Another sign that the U.S.S. Swepson is sinking this season appeared on the Internet Saturday.
Senior running back Jamal Shuman took to Twitter to colorfully criticize football coaches, led by head coach Jason Swepson, for a lack of playing time.
One tweet read, "There goes another game of my f----- senior year nd I don't touch the f----- field lik I ain't one of the best athletes on dis d--- squad." Another tweet said, "our coaches to f----- dumb to realize wat dey had but now da season is ova #owell."
Shuman (@JamalShuman) is not the first athlete to use the popular social media tool to express his frustrations. He apologized Monday in a long series of messages, tweeting, "i would truly like to apologize for my actions and to let everyone know they wont happened again...I will accept any punishment i receive."
What Shuman said on Twitter is embarrassing for Elon. And he recognizes that, tweeting, "i realize i was representing the alumni's, the people of Elon University, and our TEAM with those tweets and i am ashamed of myself."
But the story is bigger than just the tweets. What needs to be examined is the way Swepson has handled the team this year.
Swepson has said that the team is "coming together" multiple times and that they're still fighting for a winning season.
Shuman brought up the fact that he has not had much playing time. Against Wofford College, senior running backs Dontay Taylor and A.J. Harris had nine carries each for a total of 41 yards. Swepson has ridden Taylor and Harris for most of the season, which has led to a porous rushing game for the Phoenix. Shuman has only 22 carries in seven games.
Two years ago, Shuman led Elon and was fourth in the Southern Conference in rushing with 677 yards in 10 games and helped the Phoenix reach the FCS playoffs. However, last year he played in only three games due to an injury.
Does Shuman have a point? Yes. Harris is overused in his current role. Taylor has seven rushing touchdowns this year, but has not run for more than 75 yards in a game. Shuman has the ability to make plays, but Swepson has yet to allow him sufficient touches to do so.
It seems there is a troubled group in Alumni Fieldhouse. Shuman isn't the only player to tweet about the coaching staff. Senior wide receiver Darrius McQueen (@Amb1tious_11) tweeted, "This year woulda went so much betta wit different coachin decisions #realtalk." After the Wofford game, freshman long snapper Michael Crispi (@EUKidCrispi47) messaged, "I hate losing........idc if i play well, this s--- is frusturatin me....glad we got this bye week comin up."
Former Elon wide receiver Sean Jeffcoat (@Sean_Jeffcoat) agreed, tweeting, "the whole staff trippin.. Still don't see why they aint playin you fam.."
Swepson says the team is coming together and straying away from finger-pointing. Twitter says otherwise. How long until the frustration in the locker room spreads to the athletic department?