At the time of this writing, at 1:00 PM ET 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 break into the top 25 trending topics in the country, it is loud enough to become a trending topic locally.
For anyone who may not be up to date yet, a topic can trend on a social media platform, such as Twitter, generating online chatter. Whether a user interacts with the topic, talks about the topic, or reacts to the topic, all of these interactions can make that person, place, or thing trend.
In this case, users use the hashtag FreeBruMcCoy, a feature that allows users to more easily view a specific topic.
The situation revolves around former USC transfer wide receiver Bru McCoy and his quest to gain immediate eligibility at Tennessee.
McCoy first began his collegiate career with the University of Texas before transferring to the University of Southern California prior to his senior season in 2019. After a series of off-field issues and injuries manifested during his time with the Trojans, however, McCoy elected to request a transfer and eventually locked in as a Tennessee commitment.
After initial optimism from Tennessee that their newest wide receiver would be immediately eligible for next season, the process has seemingly slowed significantly with just over a week until the season begins.
On Sunday evening, USC’s athletic department tweeted a statement, claiming it would not impede McCoy’s eligibility process with the Volunteers. However, since that statement was tweeted, it has only added fuel to the fire that Tennessee fans on social media have been stoking.
“USC – in accordance with NCAA rules – has promptly and accurately responded to all requests from the University of Tennessee regarding Bru McCoy’s eligibility.” statement read. “At no point since Bru entered the transfer window in January have we objected to him being immediately eligible to play at Tennessee. Bru’s eligibility is ultimately up to 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 tweet has more than 400 replies and nearly 200 tweets at the time of this publication.
Tennessee fans have strongly advocated for McCoy on USC’s social media, especially since that tweet. In the three tweets that USC Football has tweeted since Sunday afternoon, each of the tweets 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 tweet a statement is indicative of the buzz Vol fans were making online. As it turns out, the barrage of tweets involving Bru McCoy may have actually put a strain on the Trojans’ athletic department.
The statement from USC also comes just two days after Tennessee coach Josh Heupel talked about the work the Tennessee program has done on the situation.
“I don’t have an answer to that,” Heupel said of McCoy’s eligibility status during his press conference Friday. “There are some 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 reach a resolution as quickly as possible and give a kid an opportunity to play.”
With the season opener at Tennessee on Sept. 1, the Vols are doing everything they can to get Bru McCoy on the field as soon as possible.