame press conference, Mora chose not to get into it, but he did take to Twitter to suggest he would go to any length to defend the safety of his players. That tweet, and the account that shared it has since been removed. Mora’s Twitter account was the target of plenty f social media attacks and criticism for his postgame handshake. This is Twitter after all, where anyone with an account has access to just about anybody else on the service. The reason for shutting the account down may be unconfirmed, but the timing would suggest the attacks and criticism were so overwhelming that Mora, or somebody else, decided the only way to stop the criticism was to shut down the account. But that only makes things worse.

Whether you side with Mora or not on his stance regarding Kansas State’s late-game strategy to try and break up a quarterback kneel (I, for one, see no issue with it as Kansas State was simply trying to win a football game), there are lessons to be learned by the Bruins coach and his Twitter habit.

Twitter is a great tool for coaches to share information about the program they lead. It is a terrific recruiting tool and a fantastic outlet for promoting the program, yet even as we break in 2015 it seems that so many are still unsure how to handle the social networking resource properly. For all the good it offers, it can be equally as devilish if used improperly or unwisely. Some people have to use Twitter differently than the rest fo the world, because some professions have a certain demeanor that needs to be presented 24/7. The head coach of a major college football program, fair or not, falls under that profile, which means someone like Mora (or whoever it is that has access to the coach’s Twitter profile) has to have a grip on the impact any one tweet can have, as well as the patience to deal with the mentions that are sure to come fired in the account’s direction at any given time.

So in light of Mora’s recent Twitter issues, I serve up these free bits of advice (these are NOT rules) for any college football coach out there who may be reading this, and perhaps you find it helpful for your own Twitter habits as well if you are not a coach;

1. Before you tweet anything, type it out and read it aloud before hitting the Tweet button. If there is anything you hear that could remotely be considered controversial by anyone — fans, media, bosses — then perhaps it might be wise to remove the tweet

2. Do not tweet at high school recruits. Ever.

3. Have fun with Twitter. Don’t use it to release your frustrations and vent your bitterness.

4. Do not be a jerk. Just don’t.

5. Do not tweet at high school recruits. I felt that deserved a second mention.

6. People are going to attack you on Twitter. These people are not to be given the time of day, so you absolutely should not be giving their messages any merit by responding or acting in a defiant way. Let them have this small victory, because it may be all they have to live for.

As it turns out, there is reason to believe Mora has returned to Twitter, although under a private account for now. While this may sound like a wise move after being attacked on Twitter, it actually should be a cause for alarm as he is unable to be monitored by the NCAA unless he approves the NCAA of following the account. No coach should own or operate a private coaching account.

7. If you are a coach on Twitter, do not use a private account.

If you have other rules and words of advice for college football coaches and Twitter, feel free to offer them in the comment section.

Court proceedings for Nebraska’s Maurice Washington pushed back again

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So much for the fourth time being a charm.

Maurice Washington‘s twice-postponed preliminary court appearance in a California courtroom on a pair of charges, including a felony, had been scheduled for Sept 3; the court case was delayed yet again on that September day and rescheduled for Oct. 17, “when a preliminary hearing may be set.”

“May” was the operative word in that sentence fragment as the most recent court proceeding has led to the case being pushed back yet again without a preliminary hearing being scheduled.  Washington’s next court date is now slated for Dec. 12, after the conclusion of Nebraska’s regular season.

Washington served what amounted to a half-game suspension earlier this year as he played in the second half of Nebraska’s season-opening win over South Alabama. Head coach Scott Frost subsequently stated that Washington will remain an active member of his football program, at least until the case is adjudicated.

Appearing in a Santa Clara County (Calif.) courtroom in April, Washington was arraigned on a pair of charges, one a felony and the other a misdemeanor, in connection to a situation whose genesis was a little over a year ago.  In mid-February, a Santa Clara County judge signed a warrant filed a couple of days earlier that sought the arrest of the Nebraska running back for alleged violation of that state’s revenge-porn law. It’s alleged that Washington sent a sexually-explicit 10-second video, recorded two years prior by someone other than Washington, involving a then-15-year-old female and two other boys, neither of whom was Washington, to that same female in early March of 2018. The female has claimed she is being sexually assaulted in the video, which allegedly shows the teenager performing oral sex on one boy while another masturbates.

Washington is facing a felony count of possessing a video or photograph of a person under 18 who is engaging in or simulating sexual conduct and a misdemeanor count of posting a video or photograph of a person engaging in or simulating sexual conduct without consent, leading to the person suffering emotional distress. Washington had dated the alleged victim prior to the video being recorded.

In late July, Washington’s preliminary court appearance was pushed back to the morning of Sept. 3, after Nebraska’s opener.  That appearance had originally been scheduled for mid-June before it too was pushed back.

After some academic uncertainty throughout the offseason, Washington was cleared to join the Cornhuskers football team in early August of last year. As a true freshman, and despite the off-field cloud hanging over him from the start of the season, Washington rushed for 455 yards and three touchdowns, numbers that were both good for third on the team. His 24 receptions were also third-best, while his 221 receiving yards were fourth.

In seven games this season, Washington has run for 298 yards (third on the Cornhuskers) and a touchdown on 50 carries. He also has 12 catches for another 162 yards and two more touchdowns.  The receptions and yards are fourth on the team, while the touchdowns are tied for the team lead.

In addition to the Golden State off-field woes, Washington was cited by university police for possession of drug paraphernalia.  It was subsequently confirmed that Washington, and three other Cornhusker football players cited for pot-related offenses, would not face criminal charges.

So, why wasn’t Ohio State’s Ryan Day part of the Dodd Trophy’s midseason watch list?

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At first blush, it was quite the head-scratcher.

Thursday afternoon, the Dodd Trophy released its midseason watch list, which consisted of 22 head coaches from seven different FBS conferences as well as a football independent. The most notable omission? Ohio State’s Ryan Day.

Not only did Day have the unenviable task of replacing a living coaching legend in Urban Meyer, but the first-year coach was forced to backfill myriad talent lost to the NFL on both sides of the ball, including quarterback Dwayne Haskins and havoc-wreaking defensive lineman Nick Bosa.

Despite that, Day has the third-ranked Buckeyes sitting at a perfect 6-0 coming off a bye weekend and heading into Friday night’s road trip to Evanston for a date with Northwestern. So, why no Dodd love?

As it turns out, it’s nothing nefarious. At all.

From the fine folks at the Dodd Trophy:

Considering The Dodd Trophy represents more than just a coach’s performance on the field, a coach in his first year, who has not had a full season to establish his own impact on APR and the local community, is not eligible to win.

As for those who are eligible?  See the award’s tweet below.

BYU starting QB vs. Boise State to be game-time decision

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Last week, Jaren Hall became the first black quarterback to start a game at BYU.  Whether he becomes the first black quarterback at the university to start two games remains up in the air.

In the fourth quarter of the Week 7 loss to South Florida, Hall was knocked out of the game with concussion-like symptoms.  There was some encouraging news on that front midweek, though, as Hall returned to full practice on Wednesday.

Despite that, it will likely be a game-time decision as to whether Hall, who himself replaced Zach Wilson after the season-opening starter underwent thumb surgery, will be available for the Boise State game Saturday night.  One hint that it could be Hall again?  Passing-game coordinator Aaron Roderick acknowledged that Hall took the most first-team reps of any of the Cougars quarterbacks during that Wednesday practice.

If Hall is ultimately unable to go, freshman Baylor Romney would very likely get the starting nod.  In replacing the injured Hall against the Bulls, Romney completed 6-of-10 passes for 73 yards on a couple of fourth-quarter drives.

Current No. 3 Joe Critchlow would then serve as Romney’s backup in such a scenario.

Kansas State’s Kenyon Reed leaps headfirst into the portal

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It’s been a couple of days since we’ve kicked off a morning with a portal post, so we were due.

Speculation was swirling over the past couple of days that Kenyon Reed was considering a transfer from Kansas State.  Thursday, defensive coordinator Scottie Hazelton confirmed to 247Sports.com and others that the defensive back has made his way into the NCAA transfer database.

According to the coordinator, he became aware of the impending departure the day before, although he wasn’t quite clear in the details surrounding the player’s decision.  To further buttress the coordinator’s confirmation, Reed’s official bio is no longer a valid link.

Reed was a three-star member of the Wildcats’ 2019 recruiting class.  The California high schooler surprised most observers by signing with K-State over UCLA earlier this year.

As Reed didn’t play a down this year, he can take a redshirt for the 2019 season.