Red All Over: Guy Holliday’s departure from Utah is another example of social media gone awry

Holliday, Utah’s now-former wide receivers coach, exited earlier this week under murky circumstances

Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune University of Utah wide receiver coach Guy Holliday encourages his the team running drills as the team kicks off opening day of spring practice on Tuesday, March 22, 2016.

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A position coach leaving a Power Five football program is newsworthy. Unless there is some sort of indiscretion or significant black eye as the reason for the departure, a position coach leaving should not turn into a circus.

Guy Holliday is out as the wide receivers coach at the University of Utah, a move that comes in the wake of two depth-chart receivers, Bryan Thompson and Samson Nacua opting to transfer. News of that began to circulate on Sunday night because Holliday’s son, Justin, a receivers coach at a high school in El Paso, Texas, fired off a series of controversial tweets.

Among the topics covered in those tweets is an indication that Holliday was fired because he is African-American, and two thinly-veiled references to Utes defensive coordinator Morgan Scalley, who was suspended indefinitely in June while Utah investigated a social media post, which referenced a 2013 text message from Scalley that included racist language. Scalley was later reinstated, but at a lower salary figure and with his head coach-in-waiting tag rescinded.

The fact Holliday’s son tweeted what he tweeted turned this into a real hot-button issue throughout Monday, which ended with an athletic department spokesperson confirming that Holliday was no longer with the program.

I’ve been here long enough to know that the athletic department will have nothing else to say on the matter, and Kyle Whittingham is likely to balk if and when questions are asked about this.

Credit to Holliday for doing a professional job of trying to put this fire out during an interview Tuesday morning on 1280 The Zone.

Summation: I understand Justin Holliday felt the need to voice his opinion and defend his father, but he did his father a huge disservice by doing it on Twitter, which is very public and, oftentimes, very willing to jump all over things without all facts present. This was a mess, and it didn’t have to be.

This is where I tell everyone to be smarter with their social media usage, but that’s going to fall on deaf ears. Now, this is where I tell everyone my long-held stance on Twitter. It’s equally the best and worst thing to ever happen to journalism. Why? Everyone gets to have an opinion.

The good news is spring practice starts soon and we can all move beyond this, I think.

There’s lots more to read, including things on Josh’s mind, his ever-popular random musings and the Red All Over mailbag. Subscribe here to get the whole thing:

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