Blue-check alum calls RMU students "pathetic" for basketball attendance, causes Twitter firestorm
by Julian Gregorio
Chris Cappella, a Twitter-verified sports blogger and RMU alum, blasts Colonials' poor attendance; a Student Life official punches back
A Twitter-verified RMU alum blasted students on Saturday, saying there's "no support" for the men's basketball team and that he guesses "RMU students have too much to do rather than watch their 11-2 basketball team."
He called students' thin attendance "pathetic."
Sports blogger Chris Cappella, who runs Chronicling the Colonials, sparked hot takes — and multiple beefs — when he made the fiery comments online.
"Couldn't agree more #embarrasing," replied Brooke Kelly Toole, head coach Andy Toole's wife.
But a Student Life administrator jumped in and defended RMU students.
"Blaming students is a really bad take," said Scott Irlbacher, director of special programs and student community standards.
"Saying it's 'embarrassing' or making dismissive comments only exacerbates the divide between RMU athletes and the other students," Mr. Irlbacher added.
Mr. Irlbacher noted that students were taking part in tons of other activities on Saturday, including "(eight) club sports teams had events. There is a play all weekend. RMU students work multiple jobs. Plus 1pm tipoffs cut into Saturday community service," he said.
Mr. Cappella responded that no one is blaming students, but added yes, "it is embarrassing for a program as successful as this one."
One reply guy joined the fray to agree with the "pathetic" comment and offer his own take. Jon Fisher, an RMU alum, said "students just don't care, and a good portion of Moon Twp doesn't care either," adding that the school will never fill the UPMC Events Center. Mr. Fisher said Mr. Cappella is right that the situation is "pathetic."
A Pittsburgh Post-Gazette sports writer hit the replies too, saying that even the "Chuck," the smaller sports facility that preceded the Events Center, had trouble getting filled.
"I was surprised when I saw that (the Events Center) was going to have 4,000 seats," said Post-Gazette writer Craig Meyer.