It’s too early to call this a controversy but there does appear to be some disagreement between Bret Bielema and running back Vonte Jackson over whether the four-star freshman will redshirt this year. Bielema wants Jackson to earn his stripes on special teams, while Jackson would clearly prefer to sit out a year, since he has no shot at cracking the top 3 at running back. Normally we wouldn’t know or care about the player’s feelings in this – coaches coach, players play – but in this case Jackson’s thoughts became known, and by all evidence Bielema was not happy about it.
You’ll never guess how Jackson’s thoughts leaked out either. Yup. Twitter. Sunday Jackson tweeted, “As much as I want to see the field this year. Decided to not waste a year on special teams. Going to red shirt.”
Bielema couldn’t have been happy about Jackson’s phrasing. Playing special teams is a waste? Not a very team-player sort of statement. Sounds more like a diva move to me. Naturally, Jackson’s tweet quickly disappeared from his timeline, I’m guessing at the coach’s request. And by “request” I mean “order.”
Like I said, you can’t really call this a controversy. One little tweet expressing disagreement with a coach’s wishes doesn’t quite rise to that level. In the end, Jackson could still end up redshirting with Bielema’s blessing. But either way I’m sure Bielema didn’t enjoy Jackson jumping the gun on announcing that a decision was made. That’s showing up his coach a little bit, and even if he didn’t mean it that way, he shouldn’t have done it.
The perils of Twitter.