Tennessee Twitter Account Hoax Asks Football Recruits for Money

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistFebruary 12, 2020

CHARLOTTE, NC - SEPTEMBER 01:  A detailed view of a helmet worn by the Tennessee Volunteers before their game against the West Virginia Mountaineers at Bank of America Stadium on September 1, 2018 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Someone reportedly created a Twitter account to impersonate a Tennessee Volunteers football staff member and asked potential recruits for highlights and even money in some instances.

Blake Toppmeyer of the Knoxville News Sentinel (h/t USA Today) reported the news Tuesday, noting an account with the name of Luke Hughes posing as the team's director of player personnel was a hoax. The account asked for the highlights so players could be evaluated as potential future members of Tennessee's team.

Except, there is no Luke Hughes on Tennessee's coaching staff.

That didn't stop "hundreds of athletes, unaware that the account is not associated with Tennessee football," from sending their highlight reels.

What's more, Kenyatta Watson, the director of football operations at USA Academy, posted a screenshot of the hoax account asking for $20 from a possible recruit:

Tennessee's director of player personnel position is open after Drew Hughes left for South Carolina on Monday.

Toppmeyer suggested such fake accounts "are not uncommon." 

In fact, Mark Pantoni, who is the assistant athletic director for player personnel at Ohio State, responded to a since-deleted tweet Tuesday from someone pretending to be a Buckeyes assistant and asking for highlights from prospects with the message "Why don't I know who you are?"

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