A report began swirling Sunday afternoon that Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd was $80,000 in debt for gambling on NFL games. The report, if it can be called that, was a tweet from a virtually unknown account on Twitter using the handle @Pregame_Steam.
*Gambling Report* Sources are stating that Clemson QB Tajh Boyd has accumulated over $80,000 in gambling debts, mostly on NFL games.— Vegas Gambling Steam (@Pregame_Steam) October 19, 2013
Looking at the tweet for face value, the charge seemed ludicrous. But those who love salacious tweets without checking their veracity immediately began retweeting the item, and it spread like wildfire from there.
Several people took to twitter in the aftermath, denying the report had any truth to it.
For the record, because I'm seeing it shared: Tajh Boyd does not have a gambling problem. That is a complete lie aimed at hurting a player— Matt Miller (@nfldraftscout) October 22, 2013
Let me be emphatically clear, there is zero truth to the rumor that Clemson's T. Boyd is $80,000 in debt due to gambling. Zero. None.
— Benjamin Allbright (@AllbrightNFL) October 19, 2013
In the aftermath that followed, it was unearthed that the account the "report" was put out by is affiliated with a notoriously unreliable Twitter rabble-rouser, who calls himself "Incarcerated Bob." A quick scan of his history shows that Incarcerated Bob has released a host of attention-getting, unsubstantiated and mostly outright untrue tweets.
Clemson hosted Florida State that evening, a game in which Florida State crushed the Tigers in their own home. Boyd played uneven throughout the game, facing quite a bit of pressure from a fierce Florida State defense. When the outcome was decided, the original tweet seemed to grow new legs, as those looking to pin the somewhat unexpected drubbing on anything quickly seized on it.
The tweet was further published as a "report" on Incarcerated Bob's sports wrap blog, where today, Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd scoffed when addressing it. According to Scott Keepfer of The Greenville News, Boyd said, "I have no idea where that came from. It was kind of shocking to me as well. When I heard it I was shocked. It was a rough weekend."
Clemson head football coach Dabo Swinney went even further. While laughing at the premise of the question about the tweet's veracity, Swinney said, "Yeah, I heard about that. It just added to my beautiful Sunday. Obviously I have no knowledge of that, nor do I think there's any credibility to that."
Swinney went on to mockingly add, "I'm sure that's a pretty credible website that you pulled that from. They probably never had any uncredible reports in the past either."
The full video of head coach Dabo Swinney's response can be viewed here.
With that laid to rest, perhaps this is a good time to remind readers everywhere to always check the source of something. Just because something is tweeted about, it doesn't make it true—especially when the information is from an anonymous source.