When it came to catfishing, University of Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon was way ahead of the game. At a forum today at the University of Toledo, Brandon described how his department tricked some of their male student-athletes with an attractive woman.
According to Ablauf, the athletic department had 180 Communications give a presentation to the men’s and women’s basketball teams and the football team in the fall of 2011. A female employee of 180 Communications — described by Brandon and Michigan coach Brady Hoke as attractive — had friended several of the athletes on Facebook and followed them on Twitter in the weeks before the presentation to gain access to their public posts.
Ablauf said the employee of 180 Communications then gathered several of the posts, some of which were directed to her, to show how easily someone could access their information and use it against them.
Brady Hoke weighs in with more specifics of the ruse.
“Before he came in, we gave him 20 Facebook accounts of guys on our team,” coach Brady Hoke said earlier this month while speaking with hundreds of the state’s high school football coaches. “He had his assistant — 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.
For what it’s worth, Michigan’s pretty adamant they did not “catfish” athletes but used the ruse as an educational tool. Frankly, I don’t really care what you call it, I know a catfish when I see it thanks to Dr. Phil’s creepy interview with Ronaiah Tuiasosopo.