A few months ago, the person who started the Hoke’s Mad Magician’s blog tweeted that he was looking for someone to write about Michigan football. His interest lies in Michigan basketball, and he does an excellent job of writing on the topic, but they wanted someone on their blog to write about football recruiting, since it’s such a hot topic these days. I replied to his tweet, and said it would be something really great and that I was interested. He had me and a couple others who replied to his tweet send him a sort-of sample post on the addition of Khalid Hill to our 2013 class (that seems like forever ago!). He liked what I wrote and I was added to the team.
I knew this was a non-paying gig, and I didn’t care. I graduated from Michigan in 2009 with a political science degree and went on to get my Masters in Public Health Administration. My career is in healthcare and I knew writing for this blog was never going to be something serious for me. I looked at it as a hobby because I love Michigan, I love Michigan football, and I am fascinated by recruiting. So I thought it would be fun.
And it was! I loved it and I loved that people wanted to know so much about the recruiting process. Until a couple weeks ago when things started to get out of hand...
Keep in mind that I am no journalist. I’ve never claimed to be and I have no background on the practice. I am, however, a good writer. I enjoyed talking with different recruits and getting their input on Michigan and the recruiting process in general. This was all new to me, and even though that was understood by Hoke’s Mad Magician’s, they didn’t mind that I wasn’t a pro. This is a blog started by someone who loves Michigan and it’s just something he likes to contribute to for fun. He’s going to law school soon, so I really doubt his goal in life was to own an uber-successful Michigan blog. Once I got rolling, I was complimented and approached by a couple of the bigger blogs out there who write for Michigan, but I told them all the same thing. I’m going to stick with Hoke’s Mad Magicians because I don’t get paid, so I can essentially write about whatever I want. I had no deadlines, no strict rules to oblige by, because this wasn’t my job...just something to do on the side. And that’s what I liked it the most about it.
About a week ago, I started to get a lot of messages via Twitter, my email, even on some forums about how I steal information from other sites and call it my own. At first, it was just a little nuisance and I avoided it. But then people started creating Twitter accounts strictly to attack and harass me. Someone even created an account with a name that’s too vulgar to discuss and tweeted how I probably had inappropriate relations with recruits to get information. Of course that is stupid and ridiculous, but it bothered me a lot. I am a happily married woman and an adult who shouldn’t be talked to in that way. And unfortunately, I do believe this is because I’m a woman. I don’t think people tweet at men who write about recruiting the things they said to me. This may seem like I’m thin-skinned and unable to “take the heat,” and maybe I am. Regardless, I don’t think I deserved any of that.
Although I’m thankful for the kind messages I got from a lot of you, I just don’t think it’s right for me to continue writing about recruiting. It’s been fun, but that’s the reason I did it. It’s not fun anymore so it only makes sense to stop. Like I said before, I have no background or experience in this, so if I did tweet some things that I read on paid sites without citing those sites, I do apologize for that. I realize that the people who gather this information get paid to do this for a living, and that’s not fair to them. It was never my intention to do this maliciously, as I have no gain in that. It’s not about exposure or hits or any of that for me...for the millionth time, I was just doing it for fun, as a hobby. I had no other underlying motives.
One thing I do want to say is that as Michigan fans, we need to learn to stick together a little better. I never would have thought that the hate I got from some people out there would be about something so minuscule in the grand scheme of things. This is recruiting. We need to put that in perspective. And most importantly, we need to stick together as one fan-base.