Jim Mora’s Twitter habits offer a lesson for all

20 Comments

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.

Big 12 to allow teams to play 1 non-conference football game

Getty Images
1 Comment

Two people involved with the decision say the Big 12 will permit its teams to play one nonconference football game this year to go along with their nine league contests as plans for the pandemic-altered season continued to fall into place.

The people spoke Monday night to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the conference was still preparing an official announcement.

The Big 12 university presidents signed off on the conference’s scheduling model, which gives schools the ability to play one nonconference game at home. The conference’s championship game is scheduled for Dec. 5, but one of the people told AP that the conference is leaving open the possibility of bumping it back a week or two.

The 10-team Big 12 already plays a nine-game, round-robin conference schedule. Unlike other Power Five conference that have switched to either exclusively (Big Ten, Pac-12 and SEC) or mostly (ACC) league games this season, the Big 12 could not add more conference games without teams playing each other more than once.

Several Big 12 teams have already started preseason practice, with Kansas and Oklahoma slated to play FCS teams on Aug. 29.

As conferences take steps toward a football season that seems to be in precarious shape, the NCAA is expected to weigh in Tuesday on fall sports other than major-college football.

The association’s Board of Governors is scheduled to meet and whether to cancel or postpone NCAA championship events in fall sports such as soccer, volleyball and lower-division football is expected to be a topic.

Only the Pac-12 has a full football schedule with matchups and dates in place among Power Five conferences. The Pac-12 will begin Sept. 26, along with the Southeastern Conference, which is still working on its new 10-game slate.

The Atlantic Coast Conference has opponents set for its 10-game conference schedule and will start the weekend of Sept. 12, but no specific game dates. The ACC has also said it will permit its teams to play one nonconference game.

The Big Ten, first to announce intentions to go conference-only this season, has yet to release a new schedule, but that could come later this week.

Now that the Power Five has declared its intentions the Group of Five conferences can start making plans and filling holes on their schedules.

American Athletic Conference Commissioner Mike Aresco has said the AAC could stick with its eight-game conference schedule and let its members plays as many of their four nonconference games as they can salvage or replace.

The Mountain West, Conference USA, Mid-American and Sun Belt conferences are likely to take similar approach.

Early Monday, Texas State from the Sun Belt announced it was moving a nonconference game against SMU up from Sept. 5 to Aug. 29.

Good morning and, in case I don’t see ya, good afternoon, good evening and good night! CFT, out…

Getty Images
14 Comments

CFT is no more. At least, when it comes to NBC Sports.

The first of last month, I — this is John Taylor (pictured, catching the game-winning touchdown in Super Bowl XXIII) — began my 12th year with CFT and NBC Sports. This morning, I was informed that my position was being eliminated and I would not be completing that 12th year. Which, of course, meant I wouldn’t be eligible for the traditional 13th-anniversary gift of lace. Which really bummed me out. Because I really like lace.

The jarring phone call was both a slap in the face and a relief. Jarring because, well, it was completely unexpected. Out of the blue, even amidst the pandemic that is wreaking absolute and utter havoc across the country. A relief, on the other hand, because, every single day for the past four months, I woke up wondering if this would be the day I get that call.

Would this be the day? Would this be the day? A question played on an endless loop that just f***s with you mentally, emotionally, physically.

That’s no way to live.

Then again, being job-less is no way to live, either. But, here we are.

So many people I want to thank. First and foremost, Mike Florio and Larry Mazza. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Especially Mr. Mazza on the food front. Hopefully, lunch at Oliverio’s — best damn stuffed shells I have EVER had — can still be a thing, Larry.

And so many people that have worked for me. Not to single anyone out, but I’m going to single one out in Ben Kercheval. Ben, non-biological son of Hoppy, you were and continue to be the man. I appreciate you more than you know.  Rasheed Wallace may indeed be your biological father, but I will forever consider you my illegitimate Internet stepson.

Mike Miller is the best boss anyone could ever ask for.  Hire that man.  You can thank me later.

Kevin McGuire, Zach Barnett, Bryan Fischer, I will always treasure what we did, together, these last few years. Things were on the uptick, and it’s sad that we won’t be able to see it through. Together.  We should’ve — SHOULD’VE SHOULD’VE SHOULD’VE — been given that opportunity.  And it will forever piss me off that we weren’t.

Brent and Chris and JJ, much love to you all as well.

Shortly after I received the job call of death, I called my dad. Told him what was going on in his son’s life.  After I hung up the phone, he sent me a GIF in a text message a few minutes later.  I’ll link it here to end whatever this is, because it’s appropriate.  And old school.

And, well… bye.

via GIPHY

2018 FCS All-American RB commits to Virginia

Virginia football
Getty Images
Leave a comment

Virginia joined South Carolina over the weekend as Power Five football schools realizing a personnel benefit from a lower-level program’s loss.

Two weeks ago, the Colonial Athletic Association announced that it was canceling its 2020 college football season because of the coronavirus pandemic.  One member of that FCS conference is Towson.  Coincidentally or not, one standout member of the Tigers, Shane Simpson, took to Twitter last week to announce that he has entered his name into the NCAA transfer database.

On that same social media service Sunday, the running back confirmed that he has committed to the Virginia football team.  Simpson had his transfer to-do list down to Virginia and Texas.

As Simpson was a fifth-year senior in 2019, it appears he has been granted a sixth season of eligibility.  Or, is fairly confident he will receive one.

Simpson would likely be eligible for that sixth season as he missed all but four games of his true freshman season in 2015 because of injury, then missed all but the first three games last season because of a serious knee injury.

In 2018, Simpson earned first-team All-American honors.  He finished second in all of FCS with 171.5 all-purpose yards per game, totaling 2,058 yards on the season.  That same season, the Pennsylvania product was the CAA’s Special Teams Player of the Year and earned three different all-conference honors: first-team at running back, second-team as a kick returner and third-team as a punt returner.

Simpson would be eligible to play immediately in 2020 at the FBS level.

South Carolina pulls in transfer WR from Tarleton State

South Carolina football
Getty Images
Leave a comment

South Carolina is the latest football program to benefit from a lower level of the sport opting out of football this fall.

In the middle of last month, the Western Athletic Conference — yes, the WAC — announced that it is delaying the start of fall sports, including football, because of the coronavirus pandemic.  Tarleton State was set to enter its first season in the FCS conference after moving up from Div. II.

One member of the Texans won’t get to realize that monumental move, though, as Jalen Brooks announced on Twitter over the weekend that he will be transferring into the South Carolina football program.

“God is undefeated,” Brooks wrote. “I would not be able to make this commitment without God, my family, my coaches, my teammates, the people I work out with, and the work that I put into everything.”

Interestingly, 247Sports.com wrote that “Brooks visited the campus in Columbia with his former high school coach, Jason Seidel, serving as his tour guide.” In late June, the NCAA once again extended its ban on in-person recruiting through the end of August.  It’s assumed that the South Carolina football program wasn’t involved in that on-campus visit.

At this point, it’s unclear if the wide receiver will be eligible to play for the Gamecocks this season. If he is, he’d have three years to use two seasons of eligibility.  If not, he’d use his redshirt in 2020, then have two years starting in 2021.

Brooks actually began his collegiate career at Div. II Wingate University in North Carolina.  In January of this year, the receiver transferred to Tarleton State.

In two seasons with the Bulldogs, Brooks totaled 998 yards and nine touchdowns on 50 receptions.