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The guy who said I made up a quote just got himself a promotion over there at UVA

cyber bullying
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The UVA Football alum who whipped up an online mob with the demonstrably false claim that I made up a quote and attributed it to head coach Tony Elliott just got himself a nice promotion.

Ahmad Hawkins will be the lead color analyst on UVA Football broadcasts, and will also take on a lead role in the weekly Virginia Farm Bureau Insurance Cavalier Minute radio features on the Virginia Sports Radio Network.

Ain’t it just great, that the world works this way?

“Ahmad is a natural fit for the broadcast crew thanks to the many roles he has served in the past associated with the radio network and his work with the Virginia football program as a gameday host and social media personality. He has great passion for the program, and we are excited that this opportunity will allow Ahmad to display his extensive knowledge of the game,” said Jen Madden, the general manager of Virginia Sports Properties, which made the announcement via a press release disseminated by UVA Athletics on Wednesday.

Hawkins, per the release, will join play-by-play announcer John Freeman, who is entering his fourth season at that job, and former UVA quarterback Matt Schaub, another new member of the radio broadcast team, on the broadcasts for the 2024 season, which kicks off on Aug. 31 with the season opener at Scott Stadium against in-state opponent Richmond.

Schaub is expected to work at least four games this season, per the release.

The release noted that Hawkins, who, prior to this promotion, had been an analyst on the “Cavalier Countdown” pregame show, will be the third person to handle the primary color analyst role on UVA Football radio broadcasts in the past 41 years – following Frank Quayle, who held the job for 29 years, and Tony Covington, who finished up his 12th year at the conclusion of the 2023 football season.

So, you know, this isn’t just a promotion, but, you know, something pretty significant.

Where this gets personal for me is, it’s a promotion for a guy who, out of the blue, went after me on social media, after UVA’s 36-35 come-from-ahead loss to JMU in its 2023 home opener, about how I supposedly write “lies for clicks.”

The comments were a callback to a column that I had written following the loss quoting Elliott describing the scene in the UVA locker room during a fourth-quarter weather delay that preceded the two-touchdown JMU rally, in which the coach directly referenced “trying to keep (players) off their phones and keep them focused.”

There’s video of Elliott saying this, and the transcript sent to reporters by the media-relations folks at UVA Athletics included this quote, but per Hawkins, and his legion of Twitter followers, I made it up in a “lies for clicks” scheme.

The online mob that Hawkins lathered up included two guys who threatened me with physical violence, another who texted me from a 757 area code with a message letting me know he knew my home address and said he wanted to “protest” outside my house, a supposed TikTok marketing guy who called me the c-word.

After my first column on the issue with Hawkins and his followers appeared online, I was contacted by another media member who covers UVA Athletics who told a similar story of abuse and harassment involving Hawkins and his followers from a few years ago.

I communicated all of this to UVA Athletics, and … crickets.

The folks over there were obviously kosher with having a guy who thinks it’s OK to attack a writer who wrote a story that he didn’t like with a blatant lie, and encourage his followers on social media to pile on.

Wonderful.

And now, the coda to this story is that, eight months later, not only has the guy never reached out to apologize for falsely alleging that I’d made up the quote, not only did he not suffer any repercussions for unleashing his online mob at me, the geniuses who run things over there just gave him a bigger platform.

If you’ve wondered why I can tend to be a tiny bit adversarial in my reporting on UVA Athletics, well, here you go.

Chris Graham

Chris Graham

Chris Graham is the founder and editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1994 alum of the University of Virginia, Chris is the author and co-author of seven books, including Poverty of Imagination, a memoir published in 2019, and Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, and The Worst Wrestling Pay-Per-View Ever, published in 2018. For his commentaries on news, sports and politics, go to his YouTube page, or subscribe to his Street Knowledge podcast. Email Chris at [email protected].