When David Benedict took over as athletic director, he won fans of the UConn Huskies over with his vision, confident demeanor, his strong resume, and his transparency on Twitter. Throughout 2017, Benedict tweeted more than 200 times, documenting his travels across the country to support numerous teams, promoting games, and even interacting with fans.
Then it all went away.
Here is a complete list of all of Benedict’s tweets in 2018.
Jan. 6 (a reply tweet)
July 30 (a retweet)
While Benedict stopped tweeting cold turkey as August rolled around, the big UConn news certainly didn’t. We could have used some quote tweets or at least an emoji or two, just to let us know everything’s gonna be alright, as these are dark, difficult times for UConn fans.
Here are just a few of the tweet-worthy moments since David’s last. Because we at The UConn Blog are tremendous social media experts, we even offer some advice for what to tweet in these moments.
- In late-October, UConn announced plans for an on-campus hockey arena that will not meet Hockey East requirements and cost roughly $45 million. Advice: A measured Twitter response could have quelled the negative fan response that raged on until the Courant could get some side of UConn’s story out days later.
- Former UConn football player Obi Melifonwu won the Super Bowl with the New England Patriots. Advice: Toss some RTs, you’ve got good football news!!!
- The women’s basketball team announced the return of the one the best rivalries in college sports in August, setting up a home-and-home series with Tennessee beginning in the 2019-20 season. Advice: RT SZN
- The women’s hoops team picked up a big win over Notre Dame on the road. Advice: The game of women’s basketball, and an underdog Husky hoops team on the road, could have really used some positive support and validation from leadership given the significance of this moment.
- UConn basketball legend and current member of the UConn Foundation’s Board of Trustees Ray Allen was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in September. Allen and fellow Husky legend Rebecca Lobo will have their numbers retired as well. Advice: World’s best shooter ever Ray Allen went to UConn. So did WNBA legend and current ESPN TV star Rebecca Lobo. It is important to remind people of these very important facts.
- Dan Hurley’s first season started with a lot of excitement, including a big win over Syracuse at MSG. Advice: Stoke that fire, baby, the UConn men are back and you made it happen!
- The Hartford Courant reported that the athletic department operated at a $41 million loss in 2019. Advice: Say something
- UConn hired a new president, who expressed support for FBS football. Advice: Again, say something, anything.
- The 1999 men’s basketball championship team was honored at halftime of the Huskies’ loss to Cincinnati this past weekend. Advice: You probably had some great behind the scenes moments with players that UConn fans love. Take a pic! Tweet it out! Associate yourself with Rip Hamilton as much as possible!
- The American Athletic Conference is in the midst of negotiating and finalizing a new TV deal that could make or break the imminent future of UConn athletics. Advice: Tweet out some Jonathan pics!
Many major Division 1 athletic directors are active on Twitter, and for good reason— it’s a smart idea!
Twitter isn’t the most important, awesome, or harassment-free website in the world, but it is a popular way for college sports fans to interact and voice their opinions. For organizations of all kinds and their leaders, it can be an invaluable public relations channel and help shape their understanding of various constituencies.
So, why the (Twitter) radio silence?
“David feels that with Twitter he should be either ‘all-in’ or ‘all-out’ and with all of his other responsibilities, he just isn’t able to dedicate enough time to using it as he had before,” the UConn athletic department explained when asked to comment.
Mr. Benedict: over 4,000 followers are eagerly awaiting your next words, online. Please don’t make them wait any longer.
Tweet through it.
UPDATE: March 1, 2019. 1:16PM - HE LIVES!