As of this writing, at 1:00 PM ET on a Monday afternoon, the #FreeBruMcCoy movement has been trending on Twitter all day.
The hashtag FreeBruMcCoy quickly gained popularity among Tennessee fans over the weekend and is now 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 strong enough to become a local trending topic.
For anyone not already in the loop, a topic can trend on a social media platform, such as Twitter, generating online conversations. Whether a user is interacting with the topic, talking about the topic, or reacting to the topic, all of these interactions can make that particular person, place, or thing trend.
In this case, users are using the FreeBruMcCoy tag, a feature that allows users to look at a specific topic more easily.
The situation revolves around former USC transfer wide receiver Bru McCoy and his quest to receive immediate eligibility at Tennessee.
McCoy originally began his college career at the University of Texas before transferring to the University of Southern California prior to his freshman season in 2019. However, after a series of off-field issues and injuries manifested during his time with the Trojans, McCoy chose to seek a transfer and ultimately ended up committing to Tennessee.
After Tennessee’s initial optimism that their new wide receiver would be immediately eligible for next season, it appears the process has slowed considerably with just over a week until the season opener.
On Sunday evening, the USC athletic department released a statement on Twitter, saying it was not stopping McCoy’s eligibility process with the Volunteers. However, since this statement was released on Twitter, it has only added fuel to the fire that Tennessee fans on social media have been building.
“USC, in accordance with NCAA rules, has responded promptly and accurately to all requests from the University of Tennessee regarding Bru McCoy’s eligibility.” reads the statement. “At no time since Bru entered the transfer portal in January have we objected to him being immediately eligible to play at Tennessee. The question of Bru’s eligibility ultimately rests with 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
The Twitter post has over 400 replies and nearly 200 quote tweets at the time of this post.
Tennessee fans have strongly advocated for McCoy on USC’s social media, especially since that tweet. In the three tweets that USC Football has posted on Twitter since Sunday afternoon, each of the posts has several responses and comments from Tennessee fans.
— USC Football ✌️ (@USC_FB) August 22, 2022
The idea that USC went out of their way to release a statement on Twitter is indicative of how much noise Vol fans were making online. As a result, the barrage of tweets regarding Bru McCoy may have put some pressure on the Trojans’ athletic department.
USC’s statement also comes just two days after Tennessee head coach Josh Heupel talked about the work Tennessee’s program has put into the situation.
“I don’t have an answer on that,” Heupel said of McCoy’s eligibility status during his Friday news conference. “There are 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 possible to make sure we get to a resolution as soon as possible possible and give a child the opportunity to go play.”
With Tennessee’s season opener on Sept. 1, the Vols are doing everything they can to get Bru McCoy on the field as quickly as possible.