Social media has its benefits, but it can also ruin a year's worth of work in an instant.
Pembroke Academy's (Pembroke, N.H.) Pat Welch was named the Division II Player of the Year earlier this month, but he was recently stripped of the title after his team won the NHIAA Division II boys' basketball state title because of an obscene tweet.
The tweet, which contained profanity, was directed at the team he had just defeated:
Welch's tweet was posted right after the game and was deleted 15 minutes later.
However, the damage had already been done.
The New Hampshire Basketball Coaches Organization handed out a pretty severe punishment, stripping the Spartans guard of his award—while giving it to a different player—and rescinding his invitation to the senior game and annual Twin State games that will be played in July.
Pembroke Academy coach Matt Alosa expressed his disappointment about the decision to strip Welch of the award, via the New Hampshire Union Leader's John Habib:
I don't believe the punishment fits the crime
They basically took away Pat's body of work this season because of a tweet that ended up online for 15 minutes. I don't like and don't condone what was written in that tweet. There's no program I respect more than Portsmouth High.
Our principal (Michael Reardon) and athletic director (Suzanne Klink) drove with Pat to Portsmouth and he personally apologized to their athletic director, principal and coach.
But as far as I'm concerned, Pat Welch is still the player of the year.
The coach defended his player, but this situation turned out to be a difficult lesson for the kid.
Welch's poor sportsmanship essentially wiped out a year's worth of hard work, and it provided yet another example of how social media can harm.