Posted: 7:44 am Thursday, August 19th, 2010

SEC nonsense: Reporter fired for wearing Gators hat; Fake John Brantley tweets upset Florida 

By Jason Lieser

What’s the SEC without ridiculous off-season news? Perfect for a day like this when there is no media access at Florida. No practice, either.

A radio reporter in Arkansas was fired for wearing a Florida Gators hat to a Bobby Petrino press conference.

Back to that in a moment. Let’s talk Twitter.

Imposters are one of the scariest things about Twitter.

[One thing you should know: There's only one real Jason Lieser on Twitter. Follow @PBPjasonlieser by going to Just wanted to clear that up.]

picture-1It’s not a problem for regular folks, but for someone like Florida quarterback John Brantley, fake tweeters can ruin a reputation.

For the record, Brantley is not on Twitter. He doesn’t have much to say anyway. However, there was a Twitter account under the screen name @johnbrantley12.

It appears to have been shut down, which probably is a relief to Brantley and the media relations staff.

Florida football’s official Twitter account sent out a message Wednesday saying, “Just a heads up to Gator fans that John Brantley is not on Twitter. Any page posing as John is a fake.”

Fake Brantley

Fake Brantley

Real Brantley

Real Brantley

One staff member sent out a tweet accusing the fake John Brantley of committing a crime. “You are using UF logos/photos without permission & posing as a student-athlete. Expect to be contacted by UAA Licensing,” it read. That tweet was removed later.

As of right now, @johnbrantley12 no longer is operational. Crisis averted.

Funny picture in case you're already bored.

Funny picture in case you're already bored.

On to the Arkansas hat story…

Petrino is ok with a lot of things (including fleeing from your team mid-season), but he is not cool with someone wearing a Florida hat to an Arkansas press conference.

Renee Gork, a radio personality for KAKS in Arkansas, tweeted that she was fired two days after wearing a Gators hat to a Petrino presser. Gork is a Florida alumnus.

After answering Gork’s question, Petrino added, “and that will be the last question I answer with that hat on.”

Here is the video from

Gork told the Associated Press she grabbed the hat because it was raining and did not think anything of it, and has since sent Petrino an apology letter.

Arkansas released a statement saying it had nothing to do with Gork’s dismissal:

What would Bobby have said about a Falcons hat? (AP Photo)

What would Bobby have said about a Falcons hat? (AP Photo)

“The University of Arkansas has no connection to The Hog Sports Radio and has no direct or indirect control over the station’s management or personnel decisions. University of Arkansas athletic department personnel did communicate to the reporter that her attendance at Monday’s practice was not recommended to allow additional time to pass. The University wishes to be very clear that it did not request any employment action with regard to the reporter.”

On Wednesday, Petrino said, “I don’t know much about the intention from the national media. When the incident happened here, there was never an intention to see it escalate the way that it did. But that kind of got out of our control.”

My favorite part of this story is how little interest Gators coach Urban Meyer had in it (And why should he?).

Here’s the dialogue from Tuesday’s press conference at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium:

Reporter: Did you hear about the girl who was fired for wearing a Florida hat at a Bobby Petrino press conference?

Meyer: “Bobby Petrino? No. What’d she do?”

Reporter: Wore a Gator hat.

Meyer: “Wore a Gator hat.”

Reporter: To an Arkansas press conference.

Meyer: “I don’t get it.”

Reporter: She works for an Arkansas’ radio

Meyer: “Oh. She wore a Gator hat and went to work or something?”

Reporter: Yeah.

Meyer: “It’s really hot outside.”

I think that actually sums up my interest in the story, too.