Another Ex-Illini Embroiled in Twitter Controversy


Call it another case of antisocial media. For the second year in a row, a former University of Illinois football player has caused a stir over something he posted to Twitter.

Last year, you’ll remember it was Pittsburgh Steeler running back Rashard Mendenhall, who found himself in hot water over tweets he made following the killing of Osama Bin Laden.

After some reacted to the demise of the 9/11 mastermind with jubilation, Mendenhall took to Twitter with comments like: “What kind of person celebrates death? It’s amazing how people can HATE a man they have never even heard speak. We’ve only heard one side…”

Mendenhall also apparently confused his leaving school early for the NFL with earning a degree from the university’s esteemed civil engineering program when he tweeted:  “I just have a hard time believing a plane could take a skyscraper down demolition style.”

This time around, it was former Illini and current New York Giants punter Steve Weatherford who found himself in hot water. No, it wasn’t because he simply refuses to wear a shirt. Actually, it was because cornerback Prince Amukamara found himself in cold water – freezing cold water to be exact – after being put in a tub of it by defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul and others.

Weatherford simply shot the video with his Nokia flip phone and posted it on Twitter. And then it went viral, as the kids like to say:

Honestly, I’m not sure what the controversy is all about. Anyone that’s ever played organized football knows these kinds of shenanigans go on in the locker room. After all, nobody’s hair ended up swirled in a toilet. Nobody’s underwear band was stretched over his head. What’s the big deal? I guess it’s because these are supposed to be grown men?  Right. And of course the fact that someone made a .3gp video of the event and sent it out to the world.

More recently, cornerback Vontae Davis made waves when he was traded from the Miami Dolphins to the Indianapolis Colts.  The first-round pick from Illinois wasn’t directly responsible for causing a hullabaloo, rather, it was Colts owner Jim Irsay, who went on yet another Twitter tirade to defend the trade against critics.

Speaking of the Colts, last year with Peyton Manning out for the season, Sam Farmer of the L.A. Times reported via Twitter that he had spoken with quarterback Jeff George, the former No. 1 pick of the Colts in 1990 out of Illinois. George apparently told Farmer he could pick up the offense in a matter of days. Yes, I said 1990.

The Colts decided they’d be better off going 2-14 and taking Andrew Luck with the No. 1 pick.  No need to insult your team’s fans defending that one, Jim.

Even current Illini have found themselves at the center of controversy of late thanks to the internet. Just a few weeks before the Weatherford incident, offensive linemen Graham Pocic was caught autographing a baby.

Defending Osama Bin Laden? That makes sense. Reveling in the physical abuse and humiliation of your fellow teammate? Perfectly acceptable.

But signing babies!? What a disgrace.



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