Social media hurts Tennessee coaching search, experts say

Published: Dec. 1, 2017 at 12:23 AM EST
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Experts called it an unprecedented coaching search. Many candidates didn't want to get involved with drama, which spiraled out of control with help from social media.

"You can't open up social media without someone bashing where I go to school," Benji Ballin, a UT student, said.

He was disappointed in Tennessee's season and the exhaustive coaching search.

"The fans are up in arms, it's a mess," he said.

The search was sometimes magnified by social media posts that went viral.

"Yeah I'm tired of it," Ballin said. "But at the same time it's entertaining."

Marketing experts believe the social spin gave Tennessee a negative name on the national stage.

"A lot of speculation; a lot of rumor," Chuck Morris, with Morris Creative Services, said.

It could even have turned coaches away from the job.

"Whether they just don't want to get into the mess, or they just see it as a whole bunch of drama they don't want to be a part of it," Morris said.

A classified search meant officials were not controlling the message being spread.

Morris said this free exposure hurt more than helped, with a fan base getting impatient.