Starting a week from today, I had planned on dedicating my lead item in the blog each Thursday to recruiting. However, since I've read a lot about Terrence Jones, a blue-chip basketball recruit coping with a bit of a social networking mess, I figured today would be an ideal starting point.
"Terrence Jones as of 9:45 p.m. Wednesday had 3,807 followers on Twitter," was the opening line of a story by Gary Bedore of the Lawrence Journal-World.
And from that entry point, you knew it was bound to get messy. Jones, a Portland, Oregon product, is the country's No. 9 prospect in the hoops class of 2010.
The story picks up on the work of Oregonian newspaper columnist John Canzano, who reported that the instant Jones put on a Washington hat at his news conference, "his family began to receive harassing telephone calls from fans of the programs he didn't pick. Jones' cellular telephone blew up with angry activity, too. Fans at Kentucky, Kansas, UCLA, Oregon and Oklahoma, miffed that Jones didn't choose their programs, blasted Jones' social networking sites with insults and slurs that were so offensive his sister instructed him not to read them and went in herself and deleted it all."
"One family member told me (Canzano) on Wednesday that irrational and well-meaning fans at the finalist colleges, who believe they're serving as de facto recruiters, serve as the worst enemy of their respective programs," Canzano wrote.
We've talked about the perils of social networking as it relates to overzealous fans getting mixed up with recruits and in recruiting quite a bit before. This is just the latest example of it.