I am writing to inform you that Iím canceling my subscription to the Rivals site. This was a hard decision because I was really excited about the move to Rivals and the possibilities that might come from an expanded fan and recruiting site. I tried to give it time and provide input, but I can no longer pay for something that I think has more negatives than positives for Creighton. I canít support a ďmediaĒ member the claims to represent Creighton fans but goes out of his way to publically engage in petty fights with other Jays fans, opposing fans (sometimes on their own message boards), and other media members such as the Omaha World Herald and the Des Moines Register. I find it impossible to continue to support a person that conducts business in that way as a representative of my school. Frankly it is kind of embarrassing that anyone would think that Matt is a representative of CU or its fans.
Matt has the right to pursue his radio career in any way he sees fit, but I think he is a poor reflection on the university as the co-owner of this website. The fact that he contacts other coaches, media member, and recruits for stories and then turns around and gossips or freaks out on message boards, Twitter, ect is really hard to stomach. In my mind you lose any credibility when you try to do all of that together. You canít be a legitimate media source, a wildly speculative fan, and a immature, ego driven, hypercompetitive sportstalk radio guy. Those roles donít jive to me. Perhaps Iím just not up for the new ďmediaĒ or maybe, it just bothers me now since Matt is representing Creighton and Creighton fans, instead of just himself on the radio.
Just so you know, I didnít start out with a grudge against Matt. I wrote a supportive email to the 590 brass when the Big Show was taken off the air and I tried to post positive things in the early days of the Rivals site as people were adjusting to the changes. Iím normally a pretty easy going guy but Iíve come to the conclusion that Matt is just being himself and that isnít going to change.
I did appreciate the articles and the radio interviews. I know a lot of effort was put into the site. No one can question Mattís work ethic to put up content. I had high hopes that we would get the extra media coverage that Matt provided on 590, the laid back message boards of Freddy, and some increased recruiting info. We have gotten a lot of that, but we have also gotten a lot of other crap that has overshadowed the good for me. In general I guess it comes down to ethics. I donít feel Matt has the professional ethics and discretion to represent Creighton fans. Let me give a few more specific examples.
1.) The handling of the White and Blue Review guys, and to a lesser extent the other poster/blogger from Bradley and the dealings with tropicalshox, the WSU recruiting fan. I realize this is a business and you need to worry about copyright and mouse clicks and the like. But you came out of the gate in a ridiculously harsh manner publically going after people on the message board. Maybe this was by design, but it is kind of ludicrous that you would attack or accuse other Jay bloggers of stealing from you less than a month in. Several of the guys on that website were good posters and good Jays fans that have been around longer than you have known about Creighton. If you had business issues to discuss that should not have been done in public and I would have hoped that you might have actually not automatically assumed they were going to steal from you. The target audience for any Bluejay fansite isnít that big of a groupÖ..to go after some of the more active guys on the web was a mistake and it was uncalled for to treat them as some type of criminals. The Bradley guy was annoying and maybe he should have been banned, but the manner in which it was done was a turn off. The tweet fight with tropicalshox was just pathetic. You again immediately claimed the guy was stealing information. I donít know why you wouldnít want to privately talk to the guy and understand the situation first. Hell, he might have been a good contact to cover more MVC recruiting and get more subscribers. As the only MVC site I think you missed out on a huge opportunity to cover recruiting for other Valley schools on Rivals.
2.) Matt you have wildly fluctuating standards and attitudes for what is appropriate. One minute you come on the message boards and start talking about all these juicy rumors and information that you canít talk about. I donítí know if that is ďteasingĒ the readers to keep them coming back or what but it came off as you just attempting to show off at how connected you are. Then at other times you are outright disseminating, encouraging, or promoting other pieces of gossip, even information that could be harmful to a player, coach, or to the program. The PíAllen chat is an example of this. Then in what seems an absurdly hypocritical joke, you alternate to positions that attempt to reign in or denigrate others who post information or gossip. You dismiss anything they say without knowing who their source is or what possible legitimacy there is.
3.) Sometimes it seems like you are in a race to be the first ďmediaĒ source to say something. Then time is spent talking about/bad mouthing the other media sources and how they are scared or angry at the website. Is any of this necessary in public? You can give yourself a pat on the back all you want, but do you need drag your members into some paranoid fight/competition with other media oulets? If your product is good people will buy it. In my opinion you shouldnít have to disparage the competition. Plus a lot of people like the CU beat writer. Personally, I donít give a crap if you post something 2 seconds before it is known anywhere else and I really donít like feeling like reading you bragging about or taking credit for everything under the sun. This seems like insecurity and turns me off. Maybe it is a Midwest thing but Iím not looking for false drama. Life has enough of that without creating it out of nothing or airing your personal stuff for all to see. You just donít seem to be able to play well with others. It comes off a very unprofessional and makes the idea of being a legitimate media source fairly comical. And again it reflects poorly on Creighton and Creighton fans.
4.) The handling of the messageboards in general has been pretty ridiculous. Freddy had created a pretty comfortable site for most Jays fans to post and share ideas. Sure there were occasionally trolls and stupidity but that is on every messageboard. The need to control everything, the constant self promotion, the post deletions, the lecturing, the omnipresence of Mattís thoughts/opinions/viewpoint, it was all just suffocating and not fun to be a part of most of the time.
5.) The whole thing with the Bock family is bizarre. I canít believe anything good can come of having the players/recruits and their families come to the Bluejay Cafe with questions or concerns. That is mind boggling and inappropriate. I donít know what was said but I hope it was a direct line back to the coaches or AD for real answers/conversation about their concerns. A fan site should not be in the middle of any sort of relationship between the student athlete, their family and the school. I just donít feel comfortable with Matt being that guy and I donít trust him to put Creightonís interest above his own.
6.) Mattís connection to Coach Fish is widely known and that is not necessarily a bad thing but it does make people think Mattís opinions and bits of information are often times coming from Coaches or from Coach Fish specifically. The idea that Chad Millard was getting his schollie yanked at semester was pretty harsh and Matt promoted that rumor on the site. Some people assumed it came from the coaches. I donít see how that is good for the program at all.
So these are a few of the issues that led to my decision. Thanks for your time and effort. I wish it would have been different.
PS Just so you know, I will be sending a copy of this to the Athletic Department and to the sponsors of the Bluejay Cafe. I think they should be aware that there are some negatives for them with the current arrangement. I am far from the only one that is unhappy with the Cafe and Mattís actions.