A mass exodus of members is occurring from the Louisville Scout fan site, at least temporarily, with the word that site administrator Mike Hughes is moving from ITV/Scout to Louisville.247sports.
Haven’t seen anything like it since many of the same fans stampeded from Rivals to ITV several years ago. The reason, as I recall, was that Rivals was instituting a pay board. This was in the early days of message boards and there was a lot of confusion. Many of the longtime posters were incensed that someone would profit from their participation. Funny thing was ITV did the same thing within a few short weeks.
The “community” that Scout cultivated over several years surprisingly may not be strong enough to endure the departure of its perceived leader. They’re in the process of rebuilding relationships again on still another site. The posters who choose to stay, like the posters who remained at Rivals, will be sniped and gossiped about ad infinitum at the newest nesting place.
What’s really fascinating about message boards is how people who assume anonymity under fictitious names, or pseudonyms, become so protective of their assumed identities. These mystery guys sometimes coming to hyperspace blows with people they don’t know and are unlikely to ever meet in person. Probably a good thing they don’t use their real names but we digress …
Another contributing factor to the latest exodus is that Jody Demling, soon to be formerly of the Courier-Journal, will reportedly be taking over at ITV. Demling is perceived to be a University of Kentucky fan, rightly or wrongly, because he was the one reporting so many of John Calipari’s recruiting successes over the past few years.
One new 247sports poster even suggested that Demling could get in UofL’s good graces by exposing Calipari’s unique recruiting system. That, in fact, would make national headlines.
Despite being a graduate of the University of Louisville, Demling will face some challenges in his new post. Sports fans, no matter who they pull for, are a suspicious lot and often unforgiving, especially when the individual concerned has worked for a newspaper that must provide extensive coverage to a hated rival.
This could get interesting, even without the perceived UK connection.
Demling has been at this recruiting game for a while so he should have developed many strong contacts. Despite still being at the C-J, his tweets of late have focused largely on UofL recruiting. He has some advantages because he has been doing this for quite a while and he’s a genuinely nice person (if one can get past the UK label).
Hughes apparently is able to travel more in his new position and has joined the masses ogling talent at the basketball camps. He’s systematic in the way he approaches his job, overly competitive, sometimes attempting to squelch competition. One gets the impression at times with Hughes that the fan site is more about the business than about his being a fan. He will make it work, come hell or high water.
For savvy fans, the best news is that now there will essentially be three major UofL fan sites with message boards with different perspectives and inclinations. Fans needing a daily fix on University of Louisville football and basketball news usually can’t get enough.