Twitter is a powerful tool for eliminating the kind of boundaries that had previously existed behind getting instant reactions to breaking news from interested parties. The firing of Arkansas football coach Bobby Petrino proved a powerful case-in-point to that claim on Tuesday.
As noted by the Dallas Morning News, within hours of Petrino's firing, current and prospective Razorbacks football recruits and prospects weighed in on the coach's dismissal on Twitter, offering up their own two cents on what it meant for the program. Interestingly, those reactions were all over the board, too.
One of the top prospects to react to Petrino's dismissal was Christian Morgan, the highly regarded tight end from Prestonwood (Texas) Christian Academy who has previously received plenty of customized recruiting attention, first expressed a sense of shock, but interestingly was also impressed by the strength of character shown by Arkansas athletic director Jeff Long.
"Wow the game just changed," Morgan Tweeted. Later in the evening he added, "Just gained a lot of respect for Jeff Long. Stand up man of character."
While Morgan's support of Long may have not been expected, Euless (Texas) Trinity tight end and offensive line prospect Jason Reese's response to the Arkansas program in whole may have been more predictable, though he later deleted his initial sentiments.
"Arkansas was in my top 5 colleges, they definitely just dropped out!!!"
"So pissed off coach bobby p gone man smh that's all that's on my mind today," he Tweeted Wednesday morning.
If Morgan, James and Reese's personal takes were definitive, the impressions of Plano (Texas) quarterback Richard Lagow, a player the Razorbacks had hope for, expressed more uncertainty and confusion with the way the situation developed than anything else.
"dang. don't even know what to think right now. what now?" Lagow Tweeted. The quarterback later added, "bad day for the hogs... it'll be alright tho!..."
Will any of these individual takes affect how Arkansas moves forward? Probably not. They shouldn't, either. Yet, in a sport where recruiting completely changes the complexion of a program, it's worth wondering if Long or others in his department were keeping tabs on what some of their future prospects were saying about a tough decision that brought an end to a stunning week in Fayetteville.