Among the many jabs UConn fans have taken at Alex Oriakhi since his decision to transfer to Missouri earlier this month, only one was ridiculous enough for the senior center to opt to share it publicly on Twitter.
It came via text message Friday afternoon, and it highlighted the ugliest aspects of college sports.
You've got to hand it to Oriakhi's anonymous hater for covering all the bases in less than 30 words. Racial reference? Check. Curse words? Check. Death threat? Check. A spelling error most grade schoolers could avoid? Check.
Most UConn fans are smart enough to know the difference between a traitor and a trader and to forgive Oriakhi for playing his senior year for a program eligible for the postseason, but sadly the clown who texted him is not alone. Oriakhi began receiving curse word-laden tweets the day he announced he planned to enroll at Missouri.
Some were from UConn fans decrying his lack of loyalty. Some were from fans of North Carolina, Kentucky and other schools he considered. The common thread was the foul language and mean-spirited insults from a bunch of internet tough guys who'd probably run screaming in the other direction if they ever encountered the 6-foot-9, 24o-pound Oriakhi in person.
Oriakhi certainly isn't the only college athlete to be bombarded with vitriol after deciding to transfer to another school, but his experience highlights how hate mail has evolved in the social networking era.
No longer does an irate fan have to take the time to hunt down a player's mailing address or even take the time to scour the internet for an athlete's email. For better or worse, access to a public figure is just a Tweet, a Facebook message or occasionally even a text away.
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