LSU exposed Saturday a fake Twitter account that has been falsely identifying itself as the Tigers' newest assistant coach. The account (@CoachSteeleLSU) has been suspended since LSU officially posted the news.
Defensive coordinator Kevin Steele is NOT on Twitter. Any account out there is fake and should be ignored while we work to get it removed.— LSU Football (@LSUfball) January 24, 2015
The fake account first appeared on Wednesday with a Tweet proclaiming Steele was excited to be back on the road recruiting. In the days since, the impostor assumed the identity of LSU's defensive coordinator. The account had amassed more than 1,000 followers as of Saturday.
But the hoax didn't just stop on the public timeline.
The Fake Kevin Steele even sent direct messages to current LSU players and potential recruits. Three-star defensive tackle Bryce English, who does not have an LSU offer, posted a screen shot of a message he'd received from the fake account that said LSU would consider offering him closer to National Signing Day (English's tweet has since been deleted).
This one from safety Corey Thompson:
BRUH!?? pic.twitter.com/K5o7d7JIv0— Nobody But ©?®ey (@ELITE23_CT) January 24, 2015
Once LSU officially exposed him, word spread that Steele was not the man behind that account. The impostor then posted several tweets proclaiming Alabama's elite status in the SEC. It then posted a "resignation" tweet.
???????? pic.twitter.com/NIKHdv3din— Nobody But ©?®ey (@ELITE23_CT) January 24, 2015
Naw, don't run now! pic.twitter.com/UiDyzd33lP— Nobody But ©?®ey (@ELITE23_CT) January 24, 2015
Posing as notable figure does play jump rope with several ethical guidelines. In some cases, it's proved illegal when people have tried to pass of as government agents.
There are several notable examples of fake Twitter accounts for college football coaches. @FauxPelini is a particularly famous example. But that one, as do several others, come off as clearly satirical in their nature. The Kevin Steele account portrayed itself as the actual person.
An LSU spokesman said he's not sure whether the culprit can face legal punishment, but the account has been removed as of 6 p.m. Saturday.