On Sept. 21, the MSU football team suffered its first and only loss of the season at the hands of Notre Dame.
Meanwhile, hundreds of miles away on the other side of the country, former Spartan running back Jehuu Caulcrick’s Twitter account created a stir on the Internet.
“I don’t understand y everyone is making a big deal over Arian Foster saying he got money while he was in college. News flash We all did.” a Tweet from his account read late that night.
Houston Texans running back Arian Foster, a former standout at Tennessee, was the subject of headlines close to the same time after admitting he accepted illegal benefits while playing for the Volunteers.
About an hour later, the following was posted on Caulcrick’s account: “UofM owns state. #GoBlue”
Caulcrick apologized the next day, saying his account was hacked and denying any illegal payment while playing for MSU.
The State News caught up with Caulcrick, who currently lives in California where he works as a motivational speaker and broadcaster for the Pac-12 Network, to reflect on the social media snafu.
The State News: What do you remember about Sept. 21? What was that day like for you and how did you first find out about the whole incident?
Jehuu Caulcrick: I was actually at a Michigan State event … getting ready for the game and that’s it. Hanging out and I got some calls from people saying hey something’s up with your Twitter, you know, take a look at it. I took a look at it. Got a call from people at Michigan State, we talked about it, worked it out, figured it out and did some changes to the account and everything like that.
SN: When you saw those tweets, what are your first thought?
JC: At first, I was obviously disappointed that that happened. I know anyone that knows me, anyone that’s associated with me knows I’m the biggest Spartan fan, I’m the biggest Spartan there is. So I wouldn’t do something like that or say something like that. That’s the thing, I wasn’t really worried about the backlash and stuff like that because I know the people that I care about, the people I respect and the people that respect me and know me know that I wouldn’t do that. I talked to the communications department there at Michigan State, talked to the coaches and all that stuff. Everything’s all good. Never for a second did they think I did something like that.
SN: Have you gotten any information since then about how your account was hacked or how those tweets were sent out?
JC: No, the way those things work is you can either go about launching a full-fledged investigation on it or you can just say hey, at the end of the day, change some stuff up, be more conscious about your accounts and who has access to it and all these different things and just go from there. I took the latter route, made some changes to my account and I go from there about it. It’s not an uncommon thing for people to get hacked and when it happens, you don’t want it to happen obviously, but it’s something that does happen and you just have to do the best you can to weather the storm.
SN: Did you or other players accept any money while at Michigan State?
JC: No, absolutely not. That’s actually a ridiculous question. No – I didn’t. I know the people I hung around with did not. Michigan State is not that kind of program, we actually pride ourselves in being a clean-run program and not jeopardizing that for the face of the university or anything like that. When I was there, all we cared about was playing football, winning, you’re at a great school and being proud of the school you’re going to and wouldn’t want to put it through anything like that.
SN: Has anything changed in terms of how people treat you in person? Are people still salty about it on Twitter at all?
JC: As far as I know everyone’s past it. It was just that one night when I got all those messages and hate mail, death threats, all these different things. But at the end of the day, like I said, the people that care about me, the people that respect me, the people I respect, you know, it’s all good and well.
SN: You’ve been able to step back for a few years since your time at MSU. How is the program different from when you left, from your perspective?
JC: I was fortunate to – my last season was coach (Mark Dantonio’s) first year there so I was able to build a great relationship with him and understood what he was trying to accomplish at Michigan State. The seniors that were there his first year there, we bought in, believed in his system and we told ourselves ‘we’re gonna try to help build the foundation for this so the program can move up and onward.’ So it’s something that we can be proud of after we’re done and we’re sitting back watching. It’s gone a long ways. It’s a good group of guys in there. A big thing with coach D is it’s all high-character guys he wants to bring be a part of that team. And that’s what he has, he has a bunch of athletes going around the field there and it’s just guys having fun and enjoying what they’re doing. That’s what coach D brings to the table and that sense of maturity that in years past, it wasn’t there.