Yes, the University of Michigan Most Certainly Catfished its Own Football Players

By Kyle Rowland on February 1, 2013 at 2:15p

Ever since word of Manti Te’o’s bizarre fake relationship got out, catfishing has become a supernova in a galaxy of buzzwords. And just when you thought the star was beginning to dim, the University of Michigan athletic department showed up with hydrogen.

Catfishing at the University of Michigan

Athletic director Dave Brandon, speaking at the KeyBank Global Leaders Forum in Toledo, explained the perils of social media to those in attendance. One example involved an experiment done with Michigan student-athletes.

The department of athletics hired two outside consulting firms to monitor what athletes were posting on social networking sites. One of the firms used an attractive female to reach out to the athletes on Facebook.

Several of them returned messages, with some of the content being inappropriate. When the athletic department was alerted about the nature of the content, they hosted a forum on social media awareness. During the meeting, the attractive female walked into the auditorium. It left the athletes involved speechless, according to Brandon. But it was a valuable lesson in the dangers of social media, he said.

Michigan has responded and is painting a different picture. In a conversation with Bill Shea, of Crain’s Detroit Business, associate athletic director Dave Ablauf said Michigan is not “catfishing” its athletes.

The athletic department has a contract with 180 Communications Inc. to alert athletes about the obvious and hidden dangers of social media, Ablauf said. It was a female employee of 180 Communications, according to Ablauf, that reached out to the athletes.

But he said she did not contact them directly.

“She would go through their accounts and find stuff that was either in inappropriate for the public or could be misconstrued,” Ablauf said.

The female would collect any information from athletes’ Twitter and Facebook accounts that could be deemed embarrassing. In the fall of 2011, long before the Te’o story become public, Michigan’s athletes became aware of the 180 employee.

“As part of their presentation, they introduce her,” Ablauf said. “A lot of our student-athletes couldn't believe it because they knew her. We would explain to them how what they put out there could do damage to them personally and the Michigan brand.”

However, head football coach Brady Hoke’s version of events, relayed to Kyle Meinke of MLive, align more closely to Brandon’s original explanation.

“Before he came in, we gave him 20 Facebook accounts of guys on our team,” said Hoke, in a January speech to Michigan high school coaches. “She tried to talk to our guys. ‘Hey, what are ya doin’?’ Whatever it might be.

“Well, two months later we’re in a team meeting and we’re on the topic of what you put out there in the cyber universe – you should have seen 115 guys when that young lady – she was hot, now; a very, very nice looking young lady – when she walked into that meeting room, and the guys looking at each other.

“Because some of them didn’t use their heads when communicating back and forth with that young lady.”

Ironically, Michigan’s social media director, Jordan Miller, resigned in December after it was discovered she lied on her resume about where she graduated from college. The university hired her at an annual salary of $100,000.

Brandon and Hoke both said the athletes involved in the Facebook hoax learned a valuable lesson in social media awareness.

“Be aware of it,” Hoke said. “Watch what your kids are doing.”


Comments Show All Comments

gumtape's picture

What were the inappropriate comments? That is what I want to know!

High and tight boo boo

buckeyedude's picture

I have a pretty good idea what was said, and I think you do too.
This is pretty sneaky on UM's part, but just goes to show you, there is NO PRIVACY anymore. Facebook is the worst. I have an account with them but am considering just closing it.



Toilrt Paper's picture

pretty sneaky......pretty Hokey

Run_Fido_Run's picture

Supposedly, one of the inappropriate comments was "there will be blood on the bed and it won't be mine!" Kyle Kalis had no comment.

Boxley's picture

What did the young lady look like is what I want to know. Pictures please!!!!
It is hard to believe this actually true, but I have seen it reported elsewhere today. Must be nice as well to get a 100K job, by lying on your resume. Ohhh the quality education one gets from TSUN.

"...the man who really counts in the world is the doer, not the mere critic-the man who actually does the work, even if roughly and imperfectly, not the man who only talks or writes about how it ought to be done." President T. Roosevelt


I guess this is a good lesson to learn, in a twisted dad-making-you-drink-a-case-of-beer-when-you-were-15-so-you-dont-become-a-teenage-alcoholic sort of way. Random hot women you don't know just don't pop up on Facebook and say hello and flirt. Not unless they're really King of Nigeria scammers, hookers, bill collectors, the IRS/CIA/FBI, your parents, your current girlfriend, Mante T'eo...or in this case Brady Hoke. :-O

"Sherman ran an option play right through the south" - Greatest Civil War analogy EVER.

slicksickle's picture

Really? You dont think out of all the people on campus, there arent going to be more than a few hotter than normal women throwing themselves at these football players?

BuckeyeLawyer's picture

I think Brandon should think before describing a young lady as "she was hot, now". That doesn't make him look so wise. Think it, yes. But don't use that description in the media when you are the AD at (can't write it).

prdoctor's picture

I think it was Hoke that said that, but... yeah!

Kyle Rowland's picture

Correct. It was Hoke, not Brandon. 

Earle's picture

In other words, she could have looked like a giant burrito.

Have you tried Not Your Father's Root Beer?  It tastes just like the real thing, but it packs a punch (5.9%ABV).  It's a little sweet for me though.  Two is my limit.

Run_Fido_Run's picture

Maybe, but not a veggie burrito. Now if the young lady was smothered in bacon, nacho cheese, sour cream, and Chicharrón, the Hoke would have said that she was smokin' hot!  

Kalamazoo Steve's picture

Why I love me some Fido.

osubuckeye4life's picture

You're in top form in this thread sir. Keep up the good work!

BuckeyeLawyer's picture

My mistake.  Still feel the same about the comment from the head coach at (still can't write it).

jthiel09's picture

This isn't a Catfish story, Catfishing is done where it's a picture of a hot woman who turns out to be a gay gentleman or a woman wanting to be someone else or roles reversed where it's the same scenario but with a picture of a guy.
Come on now Michigan at least do it right.


Elika's picture

she was hot, now; a very, very nice looking young lady

Ok, Brent Musburger.


How firm thy friendship... OH-I-O!

Sin City Buckeye's picture

This is the lady in question. By Michigan standards she is hot...

Is there a difference between Viper and Leo? "No, we just thought Viper sounded cooler."---Former Buckeye Coach Mike Vrabel


I just heard the theme music to Deliverance when I saw this :(

"Sherman ran an option play right through the south" - Greatest Civil War analogy EVER.

Buckeyevstheworld's picture

Thanks for ruining my day. :/

"YOLO" = I'm about to do something extremely ignorant/stupid & I need an excuse to do it.

USMC11917's picture

Dude, I was just about to swallow this chewed Subway sandwhich and then I looked at this picture. Thanks for choking me, I almost didn't get it down!! nice find btw.

cinserious's picture

more like caveman standards. (don't tell the Geico dude I said that)

One day I will valiantly become a political prisoner of 11W jail.

buckeyedude's picture

Bwaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa ha ha! I think we have a winner!
Actually, I think this is the starting right wing for the UM Hockey Club.



blueinsconsin's picture

she's not that bad...

Not here to troll...Go Blue

buckeyedude's picture

Ok. Maybe she's not that bad, but can she do this?



Dougger's picture

all this catfish talk just makes me want CATFISH BIFFS.
and jerk move by them.

I like football

AndyVance's picture

Easily the best pizza on campus. A-MAZ-ING.

Sin City Buckeye's picture

That place is still there? I remember it when I was in school in 83!!!!!

Is there a difference between Viper and Leo? "No, we just thought Viper sounded cooler."---Former Buckeye Coach Mike Vrabel

Dougger's picture

indeed! although i believe slices of pie are now at least 1.50... still totally worth it.

I like football

gwalther's picture

Bros - Catfish is definitely one of my favorites, but it always gets bonus points because we all ate it when we were smashed. There are other excellent pizza options on campus, including:
Flying Pizza (now called Slice of NY)

Class of 2008

AndyVance's picture

Adriaticos was indeed good stuff. I'm a sucker for Tommy's, of course, and will occasionally stop in for a slice or two if I'm in the campus area. Hounddog's was one that delivered at ungodly hours of the morning, so we used to order it when I worked the night desk my freshman year in the dorms.
Speaking of which, did anyone else order from Kings? The pizza wasn't great, as I recall, but if you wanted lasagna or Fettuccine at 3 a.m., there was no place better...

osubuckeye4life's picture

Trying to go to Adriaticos when you're not within walking distance is a pain. No parking :(

LouGroza's picture

I can only picture Brady Hoke with a long curly black wig on and red lipstick typing on his computer. Sorry to instill that mental pic in your brain, but yeah.

buckeyedude's picture

Don't forget stilettos and fishnet panty hose. Now there's a thought.



osubuckeye4life's picture

Come on guys I'm trying to eat here. Ugh!

d5k's picture

So not only do we not compensate athletes, we also have complete disregard for their right to privacy?

Nick's picture

Just like you can't expect privacy in public, you can't expect privacy when you post your life and personal details on the internet for everyone to see.

RedQueenRace's picture

I don't see this as an invasion of privacy.  Had they, say, made them turn in their laptops and searched them that would be a privacy issue.
Without claiming it is, I'd say this more along the lines of entrapment.

WriteMyWrong's picture

Imagine their surprise when this walked in:

Not that any of them would have said no...

Because I couldnt go for 3.

gwalther's picture

Pure excellence. Boondock Saints.

Class of 2008

buckeyedude's picture

Too skinny to be Hoke.



osubuckeye4life's picture

I see that and raise you:

Yes, that is Boyd Crowder (Walter Groggins) in drag. 

Red Shirt Ensign's picture

Are they not still on probation?  perhaps they broke some NCAA rules in this?  would be funny!

"Captain, over here, I've found someth... AHHHH!!!!!!"


ARMYBUCK's picture

I have no problem with Fishigan doing this as it pertains to this girl alone as a learning tool but to actually have them comb through everything that pertains to their social media lives is more than a bit inquisitive!
Edit:  I would have probably fallen into this trap too if this girl was as hot as they insinuate and I actually like the fact that Hoke isnt all PC about it.  The purpose was for her to look hot!  He just called a spade a spade and I can respect that!

BuckeyeBoyer85's picture

I wish I was in the room when Brandon introduced the woman. the faces would have been priceless.

Wayne Woodrow Hayes

harleymanjax's picture

I heard they all replied to her saying..........."please tell me you are from Ohio, I'm so tired of banging these ugly Michigan chicks"

"Because I couldn't go for 3"

M Man's picture

So hey what do you guys think about the ticket prices going up for your game with Wisconsin?

Red Shirt Ensign's picture

About the same as you did last year when Mitten University tickets were tiered for premiums.
Go sell crazy someplace else...

"Captain, over here, I've found someth... AHHHH!!!!!!"


gwalther's picture

Dude- upvote for your name. I must admit though, I'm #TeamPicard

Class of 2008

Kalamazoo Steve's picture

I can feel it. Only team that gives us a game besides Purdue.

Toilrt Paper's picture

It is not what we think. It is what the people buying the tickets think. I THINK they will all be gobbled up faster than you can sing the Budweiser song.

cinserious's picture

I take it this is the real?

One day I will valiantly become a political prisoner of 11W jail.

osubuckeye4life's picture

Hook, line, and sinker.