On the surface, a quote from QB recruit Devin Brown (a USC commit, but one still taking visits elsewhere) that showed up on the Ole Miss 247 Sports site under the byline of Yancy Porter was innocuous. It had many of the things you usually see in post-visit quotes, with the recruit thanking the host school and saying something impressed him, but not committing to a decision yet. But what makes this one weird is that as per Brown, he never spoke to Porter:
Note to journalists: try not to completely make up quotes, this is generally frowned upon. https://t.co/OGB077T7Xt
— RedditCFB (@RedditCFB) October 11, 2021
Porter has since modified that, and offered an apology and the explanation that he received this quote from an unnamed stringer, but Brown says he didn’t talk to the stringer either.
which Devin said he didn't talk to. I should have never made the indication in the report that it came directly from Devin. I sincerely apologize for this error in judgement to the Ole Miss community, 247Sports and most importantly to Devin Brown himself and his family.
— Yancy Porter (@YancyPorter) October 11, 2021
As per @GoodOleLane on Twitter, Porter tried to get Brown to pull his critical tweet here:
Nothing is ever gone from the internet. Receipt from Devin Brown for Yancy Porter quoting him without ever interviewing. pic.twitter.com/0boZ18IPLb
— ? (@GoodOleLane) October 11, 2021
Brown did not do that, but he did tweet praise for the Ole Miss program, and a further shot at Porter:
For the record, everyone that actually represents the Ole Miss football program was first class this entire weekend. I had a great weekend. This is a reflection of this reporter, not the university or it’s program. I want that to be clear. Thank you @RebelsFBRec for having me!
— Devin Brown (@dbrownqb33) October 11, 2021
So, there are a few things here. If Porter’s account of what happened is truthful, then he still made two big mistakes; he hired someone who gave him a fabricated quote, and he then presented that quote as his own work. It’s also interesting that Porter didn’t out the stringer in question here, and it feels like he should; if someone is going around presenting fabricated quotes to sites, that should be made public. In any case, this led to significant embarrassment for Porter and for his site and network. And it leads to a good reminder of the importance of accurately portraying who obtained a quote, and the importance of making sure all reported quotes are real.
[Devin Brown on Twitter]