Using Social Media to Engage the Fanbase

This is a small drop in the bucket, but after lamenting the secrecy and lack of engagement from the VT football program I have to give some kudos to what is hopefully a growing trend in their social media engagement. Shortly after a thread where we discussed at length how frustrating the closed off feeling of the program was we have seen an uptick in "behind the scenes" type material. From "Mic'd Up" type videos being posted from some practices to this it seems they are making a move in the right direction.

It's a small step, but one that I think they need to continue. Building a strong and engaging social media brand would be beneficial for both engaging the current fanbase and future recruiting efforts. Hopefully, this is part of an overall plan to open up the program more. The closed door policy with the media remains the most frustrating aspect of the Fuente regime, but I am hoping this small trend is signaling a coming paradigm shift within the way the program is handled. It's way too early to call, but I did want to point out what I think is the start of a positive trend in engagement.

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Comments

Fuente account is definitely becoming much more active. Also, slightly on par with this is what Davon Morgan tweeted a day or two ago that echos a few things I've seen on boards about former players:

Another white bronco? The first one didn't go too far.

Yep, this is another part of the problem that needs to be addressed. It seems that Fuente has done a good job of embracing the guys who overlapped with his tenure and getting them back on campus (Stroman, Settle, Edmundi, Cam5, IF1, etc). I don't think this is an issue unique to VT. When you have a new coach come in, especially as an outsider to the program, it's always going to be a challenge to figure out how to connect to former players you quite literally do not know at all. Some programs are better than others about it, and I think it's an area where we in particular need to develop a solid plan and try to change that dynamic to a more positive one. We have a few former players on TKP who have made comments about this type of thing for sure.

That said, I can't really fault the VT Football account for making a specific post about Tyrod Taylor, who is a top 10 household name in VT football (top 3 for me as a 26 year old). It's not like other teams, like Clemson for example, don't make specific posts about some of their legends coming back like Deshaun Watson.

Yeah, I'm not sure how the social media account is supposed to shout out to EVERY ex-player that steps back in Blacksburg. Davon never took a snap in the NFL, and is upset about Tyrod getting a post?

To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
@BuryHokie #ThanksFrank

Guy was a captain on the 2010 team. Yea, i think they could @ him in a tweet.

Orrrr we can keep up stuff like that and then for some reason be astonished when only 5 guys show up when they try to honor an ACC championship team without sending out actual invites.

15 Straight

A. Send the invites.
B. The invites have nothing to do with social media.
C. Send invites and include in Social media to promote.
D. Guys could actually come back and enjoy Blacksburg and tweet out about it. Why be mad because someone else didn't do something for you...do it yourself. Why hasn't one of the previous players stepped up to coordinate trips back, or keep everyone in touch? Don't rely on crapping social media to do it, then get upset when it fails you like you expected it to do.

To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
@BuryHokie #ThanksFrank

Ok

15 Straight

To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
@BuryHokie #ThanksFrank

I don't look much like that picture, but I do strongly resemble the remark.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Who?

J/K, but if Morgan hasn't figured out yet that QBs are the some of the more known and recognized players, he is going to be disappointed for awhile about his personal recognition. Also unfortunate for him that the side of his head is pictured with the second most famous football Hokie of all time.

Whatever. It was one bad year.

Come to Blacksburg and see what the Hokie Pokie is really all about

That one's all on Pete

I just sit on my couch and b*tch. - HokieChemE2016

Step 1: Get rid of Pete Moris. He has tweeted about Paxton Lynch more than 90% of our other players. He finally cooled that shit.

I have no idea why my username is VT_Warthog.

Arkansas blew a 24-0 lead in the Belk Bowl.

Whats funnier is Coach Wiles liked Davon's tweet haha

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Shoot I don't think they even acknowledged his presence to the people who were in attendance, but I could have just missed it. I was sitting there wondering who the guy by Tyrod was and assuming they'd bring some attention to most of those guys.

VT Class of '12 (MSE), MVBone, Go Hokies!

im pretty close with davon, and i talked to him on the sideline before the game it was tough for him to even get a pass for the game. he was already upset with the way he was treated trying to get some access to the spring game. Hes never been treated with open arms in Blacksburg,, and you shouldn't have to be an elite player to be treated good and welcomed back. If we only do that wed have an empty sideline with just a few players. We should celebrate anyone who helped us win games. Heck i literally had to meet up with davon outside of lane when we played OHst and give him one of my extra tickets just so he could get in the game. IN THE GAME! not on the sideline. not anything like that just in the damn gate! its ridiculous how they treat ex players not named tryod, vick, hall, Edmunds, and a few others.

edit: and i forgot to mention this. but for the spring game i was sitting about 6 rows up in the roped off area for recruits between the 40-50 yrd line and JC coleman was sitting 2 rows in front of me. not by choice. he tried to enter the field and security would not let him on, Terrell Edmunds came over and gave him his all access pass about 3/4th through the scrimmage when JC finally got his attention and then he was able to get on the field. i was in SHOCK. i was literally upset for JC.

VT HAS TO DO BETTER IN THIS DEPARTEMENT. there is NO SUGAR COATING IT.

twitter @smithey_daniel
head scout BSP scouting specializing in north florida/ southern GA highschool football scouting

Yes, ex players should be treated better. But Twitter shade? Do something about it instead of complaining where the people that can make a difference will never see it. The higher ups in the Athletic Dept don't use Twitter. It falls on deaf ears, or blind eyes in this case. Step up.

As far as the sideline pass for the game against anOSU, I know the rules have changed with the ACC quite a bit. I knew someone that had very liberal access during the Big East days, but when we switched he couldn't even get close, yet along anyone else. Talk to the Athletic Dept. Communicate with them.

To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
@BuryHokie #ThanksFrank

i agree twitter isn't the place for it. but seems to me that these guys are having a hard time getting heard regardless of where they are speaking. tweet, speak, complain, whatever, deaf ears still aren't hearing. i don't want to get into whether what he did was right or wrong i was just expressing some of his feelings so you guys could understand a little better what ex players are dealing with.

twitter @smithey_daniel
head scout BSP scouting specializing in north florida/ southern GA highschool football scouting

Understand. And agree.
Just seems to be a theme on here...tweet out, wait, get frustrated, throw shade. It's the definition of insanity. I have no idea what other avenues they've taken, but these definitely aren't working. And continuing to do them won't change a thing except give twitter fodder for others. If the situation is truly to change, a different tack is needed.

And wanted to point out the frustration about the sidelines may actually be out the hands of VT athletic department. If that is the case, it should be explained...not just replied with a "No" or even worse, silence.

To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
@BuryHokie #ThanksFrank

But twitter is so easy and so immediate, and anyone can use it to say anything they please so it must be a good thing and we all should be paying attention to it, right?

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

I get ya'll don't like it...I'm with ya...but it's a fool's errand to write it off as unimportant, and not mattering to a bunch of kids.

But, to that end, it's not the proper channel to use to affect things with the Monogram club. Do you think someone who graduated in 1966 is paying attention to Twitter? That's the entire point. If things are to change, a different approach is needed instead of complaining on Twitter.

To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
@BuryHokie #ThanksFrank

Agreed. We just can't blanket discount social media and what happens there, because it absolutely affects perception.

To be fair, Twitter has turned into a whiner's paradise. It is what it is. So if some former players want to be salty, they will be no matter. Doing it on twitter, well, I just take that as they don't truly want change...or are expecting to be treated special with free tickets, just because. I shrug that off and move on.

To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
@BuryHokie #ThanksFrank

Slacktivism at its finest.

I dunno, we've been hearing about this long enough that it doesn't look like Slacktivism to me. It looks like alumni are having a very difficult time getting anyone internally to care about these issues, so they're going to the only outlet they can where they know people will listen.

King Alum of the House Hokie, the First of His Name, Khal of the Turkey Legs, The rightful Heir to the Big Board, the Unbanned, Breaker of Trolls and Father of Gritty

My comment was in regard to Twitter whiners being Slacktivists in general. Not specific to this issue.

You're right. The fact that alumni can't have someone or somewhere to connect and get some consideration is a big miss. Of course you can't have every returning player on the sidelines or in 50 yard line seats, but there should be some way to gather and celebrate their contributions to Hokiedom. We have some work to do.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

I hate reading things like this because I feel like this is so preventable. Davon Morgan was a multi-year starter and important member of teams that won ACC championships, bowl games, etc. He should easily be able to shoot someone a text or pick up a phone to have tickets waiting for him at the gate. Even if he wasn't an important player, he should be able to come check out the facilities and attend games with little to no issue.

edit: Your story about JCC... That is infuriating.

agree 100% about the sideline passes for big games. but atleast get the guy a ticket. up in a suite, good seats something. my season tickets weren't bad but about 30 yard line on the home side maybe 50, 60 rows up i don't remember the exact row but i could have easily sold the extra ticket for 200 bucks instead of having to donate it a former player who should already be in the stands at a minimum.

twitter @smithey_daniel
head scout BSP scouting specializing in north florida/ southern GA highschool football scouting

Players had to find their own tickets when they invited them back to be honored at the Miami game so good luck with that

15 Straight

I think ya'll are right and former players should absolutely be treated better. I guess my question would be though, what's your cutoff for things like this? If every single former player could get free tickets to any game then that could literally be hundreds of tickets, every single game, given out for free, and not available to the public. If all former players for the past 15 years decided they wanted to go to the OSU game, that's a LOT of seats. Would you just do like one or two games of choice per season and then events like the spring game? I really don't know, but curious your thoughts.

Set aside 50 seats a game...or whatever number you have. Limit 4 per former player. First come, first serve.

I know where I sit, its next to a former player who bought his own season tickets.

Edit: Why just 15 years?

To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
@BuryHokie #ThanksFrank

Just picked a number of years

i think more of a "hey this suite is for former players" as many as you can get in. you are all welcome. if you don't want to sit in here or want to go another route to see the game then you are kind of on your own this is what we are offering. im not familiar with the names of all the suites but there is a pretty large one in the south endzone that the Edmunds brothers host an event after the spring game for former players to attend and it seems like itd be a great spot for that, it gives players to feel like they are getting VIP treatment with out really having to do a lot. not sure what we would "lose" in cost but id be hopeful that former players would make up for it in donations.

twitter @smithey_daniel
head scout BSP scouting specializing in north florida/ southern GA highschool football scouting

Well then, maybe you answered the question. Former players get together, buy a suite for the season, and invite all former players to it. No involvement from the Athletic Dept at all. Done.

To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
@BuryHokie #ThanksFrank

that's an easy solution, but how many former players are season ticket holders? most are lucky if they get to 1 game a year and with a home schedule like this year you def wont have a package suite every year. i don't know. honestly theres no "easy solution" because of course everyone wants to come to Clemson, ND, OHst etc but no one is coming to w&m and liberty.

twitter @smithey_daniel
head scout BSP scouting specializing in north florida/ southern GA highschool football scouting

With the suite would come some season tickets...worked into the "program."...beyond the suite itself. There are some guys we have in the NFL that could handle that cost, and hand them out. You get into the game and the suite with the ticket. There's an occupation limit, so you couldn't cram 150 people in, so do the first come-first serve deal for the suite (and game ticket.)

To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
@BuryHokie #ThanksFrank

haha you clearly don't think former players should be taken care of in regards to tickets and thats fine. But, if you don't think this effects recruiting then you don't get it. Other schools have suites and tickets reserved for players and if you don't think that "look how we take care of you after you've played here" isn't a solid recruiting sales pitch then you're missing the picture.

Edit: Check the likes on Davon's tweet. Lamareon James 2020 DB from Virginia heading to UNC.

15 Straight

not only this but recruits like to see and speak to former players, i cant think of any negatives of having a former player come back that wants to come back whether its the jack clicks or the tyrod taylors they all have a unique and story to tell and can all relate to recruits in different ways and all had different experiences in Blacksburg and are still part of the hokie family tradition that we sell so hard.

twitter @smithey_daniel
head scout BSP scouting specializing in north florida/ southern GA highschool football scouting

Man, I feel like a lot of you are mad just to be mad.
Ask the Athletic Department if they built the suite and improvements with the thought in mind that one would be set aside for former players. (Factored into the revenue projections.)
I get that players want to come back. But they need to take steps themselves as well. Not everyone who walked thru the tunnel should be on the sidelines for any game they want. (And as I said earlier, it's probably limited by the ACC anyway.)

And you think that is the end-all be-all of recruiting? How does how the suite is paid for affect an 18 year old kid? I mean would he rather think that he could be sitting with Duane Brown and Kam Chancellor or in a sterile suite the AD set aside for them. Does it matter? A suite is a suite. "Oh look...it might be paid for with someone else's funds."

To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
@BuryHokie #ThanksFrank

If you were a former player you'd probably also be frustrated. So don't really know if I'm mad just to be mad... Also yes, sideline access for everyone is impossible, thats why i've never brought it up.

I also never said its the end-all be-all, but if you really don't think there would be a difference in saying "hey after your carerer here, these are the seats we have set aside especially for yall to connect with former teammates and enjoy the game" and "hey this is a suite kam and duane bought, hope you can get in touch with them and get in" then this conversation is pointless.

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comment to your edit: a lot of people may think oh davon is just a former contributor that didn't play in the NFL he doesn't have that big of an influence, one of the reasons davon was in town for the spring game was to speak with the coaching staff about an open position for a QC/ support staff role or something to that effect. (his tweet obviously doesn't help him and some people will never get that social media can really effect you good and bad) but he also runs a program in Richmond called...
wizard fundamentals

that's produced a TON of talent that could be pipelined to us.
marcus burley seatle seahawks
antone exum works out there
Maurice candy Baltimore ravens
(UVA)
bryan braman LB philadelpia eagles
recent NCST commit joseph Johnson the 3rd
greg dorch WF WR

and a TON of other talent playing all over the NCAA.

twitter @smithey_daniel
head scout BSP scouting specializing in north florida/ southern GA highschool football scouting

I think this is a pretty good idea. I definitely feel like they've earned SOMETHING, but understand it could get logistically difficult really quickly, given the sheer number of former players.

Im curious how many former players are in attendance, as a fan, like everybody else.

"with all due respect, and remember I’m sayin’ it with all due respect, that idea ain’t worth a velvet painting of a whale and a dolphin gettin’ it on" - Ricky Bobby

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

Honestly I'd bet it's more than you think. I sat next to Luther Maddy in Section 17 for a game last year. Really cool guy.

Huh, a former player with season tickets? And uses his twitter account to promote Virginia Tech and the football program.

To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
@BuryHokie #ThanksFrank

Or Luther just bought tickets for a single game on stubhub. Crazy right?

15 Straight

Maybe he planned ahead and order single game tickets from the Athletic Department like some people as well.

Either way, he didn't go to Twitter to sulk. He showed up in Blacksburg and enjoyed the game.

To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
@BuryHokie #ThanksFrank

If you think the tickets former athletes get through the athletic department are in section 17, then you're kindly mistaken.

15 Straight

Ordered, paid for, thru Hokie tickets when single game tickets are available.....not free ones.

To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
@BuryHokie #ThanksFrank

There are no free ones. They're all face value. That's the point. All former athletes go through the monogram club to order single game tickets. That's for all sports and they are not in section 17.

15 Straight

Um, they aren't REQUIRED to go thru Monogram club........

To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
@BuryHokie #ThanksFrank

Ok so Luther Maddy probably ordered single game tickets either directly through Virginia Tech or off stub hub but is not a season ticket holder. Glad we've covered the many ways former players can pay for a ticket just like everyone else.

15 Straight

CJ Reavis was on the field. Not that I don't think he belongs there, but if a guy who was only at Tech one season has an easier time getting on the field than JC Coleman (and I'm assuming Davon Morgan), I seriously wonder how this process works.

Marshall University student.
Virginia Tech fanatic.

Maybe CJ took the proper channel to get onto the field.
You are assuming that everything is equal, and these former players have been completely ignored and turned against not getting access to anything. In fact, it sounds more like they've expected to be contacted with opportunities and invites versus reaching out themselves.

To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
@BuryHokie #ThanksFrank

Honestly, I would bet a big part of that would be his connections with the 2060 guys like Stro and Ricky

Honestly, I would bet a big part of that would be his connections with the 2060 guys like Stro and Ricky

I don't think the 2060 guys parents have been born yet.

Suite 2060

Well that make more sense.

The cruel part of this is that looked like the morning meeting which is probably something like 6 AM

Whatever. It was one bad year.

Come to Blacksburg and see what the Hokie Pokie is really all about

Fuente starting to be more active and engaged on a social media platform is a good step forward. Even if it's cheesy stuff and coach speak.

Dabo is an absolute goof doofus anytime he's in front of a camera/mic and I promise you the people around here could not eat it up anymore. I don't want him to be Dabo by any means, but I'm okay with him being cheesy.

Shortly after a thread where we discussed at length how frustrating the closed off feeling of the program was

So, is it Fuente or Whit that reads TKP?

Now finish up them taters; I'm gonna go fondle my sweaters.

Someone on Whit's staff, and someone used to on Hokie a club Staff but I think they got poached.

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

Idea to marry the social media engagement and former player involvement:

Do a series of interviews with former players, from all levels of stardom, involvement, and importance to the team. Ask them to give their favorite stories about life in Blacksburg, behind the scenes team moments, and something as simple as what being a Hokie means to them. Then off screen let it double as an opportunity to ask them how better to engage the rest of the former players. We would get lots of cool interviews to sift through, particularly in the offseason, and it would be doubling as a way to figure out what will make former players feel more a part of the program they once gave 4-5 years of blood, sweat, and tears to.

The players deserve some of the praise for this. Part of what Fuente took away from the team meeting was that he needed to be more accessible to both the players and the fans. Zach Lantz making a big difference too

So few questions/points. There was a monogram meeting and cookout right after or before the game. Did these players attend and who has stepped up to be the outreach person?

Giving any player who asks for game tickets to a sellout game isn't good business practice. Giving players tickets to other games during the season should be the norm.

I'm not sure what the issue with Rhino letting former players on the field is but last year when I was on the sideline they were letting any former player that wanted to come down to come down.

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

For the spring game, let former players down on the field for some span of time (I would have said split it up by quarters, but all the new formats throw a wrench in that plan) so that things don't get too crowded and have an area in on the practice field for them to congregate if they don't want mingle or catch up. Obviously the stands are open.

For game tickets and field access, have them be first come first serve based on Hokie Club points. Players get a bonus of HC points and can earn points the same way as the rest of us Hokies. Limit the players to 4 tickets per year through this route. If it was 100 tickets a game and 7 games per year (that's avg right?) there would be a minimum of 175 former players getting 4 free tickets to games each year. Not a lot, but not insignificant. Add 20 field passes at a limit of 2 per player to this as well, which increases to a minimum to 245 players per year. Otherwise provide the monogram club some tailgaiting space where former athletes can BYO and catch up if they have tickets.

Whatever. It was one bad year.

Come to Blacksburg and see what the Hokie Pokie is really all about

Of all the things Fuente and staff should be focused on, I wouldn't expect former player engagement to be high on the list. 9+ wins makes this problem go away.

It takes pressure off Fuente, sure, but that doesn't "make this problem go away." If former players feel they are not being treated well that will be a going concern.

Well, since we've taken a thread about something positive we've done and turned it into a negative overall piece, the Monogram Club only has 2 employees, according to the site.
http://monogram.hokiesports.com/about/
I don't know the guy, but I can't imagine the class of '66 football guy really relates with the modern day alumni athletes.

Sounds like a need for more staff to engage at all levels and age ranges.

They don't have any employees as far as I've seen. It's all volunteers, which means people have to step up. Last year for their meeting they had a total of 80 people, that's letter winners AND their guests. This like every organization requires people to buy into the missions AND support them with time, money and effort.

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

Its unbelievably stupid to have 60 year old volunteers running the primary source of Athletic Alumni Outreach for a school the size of Virginia Tech. This should have been taken over by an energized, engaged, full time staffer a long ass time ago. Its long past time for that to happen, even if that means diverting funds from elsewhere to do it.

King Alum of the House Hokie, the First of His Name, Khal of the Turkey Legs, The rightful Heir to the Big Board, the Unbanned, Breaker of Trolls and Father of Gritty

Oh well because 2 employees failed, we should just stop trying altogether

We had 32 football head coaches before Frank Beamer made Virginia Tech a nationally relevant program. But you're right, we can totally tell alumni outreach is a failed prospect after 2 bad hires.

King Alum of the House Hokie, the First of His Name, Khal of the Turkey Legs, The rightful Heir to the Big Board, the Unbanned, Breaker of Trolls and Father of Gritty

we should just stop trying altogether

That's not the point HF was making. That Club and those positions were created for the purpose to solve the issues that are the main complaint(s) of this thread and former football players. Nobody is giving up all together. It needs to be supported by the people it's supporting as well.

To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
@BuryHokie #ThanksFrank

Maybe the role isn't suited for a former player, but someone with experience and skilled directly in public outreach and social media engagement? I understand the sentiment of maybe wanting a former athlete in that role, but if they are ineffective at it, it isn't solving the problem.

Did you even look at the link? Two Athletic Department staff members are listed .. gotta scroll down past the Club Officers and Sports Representatives.

Ms. Adair = Monogram Club, Program Coordinator
Mr. Esquivel = Monogram Club, Assistant

Adair also handles the duties of the Hokie Club Annual Giving Coordinator, so maybe Whit needs to create another full time position instead of having one person split two important jobs.

What has Fuente done to indicate he doesn't treat former players well? Are we talking about a tweet where the other former player wasn't recognized by name?

This has been an issue for awhile. It's not one player tweeting once. We have had multiple former players lodge complaints and we have former players who are TKPers who have said the same things.

For the record, the Collegiate Times letter to the editor by Derek Smith that really spurred awareness of this issue was written before Justin Fuente even coached his first game at Virginia Tech. A few excerpts from the article:

The hope was that a new era of administration for Hokie football would allow us to finally be involved.

In 2008, I was honored at the Duke game with the NFL flashback segment. However, before the game I was denied access to our facilities to show my family my name and associated accolades

At least some players have viewed this as an issue spanning well back in to Beamer's tenure. I'm not saying Fuente can't or shouldn't be part of the solution, but any notion of it being a Fuente issue doesn't strike me as particularly accurate.

Joffrey, Cersei, Ilyn Payne, the Hound, Jeff Jagodzinski, Paul Johnson, Pat Narduzzi.

So what has or hasn't Fuente done? And how many are multiple? In my experience, it is nearly impossible to please 100% of a group of people. We had a good turn out of players at the spring game. Let's celebrate the good turnout of former players at the spring game.

Something I remember that used to be done at the Spring Game in the Beamer years but has since ended was during halftime, all the former players in attendance would line up on the field and individually be called out and recognized. I don't know what happened to that. Past few spring games I've been to they have maybe a few half time interviews with the Tyrods, Kams, etc, and then randomly pan the camera around to former players they can find sitting in the crowd with no formal recognition. I distinctly remember at the 2016 spring game the camera panned over to Darryl Tapp siting in the stands with no recognition and the crowd didn't react at all.

Wouldn't be hard to do and would be a very nice gesture. I understand it's hard to fully accommodate everyone all the time, but there is definitely room for improvement here and I don't get what the hold up is really. I don't doubt that Fuente is trying harder to engage fans and former players, but I think he's just a naturally introverted guy, and it will take some time for him to build those relationships. Someone personality-wise like a Dabo, for instance, just has that golly shucks doofus outgoing personality and can easily draw people in.

I have some thoughts here (shocking, I know)

We need to take care of our former players. We desperately need to take care of them better than we currently do. Its pretty pathetic to hear stories about how key contributors and Captains of championship caliber teams have to basically beg and pull strings to get access to the games, let alone the program in general. We're a tech school, and quite frankly its unacceptable that we haven't been able to develop an online platform and database with the sole purpose of recognizing and taking care of athletic alumni, especially when it comes to allowing them access to the sport where they gave years of their life to this school. That should be the easy part, and we're failing at even that. Yes, we should have at least one suite set aside for former players who can make it back for a game where the players can sign up to attend and get a ticket. Yes, we should have the maximum number of allowed sideline passes set aside for former players every game where all they need to do is sign up to get access, with a large emphasis on getting young alumni back to be recognized. This should be the easy stuff.

And secondly, the social media account needs to do better in recognizing all our football alumni, and not just the big names. This is our opportunity to continue the 'Family' aspect of VT sports, and we just fail. Really, if you follow our official accounts, you'd be under the impression that our only alumni who matter are Tyrod, Kam, the the Edmundi. We should be sending "its always great to have _______" tweets out there for every alumni who is able to make it back into town. We need to expect more than the bare bones minimum on alumni outreach via our social media accounts. A lot more.

And this matters. Our football alumni are going to be our biggest spokespeople to recruits throughout the year. A coach will absolutely put out the best pitch we can make, but any good recruit is going to do his homework and ask around to any alumni he can find about their experience during and after playing for VT. You want those players to be happy enough to rave about their awesome experience here because it will make us look better and make us more appealing to recruits. Judging from A LOT of the reaction I see from these alumni, I'm not sure that's going on right now.

Videos like this are nice and fun, but its really just the tip of the iceberg in regards to fixing the problems we have. And don't give me any 'we need more $$$', this should be one of the absolute top priorities of the Athletic Department right now.

King Alum of the House Hokie, the First of His Name, Khal of the Turkey Legs, The rightful Heir to the Big Board, the Unbanned, Breaker of Trolls and Father of Gritty

I agree with all of that.

Videos like this are nice and fun, but its really just the tip of the iceberg in regards to fixing the problems we have. And don't give me any 'we need more $$$', this should be one of the absolute top priorities of the Athletic Department right now.

Yep, that was my point in posting this topic in the first place. Give some kudos for taking a step in the right direction, but it is far from completing the goal. There is still much work to be done to get this football program to the holistic level of fan engagement, former player engagement, and media engagement it needs to be at.

15 Straight

couldn't agree more.

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Would a self organized and active group of former players be more likely to get noticed and "adopted" by the university rather than the university having to build it themselves?

Not that the players should have to do this. It's VT's responsibility, but since they are not doing it and players are complaining ... just wondering.

Proud author of one plaid comment.

That's what the monogram club is and few have stepped up.

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

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I'm thinking about football players specifically. No reason that the monogram club shouldn't be part of the solution though I'm sure.

Proud author of one plaid comment.

Can it? Maybe

Should it? Hell no

You don't want to rely on a grassroots effort for alumni to feel wanted by the school they dedicated years of their life to. The school should be on top of this and going out of its way to make them feel wanted and important. They shouldn't have to beg for inclusion.

King Alum of the House Hokie, the First of His Name, Khal of the Turkey Legs, The rightful Heir to the Big Board, the Unbanned, Breaker of Trolls and Father of Gritty

I agree. It is the schools job. Which is why I made sure to include that in my comment.

But I'm thinking less of a group that begs to be included and more of a group (of football players specifically) that is independently enthusiastic, engaged, and semi-organized/easy to communicate with. This would at the very least be something the admins might notice and, at best, be something they couldn't ignore.

Multiple individuals complaining on Twitter dont seem to move the needle. I remember a letter signed by a number of former players voicing their dissatisfaction. Was there a meaningful response to that?

The alumni shouldn't t have to do this, but if a few people put in a little extra effort something great might come from it.

I don't mean to tell former players their business though. In my veiw the athletic dept is squandering a great resource. At the end of the day I'm for whatever solves the problem and makes former players feel like they belong here for life after their eligibility runs out.

Proud author of one plaid comment.

People here acting like tagging a former player in a tweet that has a picture of them is hard... Twitter isn't hard folks. Sure it's a little thing, but it's a ridiculously easy thing.

#thingsiblamethemvsfor

Well to be fair I dont know what most of our football players look like, I see them mainly with helmets on. But I'm not working in our athletic department.

Yep there are not a ton of them that I would immediately recognize if I saw them in casual clothes in the stands or on the sidelines.

Same. But, if it was my job that I get paid for to recognize and reach out to them...

Proud author of one plaid comment.

Is that his job?

Serious question....
How many other big program FB twitter accounts post EVERYONE that played there when they come back to campus? Is it ALL players, or just the NFL stars?

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The torch; be yours to hold it high.
@BuryHokie #ThanksFrank

I would think that its part of the job to know as many as possible of the former players returning to campus for a big event, and certainly more of them than the average fan might recognize without a helmet on.

Proud author of one plaid comment.

Is that his job?

If it isn't, it should be

How many other big program FB twitter accounts post EVERYONE that played there when they come back to campus? Is it ALL players, or just the NFL stars?

We should be expecting more than the absolute bare minimum out of our social media presence, let alone alumni outreach. Your message right now is basically, if you didn't make the NFL, you're dead to VT the second you take off your pads for the last time, and.... yeah, no. (I know, massive generalization, but when you ignore alumni to that extent, its how it plays out) We need to do better in this department, we need to ensure we are taking care of all our athletic alumni when they come back. Especially if they were a solid contributor like Davon Morgan.

To hear stories that we tried to honor an ACC Championship team without actually inviting anyone back to campus or ensuring those players would be given tickets to attend is... Pathetic. To hear stories of former senior captains of recent championship teams having to beg just to get a ticket to a high profile home game is... Pathetic. To hear alumni frustrated that they're basically ignored the second they leave Tech is.... Pathetic.

And this has been going on a while. Its a Virginia Tech problem. Its a problem that should be top of the priority list to solve, and quite frankly its downright unacceptable that we're an Engineering school with an excellent Computer Science department in 2019 and still haven't been able to figure it out.

King Alum of the House Hokie, the First of His Name, Khal of the Turkey Legs, The rightful Heir to the Big Board, the Unbanned, Breaker of Trolls and Father of Gritty

My point is...are we just like every other school's alumni relations? Or are we the black sheep? I bet we are more like everyone else than what is thought. This isn't an issue just for us.

And Computer Science is not going to solve a Social Media issue. I would say that that might actually be more of a problem than it is a help. Social being the key word...

To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
@BuryHokie #ThanksFrank

Do you want to play golf at the same level as everyone else or do you want to be better?

If it is a problem for everyone else, not just VT, then this would be a golden opportunity to out shine our peers.

"Sooner or later, if man is ever to be worthy of his destiny, we must fill our heart with tolerance."
-Stan Lee

"Never half-ass two things. Whole-ass one thing."
-Ron Swanson

"11-0, bro"
-Hunter Carpenter (probably)

We all want to be better. But sometimes that lives in a vacuum and a bubble. Maybe we aren't as unique as everyone wants us to be. And if you do want to get better, whining on Twitter isn't fixing anything. It needs to be done from within. And with involvement. Expecting something just because is setting someone up for failure.

Also, it seems that several former players find their way into games every week. Heck, over 60k people find their way into Lane every game. A handful that are expectant of something complaining on twitter doesn't necessarily mean the system is completely broken. Can the outreach be better? Yep. Maybe a former player or three should step up. Maybe someone who's retired from the NFL could do it? Who knows football and VT and has other connections more than someone like that?

My point is wanting something and working for it are completely different. Do you think Dustin or Rory just sits and winning on Tour? No, they do work. You know who whines on tour? Patrick Reed. Baseball seats, etc. He's the outlier. Doesn't mean the system is broken.........

To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
@BuryHokie #ThanksFrank

I mean Tech does a lot of stupid shit when it comes to computers, websites etc. hell numerous times our own website uses the wrong teams logo when posting active or post game scores. Pr that awful new academic logo,( which side note has caused a massive spike in people stealing signs around campus with the old logo, slogan and pylons).

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

The all whites with matte white helmet have me like:

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Go Hokies!

His 2nd instagram post ever. He has 2 more posts than me....

Danny is always open
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