When Michigan Wolverines recruit Logan Tuley-Tillman tweeted a picture of himself burning a letter from Ohio State, he thought he was pulling a relatively innocent prank. Among my friends, who do encompass both Wolverine and Buckeye fans, we enjoyed some of our usual banter about the situation and then moved on. Some Buckeye fans, though, have taken their loyalty to an extreme, sending death threats to him and to his mother via Facebook.
Tuley-Tillman was burning the letter from Ohio State because he wanted nothing to do with them. He had already been planning to attend Michigan before visiting a Nike camp in Columbus where he was harassed repeatedly. This understandably turned him off from even considering Ohio State, who apparently kept after him even after he committed to Michigan. They have also been heavily pursuing his fellow recruit Mike McCray, which also upsets him.
Dear Buckeye Fans - If you want to convince someone to come play for you, throwing stuff at him, calling him names, and sending death threats are definitely not the way to go about it.
At the same time, Wolverines should not engage the crazies, no matter to which color they pledge their allegiance. Offensive line recruit Kyle Bosch took it a little too far when he tweeted that Ohio State fans who are making death threats to stop by his house first and included the hashtag "#bringagun." He has since apologized for his remarks, saying they have been misinterpreted. He was just defending his fellow teammate, who is like family.
Tuley-Tillman is not overly concerned about the death threats at this point in time. In his neighborhood in Peoria, Illinois, violence has been a part of the environment. In fact, he has been contemplating moving up to the Ann Arbor area earlier. That isn't going to stop the crazies, though. Death threats in college football are not a new thing.
Ohio State tight end Ryan Hamby received death threats after he dropped a pass in the third quarter of a game against Texas in 2005. They eventually lost the game and their Rose Bowl bid.
Edward Rife, owner of the tattoo parlor that contributed to Ohio State's huge memorabilia scandal, received several death threats in 2011.
It's time for everyone to take a few deep breaths and put the focus back on the football game where it belongs. Let's have some fun and enjoy the resurgence of the rivalry.
Andrea Coventry grew up in the heart of the Michigan-Ohio State rivalry in Toledo, OH. Her loyalty has always been with the Michigan Wolverines.
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