By Colleen Slattery
Internet sensations are a dime a dozen these days, but it is not that often that a viral video or tweet is actually relevant to one’s own life. Last week, Bleacher Report and USA Today picked up a tweet from Brittanie Adams, a high school softball player from Troy, Texas. The tweet, posted Oct. 16, was simply a picture of a letter sent to Adams from UD softball coach Beth Krysiak with the caption “seriously…this is from a college…” The letter was decorated with cartoon ghosts, and it read, “The scariest thing this Halloween is the thought of not having you on our roster at the University of Dallas next year!” It was admittedly, in this reporter’s opinion, cheesy.
The tweet went viral, with both Bleacher Report and USA Today touting it as the “worst recruiting letter of all time.” Comments on the tweet ranged from a simple, knee-jerk reaction of hilarity to outright disapproval of UD’s recruiting tactics.
Ashley Pickert, a senior Crusader softball player, said she was not amused by the tweet at all.
“The recruiting letter that Coach Krysiak sent may be a little cheesy, but it did not merit Brittanie’s decision to publicly bash our coach and our program,” she said in an email. “What she fails to understand is that it shows the light and fun personality that our coach has, and it is definitely something she will miss out on by deciding to play somewhere else.”
Adams took the tweet down within days of posting it, after being contacted by her future coach at Ottowa University, a school to which she has recently committed. When contacted by the University News, Adams expressed remorse for the manner in which the tweet blew up overnight.
“All I have to say is that I apologize to the UD program,” she said. “Things got carried away, and I shouldn’t have let it.”
Coach Krysiak seemed less ruffled by the incident than her players.
“Brittanie is just a 17-year-old who posted a reaction on social media,” she said.
Krysiak responded calmly to accusations that the softball recruitment process is faulty.
“The letter does represent the program here,” she sad. “We’re a fun group of girls, and we routinely do fun and silly things, as well as practice and play really hard. A lot of programs do similar things during the recruitment process, and this letter was an equivalent to a Christmas card. I’ve sent it out before.”
Krysiak also said that the letter is also not a complete representation of the work that she puts into the recruitment process, a fairly long and comprehensive one for her.
“First I send our initial recruiting emails, asking the student to fill out our recruitment questionnaire online,” she said. “Then I send them a link to a virtual tour of the campus. This is followed by a series of more personalized emails, updates about the team’s performance throughout the season, and then finally, I conduct an in-person tour of the campus if the student chooses to visit our campus.”
Krysiak is currently recruiting about 30 students for the 2015-2016 school year, which is quite a large number, considering that she has sent out “the worst recruiting letter ever” to all of them.