Northwestern Twitter flap sparks backlash

February, 14, 2012
2/14/12
11:15
AM ET
This might shock some of you, but head football coaches don't always do their own tweeting.

Northwestern's Pat Fitzgerald usually controls the content on his Twitter account, but his director of football operations, Cody Cejda, also posts from time to time. Cejda also has his personal Twitter account.

The tangled Web of social media landed Fitzgerald and Northwestern in some hot water during the weekend. After New York Knicks sensation Jeremy Lin led his team to a win against the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday night, a tweet appeared on Fitzgerald's page stating: "Officially on the Jeremy Lin bandwagon. There's an NBA player who plays hard and says the right things off the court."

Some saw the complimentary tweet toward Lin as a shot at the rest of the NBA. A few thought it was racist. The fact it came from a coach who works about 15 miles North of where Derrick Rose works his magic with the Chicago Bulls looked especially bad. Isn't Northwestern supposed to "Chicago's Big Ten team?"

Although Michigan State athletic director Mark Hollis appeared to concur with the tweet, the Pat-Fitzgerald-Hates-Derrick-Rose buzz began to build.

Turns out, the tweet came from Cejda, not Fitzgerald. According to Northwestern, Cejda meant to post the tweet on his personal account but hit the button for Fitzgerald's page. The tweet was quickly removed, but in this day and age, it's too late.
"The tweet was meant as a compliment to Lin and not in disrespect to anyone," associate director of athletic communications Doug Meffley told the Chicago Sun-Times. "Fitz is a huge Derrick Rose fan."

Fitzgerald has voiced his praise for Chicago teams before on Twitter, especially his beloved Chicago White Sox. But for the most part, he keeps the tweets Northwestern-specific.

Probably should keep it that way going forward.

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