At the time of this writing, Monday at 1:00 PM ET, the #FreeBruMcCoy movement has been popping up on Twitter all day.
The FreeBruMcCoy hashtag quickly gained popularity among Tennessee fans over the weekend and now sits as a trending topic on Twitter. While the hashtag doesn’t have enough momentum to jump into the top 25 trending topics in the country, it’s big enough to become a trending topic locally.
For anyone who may not be up to speed yet, a topic can trend on a social media platform, such as Twitter, by generating online conversation. Whether a user is interacting with a topic, talking about a topic, or responding to a topic, all of those interactions can trend that specific person, place, or thing.
In this case, users are using the FreeBruMcCoy hashtag, a feature that allows users to view specific topics more easily.
The situation revolves around former USC transfer wide receiver Bru McCoy and his quest to gain immediate eligibility at Tennessee.
McCoy originally began his collegiate career at the University of Texas before transferring to the University of Southern California prior to his freshman season in 2019. After a number of problems and injuries that occurred during his time with the Trojans, McCoy was elected. Looking to transfer and eventually wound up committing to Tennessee.
After initial optimism from Tennessee that their new wide receiver would be immediately eligible for the upcoming season, the process appears to have slowed considerably with just over a week until the season begins.
On Sunday evening, USC’s athletic department posted a statement on Twitter, claiming McCoy’s eligibility process with the Volunteers was not in place. However, after that statement was posted on Twitter, it only added gasoline to the fire that Tennessee fans are building on social media.
“USC – consistent with NCAA rules – promptly and accurately responded to all requests from the University of Tennessee regarding Bru McCoy’s eligibility,” The statement was read. “At no point since Brew entered the transfer portal in January have we objected to him being immediately eligible to play at Tennessee. The issue of Brew’s eligibility is ultimately up to the NCAA, and we wish him the best.”
USC’s official statement on Bru McCoy ⤵️ pic.twitter.com/XCustCk2iT
— USC Trojans (@USC_Athletics) August 22, 2022
At the time of this publication, the post has more than 400 replies and nearly 200 quote tweets on Twitter.
Tennessee fans have been advocating strongly for McCoy on USC’s socials, especially after that tweet. In the three tweets USC football has posted on Twitter since Sunday afternoon, each post has had multiple reactions and comments from Tennessee fans.
— USC Football ✌️ (@USC_FB) August 22, 2022
The idea that USC went out of its way to post a statement on Twitter is indicative of the noise Vol fans are making online. As it turns out, the barrage of tweets regarding Bru McCoy may have actually put some pressure on the Trojans’ athletic department.
USC’s statement also came two days after Tennessee head coach Josh Heupel spoke about the work the Tennessee program has put into the position.
“I don’t have an answer to that,” Heupel said of McCoy’s eligibility status during his Friday news conference. “There are some things that are out of my control, Bru’s control, and our administration’s control in this process. Everyone on our side is working as hard as they can to make sure we come to a resolution as quickly as possible and give the kid a chance to play.”
With Tennessee’s season opener coming up on Sept. 1, the Vols are doing everything they can to get Bru McCoy on the field as soon as possible.