The Justyn Ross weekend Twitter transfer tumult died an inglorious death this morning.
Slow day I see, I’m not transferring— Justyn Ross (@_jross8) May 10, 2021
This “rumor” or “fever dream” started the way most rumors in 2021 start...someone said something stupid on Twitter and everyone got excited.
My man with his ear to the Twitter streets, Mr. Cleve, has followed this “breaking story” over the last few days. He provided me with a brief timeline.
Lies, rumors, and innuendo thrive on social media, but guys, seriously, if you’re going to
lie, fabricate a story based on 3rd-hand “sources” at least make it believable. At the same time, there isn’t any real downside to lying wildly speculating, because there isn’t any accountability. If you start a thousand lies rumors and 1 happens to pan out, you’re considered a reliable internet source.
“Yeah, they got the Ross thing wrong, but remember that one time that said that a wide receiver might transfer in the off-season and then a wide receiver transferred? I’m thinking Ross was going to transfer but Dabo dropped a bag on him. This guy has legit sources!”
It is wild how rumors burn through sports Twitter, though. A quick search of Justyn Ross pulls up the following tweets.
There is a lot of speculation going on that star Clemson WR Justyn Ross may enter the transfer portal. #Alabama and #Auburn were the 2 other schools that were heavily involved in his recruitment back in high school.— Recruitology (@Recruitology1) May 10, 2021
All jokes aside...— Chris Marler (@VerneFUNquist) May 10, 2021
If I’m Justyn Ross I’m going to one place and one place only to spend a year under a coach/in an offense that gets me the most exposure before the NFL Draft.
Oxford, Mississippi. #ComeToTheSip
wait wait wait— Free Agent Liam (@Blutman27) May 10, 2021
Justyn Ross hitting the portal ??
He’s free of Dabos Dictatorship !?
He’ll be playing football elsewhere and hopefully be super healthy
There are thousands of tweets from personal accounts (I limited my examples to supposed “college football sites” or people who write for those sites).
Most of those tweets take “RUMOR - Twitter is saying Justyn Ross is transferring” and read it “Justyn Ross is transferring.”
Since people have no damn common sense and missed my Sophomore English class where I taught high school students how to recognize B.S. on the internet (granted, with mixed success), actual journalists had to spend their Monday reporting on a Twitter rumor.
Clemson WR Justyn Ross shoots down transfer rumors https://t.co/5BKanRmlCp— NBC Sports EDGE College Football (@NBCSEdgeCFB) May 10, 2021
Former Central-Phenix City standout and Clemson wide receiver Justyn Ross announced Monday that he is not transferring from Clemson after rumors indicated he would be leaving. https://t.co/nBK5rtlwjz— OA News Preps (@oanewspreps) May 10, 2021
This is the “New Normal”
Buckle up, because this is the new normal in college football. Everyone is a free agent, and that’s fine, but this is part of the downside. So far this off-season, Xavier Thomas was headed to South Carolina, and Justyn Ross was headed to Auburn (or Bama). There isn’t a downside or penalty to transferring. Something that gets laughed off a few seasons ago seems like it’s possible.
In the past, transfers were generally younger guys who hadn’t carved out a spot on the roster yet. Now a transfer can literally be any player on the roster. Of course, wild Internet speculation means nothing, and “WarEagle4life123” tweeting something doesn’t make it true, but it’s going to get annoying.
D.J. has an off day and only throws for 300 yards and 3 touchdowns and Clemson wins by a meager 21 points?
“I’m hearing from D.J.’s former dentist’s cousin that he doesn’t like Clemson’s offense and is heading back home to USC.”
Will Shipley fails to log 25 carries a game his freshman year?
“I heard from his cousin’s niece that Will is frustrated and is going to transfer back home to UNC.”
These rumors will be run through the lobotomized version of the telephone game that is social media and they will morph into...
“D.J. is transferring from Clemson. Here is the edit I made for him in his new USC gear.”
“Shipley is transferring from Clemson. I hear he’s got the goods on Dabo and is going to bring the entire program down.”
Hell, Dabo may want to get ahead of this train wreck, find an intern, and assign him/her the job of full-time rumor squasher. Maybe Clemson should go all the way and hire a “minister of misinformation” who gets paid to start transfer rumors about players they might be interested in signing in the portal. This may seem like a stretch, but you know a few head coaches have already considered this if it popped into my head on a Monday afternoon.
Welcome to the brave new world of college football. Keep all hands inside your college football vehicle and for the love of all that is Holy, don’t believe anything you read on social media.
I’ll leave you with some fine work from our rumor squasher.