Football fan pays for over-the-line tweet


After inappropriately tweeting a bounty offer, Ohio State fan Harrison Watson makes a donation to Michigan

Ohio State University football fan Harrison Watson decided a simple apology wasn’t enough after he tweeted offering a bounty to whomever could injure a high school player committed to rival Michigan. Instead, he says, he’ll give the money to his rival school.

The student, Logan Tillman, isn’t just any future Michigan player. Tillman caused a stir among football fans Saturday by burning his scholarship offer from Ohio State, then tweeting a picture of the burning letter. Tillman has since stated he’s received death threats for the photo from Ohio State fans, and that some even contacted his mother on Facebook.

Watson was one of those incensed fans, and Wednesday night tweeted an offer of “$2,000 to whoever sidelines this player permanently.”

By Thursday he’d become a subject of scorn on Reddit and among other Twitter users. “yeah! That 11th grader had it coming to him,” wrote user @ramzyn. “Maybe he has a younger sibling worth crippling too – think outside the box!”

In response, Watson went into damage-control mode. He deleted the tweet and his profile picture, posted that he was merely joking about a recent NFL bounty scandal, and, strangely, changed his Twitter bio to read “Big Michigan Fan. Go Blue!”

But that didn’t work. “Try apologizing instead of hiding, deleting tweets,” posted @nevmac.

Only then did Watson, who runs a small marketing business, write a formal apology on his company’s website. After claiming he never meant for the tweet to be widely read—“I made some remarks that were meant to be a joke amongst friends,” he wrote—he called the OSU-Michigan “the greatest rivalry in all of sports” and pledged $2,000 to Michigan.

This is, oddly, the second time in a short period that an Ohio State football fan got into hot water for inappropriately tweeting at high school students.

Charles Eric Waugh, self-proclaimed OSU fan, was thrown in jail in May after repeatedly tweeting at high school players who visited the school. Contacting them was a violation of his parole; he was previously arrested for downloading child pornography.

Photo via @LoganTillman

Kevin Collier

Kevin Collier

A former senior politics reporter for the Daily Dot, Kevin Collier focuses on privacy, cybersecurity, and issues of importance to the open internet. Since leaving the Daily Dot in March 2016, he has served as a reporter for Vocativ and a cybersecurity correspondent for BuzzFeed.